Monday, March 29, 2010

Sew Many Puns, Sew Little Time

   Sewing is something that has always fascinated me.  The process of turning a length of fabric into something wearable and attractive is pretty amazing.  And don't even get me started on pattern making!  That's pretty impressive to me as well.  The gamut of what sewing means for people runs pretty far- necessity, hobby, creative expresssion, couture.
  I started sewing for real just last year.  When I was little I saw my grandmother do a bit here and there, and I knew my dad's mother also sewed.  It's one of the few things I really know about her since she passed away long before I was born.  My mom knows how to sew, but she doesn't really care for it so we didn't really do any sewing when I was growing up. 
  I decided to take the plunge and start sewing when my daughter was 4.  I thought she would look super adorable in a big foofy princess dress, but there wasn't anything I could find that fit the image in my mind. or what I found was way more than I thought I wanted to spend.  I have a bad habit of starting a hobby and then getting bored with it so I just bought a $100 sewing machine because I figured if I gave up on it, then at least I hadn't invested a lot of money in the endeavor.  I have to say, teaching yourself to sew on a child's dress is great.  If you mess up, kids don't really know the difference and what you've made still looks cute on them!
  Up until this recently I've only made one thing for myself, a lightweight jacket.  It was great until I put in the lining, and then it just went to hell, so I have regrouped and will just take the easy way out and avoid lining anything.  Now I've made two 60s mod-ish dresses and my next project is going to be a slinky bed jacket like the ones shown in Nicole Richie's new Winter Kate clothing line.
  I'm hoping it's the start of a new era in sewing for me because I have gotten interested in making things that I see and like in magazines or on line.  I do this for the personal challenge.   Maybe at some point sewing their own clothes saved people money, but nowadays I think it's almost as expensive.  Patterns cost about $10, but then fabric is at least $9 per yard and just a shift dress needs about 2 1/2 yards plus notions like thread, zippers and embellishments.  I could spend that much at the Rack and find something pretty nice on clearance (hey, I like bargains!) with much less hassle.
  What spurs me on is the sense of accomplishment I feel after I've made something with my own hands.  Since that first foofy princess dress I've made many other things for my kids and it always makes me happy to see them in those things.  It's exciting to start adding pieces for myself into the mix.  It feels like a new level of skill coming out. I'll post some shots soon and you can tell me!