Remember this guy who couldn't buy himself a new hat?
Well I'm afraid that's me when it comes to sewing for myself.
Often, after someone had found out that I'd made what my kids were wearing I would then be asked if I sewed for myself. My glib answer was that no, I was too fussy, too shaped (compared to the plank like body of a small kid), it was all too difficult.
Slowly, with much inspiration from many, wonderful bloggers, the idea of sewing for myself started to seem more like a challenge and less like a waste of time.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not fishing for compliments, and I am enjoying the challenge, but it would seem I really am quite fussy. I also can't pretend that my previous wardrobe had me looking styled everyday. I'm sure there were some real misses in there but since none of it fits anymore I look back with rose coloured glasses.
Curiously, the one type of garment that so many people say not to bother sewing for yourself is knit tops. Why would you when you can buy them cheaply, there's so much variety in shops, you'll never get a decent hem or neckband etc etc.
I'm not buying any of that as I think the one field of me-sewing that I might be close to satisfying myself with is sewing knits. Not to mention that even if the top doesn't quite fit you can still wear your pride in not buying cheap, mass produced slave labour garments, and that does feel good.
Loving: Great instructions. I didn't add any length and it's perfect (and I'm not the petite frame the patterns are designed for). With an overlocker it's quick, very professional looking and I am sinfully proud of my neckbands and hems. This was a 1 metre cut of a very cheap (you guessed it, $3/metre from that shop) thin knit. The 3/4 length sleeve modification was mostly due to a lack of fabric but also I am kind of addicted to this sleeve length. Did I mention the pattern is free?
Reconsidering: I think it's a bit narrow for me. I'm unsure whether I should cut the next one 1/4" off the fold or perhaps split the pattern vertically halfway between the neck and the sleeve and add a little width there.
Disliking: Putting together some PDF patterns. This pattern printed quite differently depending on which paper size I selected. The scaling was always correct but with letter (US standard) I was losing quite a bit at the paper edges. Printing with A4 settings was better but there was still some very vague overlapping edges. I was meant to have a black line around each page to overlap but it was so close to the edge of the paper my printer was leaving it off altogether. I'm fully prepared to accept this is my problem, but it bugs me.
The other thing that bugs me is this....
Nothing irritates me more in a knit top than the visible lumpy bra view from behind. I suspect the solution lies in a combination of a tiny bit more width in the pattern, losing a few kilos, using a thicker knit and probably buying some new underwear! Obviously being grouchy about it and slumping doesn't help but that's where I was at.
Revisiting?: Absolutely. I've purchased some gorgeous soft merino knits and I'm anticipating some very professional looking, hopefully well fitting, cosy, warm winter underlayers.
On to the Liesl + Co Everyday Skirt
Loving: Much easier PDF to assemble. Those pockets! The on the knee length (I left it exactly as per pattern length). Linen (of course)
Reconsidering: The size. Why, oh why, didn't I listen! I don't think I've read a single account of this skirt that hasn't said to size down. In my defence I sort of thought I did. I measured myself twice and I fell between the size 12 and 14. I picked the 12 thinking that was sizing down, then realised that the size Large is marked 12-14 on the pattern. All that deliberating for no difference whatsoever. The elastic back means that it can be made to fit, but there's a bit too much gathered fabric back there, and the last thing I need is a bustle!
Disliking: Ironing obviously! :)
Revisiting?: Absolutely, in fact I've already made a size medium (yet to be blogged) in a heavy weight fabric as a winter skirt and I'm loving it.
Finally the Passport jacket
Loving: I'm struggling as my eye keeps being drawn to what I don't like... I do love soft, denim with a bit of stretch. I love that I made no muslin or adjustments whatsoever and managed to land those seams right on my bust. The pockets (while mostly useless) are really cute. And yep, 3/4 length sleeves. Impractical as we head into winter but I love them!
Disliking: The weight of the neck ruffle (which isn't all that great) makes the neckline want to roll out, even with the understitching. That would be solved if the jacket were lined. That's right it's unlined. I had thought I'd be able to overlock the seam allowances and I had the machine all set up, but the tricky welt pockets made overlocking those seams impossible. The only way I could have finished the seam allowances with the overlocker would have been to do it before sewing anything together. So I zig zag finished the seam allowances and this is the abomination that is the inside of the jacket:
Admittedly, with a bit more dedication I could have bias bound all the seams, but with the pockets disappearing under the facing, and the exposed shoulder pads I still think it would look pretty ordinary. There's nothing to be said but that it needs lining. Sadly, I'm not inclined to wear it as I simply could not take it off without dying of shame!
Revisiting?: Not the jacket, but the ease of fitting it has convinced me I should make the dress the proper way in a woven fabric.
Phew. That all read like a long, grumpy, purging... You might have noticed I would appear to be really fussy about my face in photos too. Actually I'm not that fussy I'm just very good at closing my eyes or having some really weird expression on my face in any photo that is well posed or lit. Believe me I'm capable of some quite charming expressions when the flash fails to go off!
I forgot to mention... I'm nothing if not determined. I'll stick at it, it can only get better.