During my last semester of graduate school I got a sewing machine (which was a wonderful distraction while I was trying not to panic about entering the real world). I have always been a crafty person, growing up with lots of markers, rubber stamps, and other projects (Hannah and I each had official drafting tables that we dubbed our “art tables”) so it was only natural to work in a new medium. I have been knitting for over half my life – it was only a matter of time before adding more textile crafts to my repertoire. My sewing now mostly consists of quilts (you can check out my craft-focused blog here) but I have recently started sewing clothes. Nowadays, so many of the styles that I’m drawn to are fairly simple silhouettes featuring fun prints and bright colors. Why not try making my own clothes? I don’t expect to revolutionize the classic DVF wrap dress, but I think I can handle a simple tank or an a-line skirt.
Armed with lots of inspiration (just search for “handmade clothing” on Flickr), some great resources for instructions (thanks Etsy and YouTube!) and a tight budget, I decided to have a go at garment sewing. I purchased this pattern which came in PDF form (you print the pattern pieces and tape them together), purchased 2.5 yards of fabric (this beautiful flower print voile is by my favorite fabric designer, Anna Maria Horner), and in one afternoon, I made a top that is now in my usual clothing rotation! Hannah bought me this book and it was a great guide – it’ll definitely be my go-to as I learn new techniques.
Do you have a sewing machine, or access to one? If yes, I highly recommend getting acquainted with the wonderful world of garment sewing! One of the best resources I’ve found is the online mecca of tutorials and patterns, Burda Style. It’s a great community with how-to’s, patterns (and reviews) and much more. These are not your grandma’s sewing patterns! There are tons of options, including trendy tunics, cute sun dresses, and even bags.
Here are a few fabrics that I love and think would be perfect for clothes (a simple tank or a sweet skirt, perhaps?) All fabrics can be found on one of my go-to online shops, Hawthorne Threads.