Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Someone once told me that if you want to get better at sewing the first thing you need to do is quit those quick and easy sewing projects. A 30 minute skirt is a great project for a beginner, or somebody who is happy with off the rack style clothing, but not for someone who wants to master their skill.

I think I've reached a point in my sewing where I am ready to take that leap. I'm no longer happy with quick and simple, just like ready to wear items I've made. In fact I am not very happy with most of the ready to wear item's I've bought either. 

  • I want clothes that I love so much, I can wear them again and again and never get tired of them. Not more clothes than I know what to do with.
  • I want clothes that fit me like a second skin, that glide over my curves and flatter my figure. Not something that the fashion industry has decided is a “good enough” fit for most people.
  • I want clothes that will stand up to repeated washing and wearing, and on the off chance that they do get ripped or stained, I will care enough about them to fix them. Not clothes that are cheap enough to throw out when the seam comes apart after the first washing.
I want quality over quantity, and that is why quick sewing projects just aren't working for me anymore. What I don't want is a bunch of clothes that will amount to nothing more than clutter.

So that's the decision I've made when it comes to sewing clothes for myself. But what about the children?

Kids grow out of clothes so quickly. Is it really worth spending so much time on something that they're only going to wear for a little while?

For me it is because I currently have 6 nieces and nephews, with number 7 on the way, all of which are younger than my own children. And all of which are beyond worthy of high quality homemade hand - me -downs. Spending more time on each item means that they will last longer and still be in great condition by the time they are handed down.

If I am spending more time sewing each item, won’t I have to buy more ready to wear clothes to fill in the gaps?

If I am spending more time on each thing I sew for them, you have to assume that they are going to have less finished items. I don’t want to make up for it by buying them more low quality clothes, but I can't afford to buy them designer jeans.

That answer came to me when I was putting away their winter clothes. Most of the store bought items were in rough shape and ended up being cut up and made into play clothes for the summer. But two items stood out to me. A pair of Nikes and a Hannah Anderson long sleeve T shirt. They were both in impeccable condition. The Hannah Anderson T shirt looked almost brand new, and the Nikes only had slight wear and tear on them despite the fact that they had been worn almost every single day of that school year.

The best part, I had spent less than $10 on each of them. Turns out those more expensive clothes aren't just made well enough to be handed down. They are also made well enough to be purchased second hand.
Of course finds like these take a little bit of searching. I keep a Thred Up Pinterest board and every once in a while check to see if the items I pinned have been reduced in price yet. Usually the item sells out, but every once in while something great will slip through the cracks, just waiting for you to grab it up.

Which Brings Me To The Reason I Haven't Been Posting

Right now I am working on the Hawthorne dress from Colette Patters. I am on my third muslin and I have almost got the fit just right. Once I do, I’ll post pictures of the finished dress.

So what are your thoughts? To you prefer the instant gratification of a quick and easy sewing project, the lasting reward of a slow and meticulous sewing project, or a combination of both?
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