Why You Should Make Your Own Clothes
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What do you think of when you hear of someone making their own clothes? If you’re a nineties child like I am, I’m sure you’ve got images of Easter dresses made by grandma running through your head. Along with lace and rick-rack. Oh the rick-rack. And the collars and bows. (See below. Handmade dresses from the 90’s. If you’re wondering if o duh through some scrapbooks to find this, the answer is “heck yes I did”.)
Our grandmothers were amazing. Sewing was just something they knew how to do. My Nana used to make our Barbie clothes.. can you imagine sewing tiny sleeves in for those!? I feel like for a while, sewing was a lost art. Not many people knew how to even sew on a button. But since I’ve been doing my thing, especially since I’ve found so many awesome pattern and fabric companies, I have seen people my age and younger want to learn. It’s very cool.
I have always had a DIY attitude, and when I learned to sew, I was always trying to figure out how not to pay an arm and a leg for things I could make myself. I’ve definitely had many failed attempts, but it’s true what they say about how practice makes perfect. It is that way with anything.
I had the opportunity in college to take some sewing classes, and you can bet I took full advantage of that. I took every class the university had to offer, and then some (my professor did some “specials” classes for a few of us). At the time, there was only a minor for clothing construction, but I learned so much about clothes and how they are made; the whole process from the patterning to the finishing hem. My patternmaking professor was an amazing lady with a lot of experience, and I was blessed to be able to be her TA and learn even more. I soaked up everything she could teach me. At the beginning of my flat pattern class, she told the class that by the end of it, we’d be able to look at any magazine, and make an outfit from it. I didn’t believe her, but now I’m here saying that it is possible.
Now I know this is not an option for everyone. But you don’t have to have a college education in sewing to be able to make your own clothes. I have since found a whole new world called “PDF patterns” and follow some very talented pattern makers. It is quite satisfying to make yourself or your child or your husband, or you sister, Mom, cousin, etc a price of clothing that fits them better then anything they’d find in the store.
Let me tell you a few reasons why I like to make clothes, because let’s be honest, it does take some time and it’s not like there’s a shortage of clothes out there to buy.
1. Fit. As I mentioned before, the patterns I use are amazing. The fit is always right on. Have you ever bought something off the rack at a store and imagined how it would look so good on you, only to try it on and have it be too short/too tight in the sleeves/not a flattering style on you? The clothes you find in stores are manufactured in bulk. They make their best guesses at what will fit, but no one’s bodies are the same shape or size. When you make your own clothes, you can adjust as needed to make it work for you.
2. Quality of work. Back to store bought examples… the people in the factories who make the bulk clothing generally get paid per piece. This is great for the owners, because it really is a very efficient way of making clothes. Those little ladies can sew a front fly zipper on in minutes. But that also means that seams get missed, hems are not accurate, etc. I should also mention that the fabric they use is usually thin and cheap. How many times have you got a hole in your shirt after wearing it a couple times? I have found some amazing sources for fabric. And we are talking good quality fabric that you can put through the ringer.
3. Fulfillment and satisfaction. It really is so satisfying to make yourself or your kids something that you’ll love.
So whether it’s Easter dresses, or a whole wardrobe, I’m challenging you to dust off grandma’s old sewing machine and make something. If you’re a beginner, start with pajama pants. If you know your way around the machine, challenge yourself!
I am excited to use this blog platform as a way to help others with what I have learned. I am going to be doing some tutorials, some sew-a-longs and some plain just showing off my work.
For now, here is a list of some of my favorite pattern makers:
Patterns for Pirates: women, men and children’s patterns! Use my link!
Ellie and Mac: so many patterns to choose from! And on Wednesday’s, they do patterns for $1. Use my link!
Peek-a-boo Pattern shop: I have loved everything I have made with them. They have a huge selection! Use my link!
GreenStyleCreations : they have a lot of athletic patterns. Yes, you can make your own workout clothes! Website
Made for Mermaids: I love their girl’s patterns. My daughters need one of each style in their closet! #goals Website
Keep watching the blog to sew-along with me!