I’ve decided to give myself a summer sewing challenge.
This coming from someone who
1. wasn’t sure where her sewing machine was
2. has been known in the past to use adhesive spray rather than sew something together, such is her love of cutting corners
3. has a short attention span.
All signs lead to spectacular failure, but what is failure if it is not spectacular?
My challenge is to sew all of my clothes for summer. Starting today, no new clothes will be purchased, instead they all have to pass under the foot of my sewing machine. I like clothes, very much. Perhaps too much. Which is what prompted this in the first place. I cannot keep buying new clothes every season. It’s ridiculous! But every season I would find myself swooning over the latest colours, fabrics and styles. Somehow I would be able to justify a new top/skirt/jacket as a ‘must have’ (we’re all able to do that though aren’t we?) and I would find myself walking out of the shop with the top/skirt/jacket under my arm. Well no longer!
I started my challenge by sewing a new outfit for work. I wear my clothes pretty hard when I’m shooting weddings so by the end of the season they are pretty worn out. I like to wear skirts and light tops because it can get really hot, so a skirt and a light top were exactly what I made.
The skirt was first off. And after I found my sewing machine and re-acquainted myself with it, I was set to go. To go to Spotlight that is. Ahh, the hallowed ailses that are Spotlight. Since I last sewed anything lots of online fabric stores have popped up (yes it’s been that long) and I plan on exploring them more as I go along. But for now, it was trusty Spotlight in Geelong.
I like me a high waisted skirt, with a band for hiding all those sins, so I picked out the Butterick B4686 with the words SEW EASY on the front. Those words were very appealing. I stuffed up by getting the wrong sized pattern, but only realised when I got it home. Already learning – check the size!
The skirt had a zip, and I owned that zip like a boss. The skirt was a success- it zips up, and the seams match, I didn’t get the pieces mixed up, and the cotton matches the fabric. In my world, all of those things are a win.
Shirt up next. I bought the Scout woven tee pattern from Grainline studio after seeing other women do bang up jobs of their versions on the intwerwebs. (Yes, I read sewing blogs now. And I LOVE them.) I had to print the pattern then tape it together. I won’t lie, I needed the help of my 7 year old to help me do this. I thought I would hate doing it, and suspect I might if I have to do it too many times, but I actually enjoyed putting it all together. Check out out handiwork (ignore the wonky bits.)
The sewing of it was all pretty straight forward. The instructions were lovely and clear and held my hand, like I needed. I downloaded the instructions onto my iPad which made it super easy, and meant I didn’t spill my cup of tea on them like I’ve done in the past making them unreadable.
I’ve also found that actually following the instructions really helps improve the final outcome.
The fabric has birds on it. I know. Put a bird on it.
I decided to add some navy bias binding to the neck. Mainly because I discovered bias binding by chance (I thought it was ribbon) and found out it would mean I could kinda cut corners when it came to hemming. I hate rolling things over a 1/4 of an inch, then 1/4″ again, then pinning then sewing. Boring! But stick some bias binding on it and bob’s your fat lazy uncle. I like that it defines the top a little, gives some weight to what is very floaty material.
And here we have it – my first outfit of my sewing challenge.
PS – Thankyou to everyone who reached out to me after I wrote this post yesterday. I really was overwhelmed by the support you all showed. I have to admit after I pressed ‘publish’ I did go and sit in the bottom of the shower for a good long time. It’s hard to be vulnerable. Thankyou for being gentle with me.