Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hey, I could do that....

Ever have this thought?  I do -- increasingly often.  Usually, it's the result of extreme optimism paired with lack of experience.  But sometimes, just sometimes, it's true.   Today I sewed my very first item of clothing for myself.  It helps that I have no perfectionist tendencies when it comes to sewing, but I'm feeling happy with the results.

I remember a quote from Amy Karol's "Bend the Rules With Sewing" that goes (and I'm totally paraphrasing here) "You have to be good enough to know when you can bend the rules."  I must say, this quote doesn't apply to me at all.  It's more like, "If you don't know any of the rules, you just make up your own (and make a lot of mistakes along the way.)"   I am a beginner's beginner when it comes to sewing -- I'm not one of those crafty ladies that learned to sew perched atop my great-grandmother's knee.   In fact, it took me about a year after buying my machine to even learn how to thread it properly.  I'm not sure I should admit that publicly, but there you have it.....

I've been lurking for a while -- admiring others' handiwork, reading crafty blogs and books, and buying handmade clothing when possible.  I've been warming up with smaller projects -- quilts, bibs, pot holders; our resident doll, "baby" has a stunning wardrobe selection.   Finally, this blog inspired me to take the plunge.  The blog is a photo journal of a woman in Canada who has pledged to wear only what she makes herself (including shoes, underwear and the like) for a year.  Believe me, I didn't think "Hey, I could do that...."  But I did think that maybe I could begin to make some of my clothes....

I began with a soft cotton jersey fabric that's been lingering in my stash; I found it incredibly forgiving, with just the right amount of stretch. I just cut the shape I envisioned (no patterns yet for this no rules-er), sewed along the inner seams, and added a gather in the middle.  I didn't finish any of the edges, which was fine by my standards.

SO satisfying.  The skirt?  Another no-rules experiment (without sewing involved this time....)  I began with a secondhand top, the stripey-ness of which I love, but with an unflattering neckline....


A little work with a rotary cutter (much smoother than scissors) right under the armpits, and a sporty little number perfect for autumn layering was revealed.


Next: learn how to take self-portraits without angles that make the viewer dizzy.  I'm sure it's doable.