Do you sew garments for yourself?
Sometimes? Always? Never? Only when the mood grabs you?
I find that I am sewing about 50/50 garments & quilting – in my personal capacity at home. At work I do whatever is required so it could be anything from garments to embroidery to quilts to sergers to software related. However, I am under no major obligation to sew ALL the garments I wear. I kind of do it when I feel inspired and when I have a need for a new outfit……and, of course, when I have time in my busy schedule. Sometimes I purchase my garments although I will freely admit that I do not buy designer clothing……my budget for this expenditure is nowhere close to what Designer clothing costs.
So imagine my surprise when I came across a rather fabulous blog some months back written by a lady called Sarah who lives in South or North Carolina (can’t remember which) and who challenged herself to STOP buying designer clothing and ONLY wear garments she made herself from scratch. I think she called it a FAST from buying ready-to-wear clothing. I read on her blog that she was horrified about how much money she was spending on clothing for herself and her 2 fashion conscious daughters. Now I cannot remember exactly when she started doing this, but her blog is GREAT and I will link to it here so you will be able to read up on the whole story & get the details directly from Sarah. Her blog is called GOODBYE VALENTINO.
I think something in me resonated with her desire to wear fashionable WELL made garments but not at the cost she was paying. I drifted away from garment sewing for myself for almost 20 years……it was all about quilting for me……..but then I got a bit of a wake up call about 5 or 6 years ago when I realized with some degree of shock that my wardrobe was old, frumpy and pathetic….. really. I was not in a very happy place at that time with a very sick hubby, and so I did not need anything more to make me feel old, tired & frumpy! Sadly my wardrobe reflected this. Something HAD to change. Unfortunately I did not have any extra money I could spend on buying an entire new wardrobe so I had no option but to systematically set about sewing garments for myself. I got very inspired and excited and have since acquired quite an extensive stash of garment fabric (mostly knits which is my very favourite fabric to use for garments). I have also developed a style of clothing that I prefer to make together with patterns and notions to help me do a real professional job of it all.
I have 2 sergers which I use regularly. I have a fully computerized Elna 5 thread serger which I am passionate about. Sadly it is no longer available so I am very glad I bought mine when I did! No matter what program I use or what fabric I throw at those blades & needles, it consistently delivers awesome results.(Closest current JANOME serger models would be the 1100D – 4 thread serger & 1200D – 5 thead serger) My serger is a 5 thread serger so it DOES offer coverhem stitching as well as all the regular seams & rolled hems etc. HOWEVER, when I am “on a roll” sewing up a garment, I do not have the patience to switch over the serger from 4 thread knit seaming to coverhem & back about 3 or 4 times per garment. Let me say that I can do this very quickly as know my serger like the back of my hand, however, it nonetheless wastes time and breaks into the flow of what I am doing. SO, I invested in a JANOME CPX COVERHEM SERGER and these 2 sergers sit side by side on my garment sewing desk. And yes, I am very organized in my sewing room. My garment sewing is all done on one table and my quilting and embroidery is done on another table/cabinet as I don’t want to have to constantly be rummaging around looking for things. They all have their place and this way I achieve a lot in a small amount of time. Nauseating, I know, to less organized folk but honestly it is the only way I get stuff done in the short bursts of time I have for personal sewing.
Anyways……just really wanted to show you Sarah’s blog as I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I have done – if you are a garment sewer. She is currently busy making her mother-of-the-bride dress for the upcoming wedding. I am following this with much interest and wishing I had been as far along my return to garment sewing when my daughter got married. I made all the bridesmaids dresses but somewhat ran out of “steam” & time for my mother-of-the-bride outfit so I must confess that I thought I looked awful frumpy at her wedding. I decided not to do the same for my son’s wedding – I “cheated” and bought a lovely dress that I actually wear quite often so it was a good buy even if Sarah may not approve!!
HAPPY SUMMER SEWING EVERYONE…….AND REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN FOR SURE TAKE YOUR SEWING MACHINE OUTSIDE TO YOUR DECK OR OUTDOOR AREA TO SEW…….WHY NOT ENJOY THE WARMTH & SUNSHINE AT THE SAME TIME AS INDULGING IN YOUR PASSION FOR SEWING???!!!