It’s finally finished! Last May I challenged myself to make a dressmaking project each month for a year, aptly titled Sew Your Own Wardrobe, and I’ve done it. I have to admit it’s been a hard slog at times but I’m so proud that I’ve managed to stick to it. I though it would be good to do a little project recap and sum up all the things I’ve learned in the process about dressmaking and myself.
I love a collage of hard work! I thought it would be good to go through each make and jot down what I learned, more for my benefit that anyone else’s but feel free to come along for the ride!
This was my very first foray into dressmaking and I’ve been hooked since! I got this free pattern from Sewing magazine and loved it instantly. Unfortunately this hasn’t been worn as the fabric I bought is so sheer. Appropriate fabric choice was definitely hard lesson #1.
What did I learn? I navigated darts for the first time which are much less daunting than I originally though. I also learned how to put in an invisible zip which isn’t bad for the first dress I ever made!
My first knit project! I really like this pattern however my fabric choice is a tad questionable. I was enticed by a sale and a border print! Saying that, this has gotten a bit of wear and looking back I might even make the pattern again in a better fabric.
What I learned? Working with knits isn’t as difficult as it seems, although it’s damn easy to stretch out a neckline.
This is the first thing I made that was properly wearable. I wore this to my friends wedding and I was pleased as punch that I actually made it! This pattern worked really well for me and I felt like a god-damned Princess.
What I learned? Before you get psyched out by a seemingly complicated pattern, just jump at it and see how it goes. Usually it will turn out A-OK!
Ok so this picture is truly awful (I was hangin’… BAD) but this dress was such an accomplishment for me. Not only was it in a tricky fabric (hello velvet) but I hacked the pattern to include sleeves! I wore this to Ian’s sister’s 21st party but haven’t yet had the opportunity to wear it again, but I’m sure it will make another appearance!
What I learned? Self-drafted sleeves, Yo!
Just looking at that picture makes me cringe. The less said about these the better.
What I learned? Trousers are HARD.
This was a lovely little palette cleanser after the trouser debacle. At the time I thought this chevron decorating weight fabric would be the perfect addition to my wardrobe but seeing as I’ve worn it a whole 2 times, I think I was mistaken.
What I learned? Novelty prints are amazing, but I’m a basic monochrome lover at heart.
Hello most worn item of clothing. Yes I’m even wearing it as I write this very post! My heartfelt gratitude goes out to Colette Patterns for coming out with the Moneta Pattern.
What I learned? Once you find a favourite pattern, it’s very difficult to force yourself to sew anything else (and that’s ok!)
The dress that never was. Unfortunately this project coincided with the month I lost my mojo. It was Christmas. I was overwhelmed. I made a (poor) muslin and that’s as far as it went.
What I learned? Know your limits, girl!
I decided that I was desperate for tops and in popped the Bonnie pattern. Again another palette cleanser after the Kim dress that never happened. I whipped this up at the blogger sewing day where I got to use an overlocker for the fist time! Unfortunately that print does nothing for me so this top sees very little daylight.
What I learned? I need an overlocker in my life. Like right now.
Before we go any further can we just take a second to appreciate the length of my hair in this photo?! It never occured to me how long it actually was! Anyway, this was my Bonnie/Moneta hack, a Boneta if you will, and it is the second most worn, handmade item in my wardrobe.
What I learned? I conquered using a twin needle! Also, knit dresses are my jam. Secret pyjamas for the win.
One of the few times I had fabric before the pattern. I got this amazing Ikat print in a swap and knew that it would work well as a kimono dress. Thankfully this Salme pattern was a total swoon to make and I reach for it time and time again!
What I learned? My machine has a pretty nifty overlocking stitch that worked well to stop this fabric fraying like a beast!
The finale piece! It’s a bloody jacket! Yes it’s a knit jacket with very little fitting needed but a jacket all the same. If you had told me a year ago that I would be able to confidently make one of these I would have laughed in your face. Turns out that I can actually make clothes… Who knew?
What I learned? Knit fabrics make my heart happy and I can really make anything I put my mind to.
So there you have it, a year in handmade clothing! This challenge has totally boosted my confidence and now I can picture something in my head in the morning and have it ready to wear by the evening which is an amazing feeling, never mind an excellent life skill. Sewing is my favourite hobby and a badass one at that!