Saturday, February 13, 2010

Make Your Own Clothing Patterns

Ok...I love this site. There are tons of ideas that spark my interest. Today it was making your own patterns from store-bought clothing. I never knew how to do least not so it actually turned out decent.

I sew our clothing, yes. I sew the dresses, aprons, underthings, shirts and even pants. But I use patterns. I have trouble fine-tuning patterns for a better fit. I am a complete self-learner with sewing of any kind. No one really did much sewing when I was growing up. A few hems here and there, a tuck or two in some slightly larger waistbands maybe. I remember a baby doll type shirt my cousin made in some high school home ec class...

But that's pretty much it. I asked Dewey about a sewing machine when Christopher was still pretty little. I had gotten my mom's old monster-weight machine, but neither of us had a clue how to re-thread it :o(

So, off to Sears for a new machine. I was very specific with what I dials with endless stitches I knew nothing about. Plain and extremely basic was all I wanted. I wanted it to pretty much do everything but hold the fabric for me. Straight atitch, reverse, zigzag. That's it.

We bought a 6 stitch Kenmore that did pathetically little. I was tickled. We stopped at Joanne Fabrics for a pattern and some fabric on the way home.

A few years down the road, I graduated to a Brother machine that did about 45 stitches. Never did use most of them, but I was tickled to have them nonetheless.

I went from that first Brother machine to 3 more, and even found my 1921 Singer treadle. In the closet here we still have 2 Brother machines, but I'm on to that Janome now, and a machine in its own table/work station from my grandmother. I wanted to have a machine for each daughter.

Still, I know very little really about sewing. I just know what I know for what I sew. I'm not a pin pleat, French seam, or even a smocking sort of person. I just sew clothes for practical, hard working, daily life here. No silks or specialty fabrics. Just plain denims, cords and cottons around here.

That first dress I made -- I almost wouldn't wear. I was still pretty sure, machine stitching or not, being 'homemade' it would fall apart at the seams :o). It didn't. I wore that princess seam dress for Thanksgiving dinner at the big farm. And I finally gave it up when the hunter green with small flowers print was well-worn and faded to almost a pale minty green.

I am sure I have something store-bought here to make a draft pattern from. This is definitely a sewing skill I want my daughters to learn. Just makes so much sense to have a good basic skill like this.

1 comment:

Beautifully Veiled said...

Thanks for sharing! I make most of my girls' clothes, my 16 yr dd is now making her skirts. (yay!) I've just had these cord skirts that I love for years now, and wondered what on earth I'm going to do now that they are definitely looking older. (cords and winter wear) So I'm going to check it out. Also, I'm self-taught too. I'm now actually teaching beginning sewing classes, and wondering what to do if they want more...hmmmm. I love your blog. We didn't start living a more simplified life til a few years ago, we know no-one else in our area that does either, so it is refreshing getting to read about others. Thanks so much!
Linda in GA


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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