You see, we (as in you + me + the Internet) love to get things done quickly. I don’t want to know HOW to draft a pattern.. I just want to have a couture-fitting piece of clothing that I made yesterday afternoon. Do you see where I’m going? I learned that in order for me to be as experienced and as good as I want to be at sewing I needed to start from the ground up. So I steered away from self-drafting (because what do I really know?) for a while and started strictly sewing patterns. And let me tell you, my sewing skills have increased tremendously. Seriously.
I’ve always been a project-girl. I start something and am REALLY gung-ho about it for a minute and then I’m on to something else. Sometimes I quit because I’m frustrated. Sometimes I quit because I’m not good at it. Sometimes I quit because I just get tired of it and am ready to move on to something else. I’m pretty sure that’s what people thought when I got a sewing machine for Christmas a few years ago. It was my new project. How long would it last?
When I received my sewing machine a few years ago I knew little to nothing about it. My mom helped me thread it and I went and bought some cheap fabric to make something. What? I didn’t know, but I was going to sew something. I had no direction and absolutely zero skill. So, it was a project that lasted about as long as Christmas break.
Once I finally graduated from college I decided I needed something to do, so again, I picked up my sewing machine. This time, though, I had discovered the world of blogging and DIYing. I wanted to sew everything I saw on the Internet. So I attempted. Some were pretty bad attempts, but they all get me to where I am today.
I am by NO MEANS an expert seamstress. In fact, I continue to learn every day. I read books on sewing, blogs on sewing, and patterns.. a lot.
If there is one piece of advice I would give to you (you, being someone who is learning or wants to learn how to sew) is that DIY/Tutorials are GREAT.. but sewing books + patterns are better. Kind of weird for me to say seeing that this is sometimes a DIY/Tutorial blog, huh? Let me explain…
Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified
Through reading/sewing patterns, studying books on self-drafting, diving into blogs on how to write patterns, etc. I’ve learned a basic set of skills that can be applied to sewing all kinds of things.
Take the semi-circle skirt I sewed the other day, for example. I’ve read about circles skirts on blogs before, obviously, but had never attempted. I started reading in The Vintage Pattern Selector on how they were a trend in the 50’s.. cinched waist with a full skirt: very feminine. There were sort of instructions on how to make your own. I followed them and then used the skills I learned from the Estelle Skirt + the Colette Iris shorts on drafting a waistband + inserting a zipper into said waistband. See what I did there? I am using skills I’ve learned from well-written patterns, combining them to make my own. You can’t learn ALL of that from tutorials. Experts are experts for a reason.
Getting off my soap box now..
I am writing this, really, just to encourage you to step out of blog-land every once in a while and seek out well-written patterns and books that will expand your ability to sew. Reading and learning and doing. Let’s never stop.