Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why I Started Sewing & Now Love It

I never thought I'd say I love sewing.  I remember making a gym bag in a home economics class in middle school and wanting to throw the fabric on the ground I was so frustrated.  I tried to sew a few more projects shortly after that and they didn't end well.  I haven't sewed anything since then.  I've always had the mindset that I am a far better shopper than I am seamstress (and I still believe that is true for the most part).  However, I was inspired by Jessica Quirk from one of my favorite blogs "What I Wore" - and Pinterest.  I started dreaming of some projects I could make.  It all started with wanting to make custom pillows for our new home.  I fell in love with some fabric and luckily, my mother-in-law and father-in-law bought me a sewing machine for Christmas.  Only recently did I start sewing (I haven't tackled the pillows yet) and here is why I love it so far.  I know sewing is not for everyone, but, honestly, I never expected some of the reasons I love it, so I had to share this. 

5.  Being Able to Spruce Up Your Home with Gorgeous & Unique Fabrics:  Can't find a pillow or valance shape or print you like?  There are endless fabric choices online and in fabric stores.   And with Pinterest and a huge selection of home decorating blogs, there are endless tutorials with videos and detailed instructions to help you along the way.  (I found this fabric to match the Pottery Barn herringbone rug I bought to the left.)


4.  Doing Minor Alterations:  I've already started altering a few of my clothes.   I recently bought some tank tops at Banana Republic that I absolutely loved but the straps were too long (striped tank below).  This was actually a very easy fix!   I also sewed a damaged top I loved but probably would have just gotten rid of.  I won't be tackling anything major, but, it's still great to be able to do this at home.   I guess I was spoiled growing up because my mom ran her own business as a seamstress, so I rarely had to spend time visiting a tailor.  I had in-house alterations for all of my clothes.   Having your clothes altered to fit your shape makes a HUGE difference.  Definitely find a great seamstress/tailor in addition to sewing minor things. 


3.  Being Able to Make Custom Clothes:  Imagine looking at an incredible design in one of your favorite style magazines or on Pinterest and being able to say, "I can make that."  Sometimes, I know exactly what I want, but I just can't find it.   That is what motivates me to be able to sew better.  It's definitely going to be a journey, but I really want to sew myself a blush pink coat.  I've been looking for the perfect coat for years and I just haven't found one.  I actually found the pattern in the place I least expected - Walmart - and it cost me $2.97.  I know there will be lots of frustrating moments and mistakes but I think it will be worth it in the end.  

2.  The Pure Joy of It:  I honestly remember sewing being a terrible process.  I was wrong. It's been 20-plus years since that middle school sewing class and I now have more patience and am able to actually ask for help.   Sure, there will be moments when I will constantly be ripping out the stitches I just sewed incorrectly.  But there is a lot of pride in being able to spend my time creating something rather than sitting in front of the TV every night. 

1.  Sewing for Someone Else is Such an Incredible Gift:  This was the true turning point for me.  I was addicted to sewing after this.  My first two projects were dresses for my 2-year-old daughter.   My daughter was so proud of the first dress I made her, she wouldn't take it off for bed.  She was yelling, "Mama made this!  Mama made this!"  So, we let her wear it to bed.  It brought tears to my eyes to think she could be so happy and proud of something I made her.  I've done lots of DIY crafts for her from name banners to a custom chalkboard, but nothing has made her this happy.  Even during the fittings, she wouldn't take  the first dress off.  She was bursting with excitement.   And, honestly, the dresses were not that difficult to make.  My mother-in-law showed me how to make the first and surprisingly, I actually did it all by myself.  The fabric was already pleated at the top (turquoise dress), so I hemmed it, stitched the side seam and made the straps. For the second, the pink dress, I bought the white top and sewed it to the skirt, which I created with the help of my mother.   It was very special creating a dress with my mom for my daughter; it's something I will remember forever.   I am a huge shopper, but I now realize, I honestly can't buy dresses like these anywhere. 

The first dress I made!  

And the second! 

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