Part of my year of mindful makes was to make more effort to create a handmade wardrobe, for 4 reasons;
- If I made them myself I may end up with closes that fitted me better than shop bought clothes
- I could make them to my own style rather than what was currently in fashion
- I could be more aware of the labour that went in to them and make sure the only exploitation in the manufacture of them was my own.
- Having made them myself I would be more likely to wear them death, patch them up and wear them again rather than buy something wear it for a few months and then send it to a charity shop.
As yet I am still to drag out the sewing machine to make a start on this dream. I’ve made things for the girls but life has got in the way and ended up pushing this goal down my order of priorities. Whilst I haven’t got time to make a start on it yet I can make a start on all the planning and this is what I have been doing.
My first step in my mammoth research and planning project was to go in search of sewing podcasts for inspiration and useful advice, the next step was to make myself more away of the commercial and independent pattern makers currently out there and the third step was to think about what type of garments I wanted to make.
It seems that there are almost as many sewing podcasts out there as there are knitting podcasts, my current favourites are;
- Sew Over it
- Stitch my style
As for independent designers I thought there might be a handful, how wrong could I be a quick search led to a blog post which listed over 100 of them! For anyone else interested I found the list of the Diary of a Chain Stitcher blog (hosted on Blogspot).
At last the most exciting bit, what to make? Initially I was seduced in to a whirl of modern interpretations of vintage style dress patterns, pussy bow blouses and pencil skirts and then I looked at what my life was actually like. In my young, free, single and working days these patterns would have been perfect but in reality I am now a stay at home mum heading towards my 40th birthday who has a mummy uniform of trousers and comfy tops. Instead of pretty frocks what I really needed on a practical level were straight leg trousers that weren’t jogging bottoms (so I can feel a little bit less scruffy), tunics with short or no sleeves that can be worn over the trousers so I feel a bit less conscious of the lumpy bumpy areas of my body that have been forever changed by having children and that no amount of exercise will return to how they were), tunics with long sleeves, t-shorts of varying sleeve lengths for wearing under the tunics and jumpers/ cardigans (but I Have those boxed of with my knitting skills). To this end I now have in my handmade wardrobe arsenal the Ultimate Trouser pattern from Sew Over It, the Dotty Frock pattern from Simplicity and a wish list that includes patterns for Alabama Chanin t-shirts.