I've been out of the sewing loop for a wee whilie now, I got a bit disheartened, especially about sewing clothes. There's nothing more frustrating than spending a valuable spare few hours sewing, only to find that what you produce is a) ugly, b) doesn't fit, c) doesn't make you look like the amazing quirky starlet à la Zooey Deschanel that you imagined it would.
It's silly really, with baking and knitting I have a very gung ho approach, I take liberties with recipes, don't quite follow patterns, interpret and reinvent as I see fit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and I'm OK with that. Not so with sewing though, oh no. With sewing I get very frustrated if things don't turn out exactly the way I wanted them to. I don't know what the difference is, other than I feel quite confident about knitting and have the knowledge and skills to be able to picture where a pattern is taking me and adjust as necessary. I don't have that ability with sewing, so I find I spend a lot of time feeling out of control and floundering from one step to the next. I don't know enough about material or patterns to be able to judge how a minor alteration might change the whole look of an outfit and I can't adjust a pattern to suit my figure, meaning half the time things come out too long/short/tight/loose/sack-like.
Since I'm in York for the next 6 months and have my weekday evenings to myself, I've decided to teach myself to sew clothes. There are so many good sewalongs out there at the moment and so many nice patterns (I want to master Sewaholic's Renfrew and Colette's Clover amongst many others!), it seems a good opportunity to sit down in the evenings and really get to grips with the basics. I'm leaving actual patterns sewing until after my first paycheque is in (got to get out of my overdraft first really before I splash out on patterns!) although I do have the Sorbetto to master, with some awesome fabric purchases over the summer I've yet to share with you all.
In the meantime, these two pictures are some simple clothing alterations to get me started. The green cable cardigan I bought last summer from a vintage shop in Glasgow whose name escapes me, it was a bargain at £15 because it needed a few holes sewing up. It was also a good few sizes too big but an hour on the sofa with the X Files and some vintage leather buttons later and it's now my new winter indoor jumper. I moved the buttons over by about 3 inches and added some hooks and eyes on the inside to stop the inner flap flappin' so it now fastens asymmetrically. It's super warm and snuggly and perfect for throwing on over anything to take the dog out to the garden.
The dress is a work in progress I'll reveal soon but it's an alteration of another vintage find. Keen eyed readers might recognise it from an earlier post but I'll do a before and after post once I finish it properly. Baby steps right? Got to get my confidence back!