Sewing is a life skill that can save you time and money. In addition to those practical savings, sewing can be a tool for teaching important life skills such as perseverance, patience, concentration, and creativity.
This week I have been busy doing a couple of personal, money saving sewing jobs and thought I would share these with you.
- Make a Dress. We have been invited to a wedding and the dress code is Fabulous.
Fabric: I have been looking for a suitable ‘fabulous’ fabric for a while and settled on sequins.
I don’t know if you agree, but I find it very difficult buying fabric online. Fabric is such a tactile material and needs to be touched right?
I found a sequin fabric on Ebay and when it arrived I didn’t like it, so sent it back. Luckily I got a full refund, some fabric companies wouldn’t do this, as you can’t always resell cut lengths. I eventually found some at a wholesalers, but couldn’t decide on the colour, so ordered both red and gold. When they arrived, I preferred the gold and will make a dress in gold and use the red for a top later.
Pattern: I am using a PDF Sew Over It, cowl neck dress pattern. I have made this before, in both sequin and a jersey, its a simple make and she advertises it for absolute beginners.
I did still make it in some scrap fabric, just to check the size, as it was a while ago now and wanted to make sure it fit. I remembered that it was uncomfortable under the arms and the sleeves were a little bit short for me. I made these amendments and then cut the sequin fabric.
Cutting out: I needed to consider the sequin pile, making sure the sequins laid flat and down the body. All the pattern pieces needed to face the same way. Warning, you will need a hoover when working with sequins, my dining room was absolutely covered and I think I will be finding them for some time.
Making: I soon discovered that my over-locker wasn’t liking the sequins and I broke a few needles as a result. I decided to french seam instead, as my sewing machine could sew through the sequins without breaking as many needles.
The dress has a front, back and sleeves, so can literally take an hour to make, obviously the sequins and french seaming made this a little more challenging, but still relatively easy. I ended up making the dress twice, making further alterations and I made a sleeveless top too. Sometimes making a mock up helps, but the actual material has its own way and you only know how it will work, when you make it up.
Both dresses are wearable, just a few minor issues that bothered me. I suppose this is a positive, when making your own clothes, its totally made to measure. I dusted off my old Jimmy Choo shoes, last worn to a party and previously our wedding. So relatively new. You are lucky to see me out of my red wellies or converse trainers these days, so a nice treat. Gone are the days when I will ever afford or want to spend that kind of money on shoes again.
I can’t wait for the wedding now! I think I have achieved the FABULOUS brief right?
- Mend my worn jeans:
Making is about embracing the beauty of imperfection, making small repairs to clothing you already own, so that you can wear it for longer, rejecting the idea that newer is better, and adding a bit of character while you’re at it. Repairing clothing is an ancient practice after all!
Now this is a very different less glamorous sew and a welcome change from the sequin mess!
I have several pairs of worn out Levi and Diesel jeans. Another purchase that is now a luxury. I am not prepared to throw them away just yet, mending is the best option for now. Saving the planet is also why obviously! I found some fabric bonderweb (sheet form fabric glue) and some denim scraps. I bonded the fabric first and then marked out the warn areas I needed to cover. I cut out pieces to stick inside and outside the legs. Then ironed them into place, before sewing.
I used a denim needle and thread. I picked a yellow thread to match the thread colour on the jeans. Being that this would stand out, I thought it best to make a feature of the stitch lines and got quite creative. Each pair is different. I actually enjoyed this job and fixed 4 pairs in the end.
Sewing is a great skill to have and can be so useful. I have made all our cushion covers, table clothes, curtains. I recently mended my sons school bag. My next job’s, will be to make my dog a fleece jacket, make some fleece welly socks and my husband another waistcoat.
Shout out to my mum, wishing you a happy mothers day.
My mum recommended I learn short-hand and learn to fast-type, (she was very good at both) and thought I could always get a job as a secretary in between jobs. I had other more creative ideas, don’t get me wrong, she was right. My mum was always right. She passed many years ago and sometimes you recognise these things far too late. Love you mum!
I would recommend that everyone learn to sew, its a life skill!