making your own clothes

15 Jun Dare to Wear

When I started sewing again in August 2011, I vowed to wear my clothes in public. I’ve been true to my word with two exceptions - here and here. While a job well done should be reason enough to do one’s best, knowing that others will see (and judge) my clothes is one of the incentives to get it right. Hubby and I spent the weekend in Charleston, SC, where my daughter and her fiancé were honored with a party hosted by friends of the groom’s parents. I packed a Me-Made suitcase and hoped for the best.  Clockwise from the top left: The...

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28 Oct Lucky 13

Maybe it’s just my love of Halloween surfacing, but I often believe the number 13 gets a bad rap. Today I added the 13th committed person to the RTW Fasters’ page and decided it was time for an update.  These 13 women represent a diverse geographic area including three countries and several states scattered from Florida to California. They have been communicating about topics important to them as they sew themselves away from the retail madness, but more importantly they are sewing beautiful clothes. Linda, living in a warm climate resists the t-shirts and crops scene, and recently completed this crisp periwinkle...

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16 Aug New Look 6097 + Mood Silk Jersey

  Until today I owned one silk jersey dress.  I bought a Diane von Furstenberg silk jersey wrap dress in 2007 for which I paid $300.00. Since I've been sewing my clothes during the last 11 and a half months instead of buying ready-to-wear, I can hardly believe I spent so much money on a simple dress. Sunday, I returned home from the beach to two and a half yards of this beautiful black and cream silk jersey I ordered from Mood Fabrics. The pen and ink design reminded me of an etching from the Bloomsbury artists’ era; a period that has fascinated me for years. However,...

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02 Aug Proud of My Peppy – Butterick 5615

Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.  ~Bill Cosby I’ve made two buttonholes and zero tailored collars during the last eleven months.  Thank goodness I was finally inspired to tackle my fears and add to my skill set. This Butterick pattern offered all of the qualities I like in a blouse. Close fitting but not tight, and structured but not stiff. A straight and flattering peplum is attached at the waist, and the tie extensions remind me of one of my favorite tops I paid a fortune for at Sea Island, Georgia. I have always wanted to know how...

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30 Jul A Sensible Top – Vogue 9771

Sensible. The opposite of exciting. I just returned from a real vacation, which for me means getting away in every respect. I often overestimate what I can accomplish in a certain time period, and the refashion I planned to do while away never happened. Determined to post a project from someplace other than my backyard, I packed my sewing supplies in my carry-on luggage. Oops. This meant I had to check my suitcase and  p a y  for my checked luggage carrying my scissors and seam ripper. I never looked at my sewing supplies. Then I paid another fee to fly my scissors and seam ripper...

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19 Jul Keep on the Sunny Side – Vogue 8570

When the blue tracing lines unexpectedly transferred from the silk organza underlining to the seam line of my gorgeous 4-ply silk crepe, I did not cry, open a bottle or eat a gallon of ice cream. I returned to my sewing room and began undoing two days of work until a storm took out the power, forcing me to get out my flashlight. After I removed the catch-stitching, ripped apart the seams and discarded the underlining, I started over. …..and that’s the short version. It’s great to be a part of the living again after being holed up for days trying to save this beautiful...

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15 Jul 68 Garments and 8 Pairs of Shoes

I recently read an interview on The Pattern Review website with Elizabeth Cline, the author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. I have not read the book, though I plan to.  Eventually ending up on Elizabeth’s blog  I learned  Americans buy 20.5 billion garments a year or  68 garments and 8 pairs of shoes per person. S e r i o u s l y ? I have been sewing rather maniacally this year making all of my clothes and let’s see……. just how many items have I made during the last 10 and a half months? 15 skirts, 15 dresses, 20 tops, and 7 pants which...

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12 Jul McCalls 3830

I recently bought the August – September issue of Vogue Patterns magazine. When sewing blogger Robin Denning announced her new position as Editor of the magazine I immediately renewed my lapsed subscription, however, after catching a glimpse of pages 76 - 83, I wasn’t willing to wait for it to arrive and bought a copy.  This issue provided me with instant inspiration along with a solution to a four-month dilemma! In March I ordered this fabric based on the jpeg below.   H e l l o………..   “Too bold.” I said. “Too bright……too big……..too much…..” The 7 magazine pages filled with big bold stripes changed my...

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04 Jul Red, White and ………

No, this isn't a costume, but if I had a torch I might be in business! H A P P Y  F O U R T H  O F  J U L Y  ! ! ! I discovered this great jersey on the Mood Fabric website, and paired it with this Vogue pattern just in time for America’s Independence Day. Generally I can envision the end result of a sewing project before I start, but not so with this one! Gathered shoulders, ruching and oversize red zebra jersey were all new to me  from a sewing and fashion standpoint. Would you believe pages 3 and...

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30 Jun Memorable or Forgettable? Vogue 8570

"Fashion is made to become unfashionable."  Coco Chanel I tried to keep this quote in mind while admiring Kate Spade’s new black and white paisley garments. This snappy print is featured all over the website in the form of a skirt, a top, a dress, handbags and other accessories all seen here. Fun, yes! Classic, no! Would I have if I indulged in one of these memorable pieces of clothing if I were shopping this year? I’d like to think not at $238.00 for the skirt, $238.00 for top, $398.00 for the dress and now $498.00 for a silk dress of the same print at Saks, but who...

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