Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jen is Sew Cool

Hey friends! As you are probably well aware, if you follow me on any social media, I've crossed over into a whole new sewing world. Sewing has been one of the biggest parts of my adult life.  I've always been somewhat interested in the craft but upon purchasing my own home decided it was something I must teach myself in order to obtain peak coziness in my new environment.  Since them I've made more quilts, table runners, wall hangings and curtains than I can count. I've also embroidered everything that was laying around that had a fabric surface, such as pillowcases and kitchen towels. Sewing has been a slow evolution for me, yet one of my biggest confidence boosters.  To me, there is no bigger since of accomplishment than knowing I created something out of nothing. 
I've obviously always been very into fashion, basically since I can remember.  My mom always talks about how she would hit up yard sales and come homes with bags of clothes for me to potentially wear but mostly I'd play dress up with them.  Hours upon hours were spent playing dress up and twirling in front of mirrors.  Pretty much since my first viewing of Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion I've been dreaming about designing and making my own clothes.  I half joked about making it a potential career one day but the practical side of me decided against it (biggest life mistake, maybe?).  
At the beginning of this year, I set out a list of goals. Most of them had to do with my crafting lifestyle.  I was starting to feel like I was in a funk and needed to shake things up.  A girl can only make so many quilts--even if they turn into gifts, yah know?  I decided my first goal would be to make a clothing garment of some kind.  See Kate Sew was having a sale the first week of the New Year so I decided that was the perfect opportunity to start my clothes making journey.  I bought the Peplum Top pattern with the add on Skirt Pattern so I had an option to make a peplum top or a dress.  Then I did nothing but fret for 2 months. Shopping for clothing fabric is so different from quilting fabric so the step of picking out fabric seemed super daunting.  I then decided to break it down into mini goals. The first month my goal was just to pick out and buy fabric.  The next goal I set was to cut out my pattern and then cut out my first garment which ended up being a peplum top. Then I really started picking up steam and by the end of the day I had a completed garment.  I was elated. Creation is always so fascinating to me even though I witness it constantly. The feeling of turning a hunk of fabric into something useable/wearable is just the best feeling. I can't even describe it.
My Favorite Skirt

This is probably common knowledge, but I love me a high waisted skirt.  The style is very New Girl meets Modcloth and I love it.  What I don't love, is the price of these skirts. Seriously, they are around $50 and that's just a tad out of my price range for one garment.  I found a great skirt tutorial and have busted our four of them already.  The only alteration I made to the pattern was adding pockets (which is way easier than I could have predicted). It works up so quickly and only takes about 1 1/2 yards of fabric-only 1 if you don't want it to be below the knees.  I am absolutely in love with this dino print and this skirt rang it at around $17.00. I would say $15 is probably the average price for this project, depending on fabric choice.  I randomly picked up some striped fabric the other day and made an entire skirt for $3.00.  I've also made a succulent skirt and a gnome skirt. I think it's safe to say I'm obsessed with this pattern and will definitely continue using it.

See Kate Sew - Circle Skirt Dress
So the dress was my 2nd project. It's basically the peplum top plus adding a circle skirt. Easy peasy. I finished this dress in a day and I love the cut and fit so much. The pattern was super clear to follow and this project worked up so easily. It's a perfect dress for really any occasion.  The patterns also has options for sleeve length so I could make some fall/winter versions of this dress too.  I can predict this pattern will be use more than once!  This was also a very cost effective project.  The fabric for the dress rang in at $5 a yard, for a total of $15 for the dress.

McCall's Romper - Pattern 7115

Sew, up until this project, all my clothing sewing had gone super smoothly. Basically no issues or extreme frustrations.  This romper project was a bit trickier.  I didn't love the pattern and directions. I'm very much a visual person. I want there to be lots of photos and words describing each step. Over simplification drives me nuts. Yea, I've been sewing for 10 years but my brain can't always make these leaps without proper instruction. Anyway, round 1 was pretty rough but I wanted to document my struggles along with my successes.  This was the finished project. As you can see, it doesn't quite fit me properly.  It's a little too short in the lengthwise and the neckline is a full on Monet. This was my first attempt at buttonholes and they really aren't as hard as I predicted. 

So, yea, the fit didn't turn out great. I was sad for about a day and then I decided to rip it apart and recut the top out of leftover fabric and just do a big ole do-over. I'm really in love with the print of this fabric and just couldn't let this project go.   I'm very glad I did. Not only did I improve the fit but I was able to get the neckline lined up much better. It's definitely now an outfit I would wear.  Sometimes perseverance is key. This fabric rang in at about $17.00 + $1.00 for matching buttons.  The only alternation I made to this pattern was adding pockets, but women deserve pockets too!

I do think I'm going to give this pattern another whirl.  It has a dress variation that I'm dying to try out. I really do love the print of this fabric and can see it making a great weekend outfit. My biggest complaint about this project was the pattern detail.  I don't love piecing pdf patterns, but they always seem more detailed which I really appreciate.

After finishing all these projects, I really did feel like I was on top of the world. Like I could make anything. I felt so badass. I know I'm becoming insufferable around the house, constantly modeling my homemade wears, pointing out how I can add pockets to basically anything and forcing my husband into instagram husband roles. But man, I've always struggled with my confidence so hard.  Creating and designing my own wardrobe is giving me confidence I didn't even know existed within myself. Y'all, sometimes it really pays off to step outside of your comfort zone. It's also amazing to see my childhood dream of becoming a fashion designer/seamstress, like Romy & Michelle, is actually coming true.

I would love to hear your sewing adventures. What are you making? What's your favorite thing to sew? What part of sewing causing you apprehension. Seriously, I want to know!!

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