Way, way back in the depths of 2012 a dress was made. It was for a GCSE Textiles project. The brief was to make a dress inspired by another culture and the dress was supposed to look like the dresses of Ancient Greece – light, flowing. In the end it was made from shiny purple satin with heavy looking pleats and a puckered hem. The lining was smaller than the dress making it almost impossible to walk in and the dress was a disaster.
That was the dress that started my love of sewing. It was a terrible dress, I cringe thinking about it. But the fact that the dress was so terrible is what made me want to keep sewing. I wanted to make something better than that. Something that I could have complete control over, rather than following the badly thought through suggestions of others. Since then, I sewed for pleasure and for myself. Occasionally for friends but mostly for myself. I made clothing that I would want to wear.
For the first few years I self drafted skirt patterns. Mostly I would make gathered or pleated knee length skirts in jazzy fabric to get a vaguely 50s style silhouette. They were the style of clothes I wanted to wear, although I didn’t get to wear them often. From there, I moved on to circle skirts, more fitting with my wardrobe but always slightly too short to actually wear due to my bad calculations. I made straight skirts too, with elasticated waistbands to avoid having to sew darts. For the first two years all I made was skirts – my machine was inherited from my grandmother and unreliable and clunky and my fear of bodices and patterns stopped me from tackling a dress or a blouse.
Come 2015, I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution. I was going to sew more. Now at university and with money of my own to spend and a collection of sewing books as Christmas gifts, I purchased some fabric and with money saved during my first term at uni, got my first sewing machine of my own – the Singer Talent (3323) – and began to sew.
Since then, I’ve continued to sew slowly, only tackling a few projects in the intervening 8 months since I really began, some of them still self-drafted skirts, but I’ve begun to branch out. I’ve made skirts according to patterns, I’ve learnt skills like sewing an invisible zip and adding a lining to a skirt or a dress. Most importantly for me, I’ve finally made a dress I can wear and feel proud of.
Which brings me to now, August 2015, and this blog. A way to document the clothing I sew, the fabric I buy, the projects I aspire to and maybe one day I’ll remake that hideous purple satin creation from the depths of 2012.