This post is going to be the start of my Thursday musings posts. On Tuesday, I’ll be posting strictly sewing and crafting blogs but Thursday is the day that I will be going over things that inspire me. To start the conversation between my readers.
These are things that make happy and keep me going. My passion and main hobby has become sewing historical recreations. When I was younger it was writing and drawing. These creative outlets fuel my sewing and how I plan out my future projects.
My main inspiration
Recently I wrote a steampunk book and the main inspiration came from going to a steampunk convention out in San Diego called Gaslight. I painstakingly put together some great outfits.
I also made some great friends and learned alot. It opened my eyes to a whole world of creativity and how to solve problems. I previously tried to teach myself how to sew and for some reason it just didn’t click for me.
Advice on starting to sew
I begged my ex husband to buy me this sewing machine that I had fallen in love with. It was only 250 bucks but it meant so much to me.
Growing up with my mother who had a sewing machine as well as knitting machines, she was well educated in this area. She tried her hand at going to school at FIDM for pattern drafting and fashion design. She unfortunately didn’t get very far past the degree but that was a lesson she would never let me forget.
When I finally was gifted my first beloved sewing machine, I cherished it. But I was lost on how to use it. My mother wasn’t a great teacher which is no fault of hers so I looked to contracting a private teacher to teach me.
The learning curve
Please don’t do this, don’t do what I did. There are a ton of online tutorials and YouTube videos that will go over the basics with you for free. They’ll even go over everything you need before you even go and buy a pattern for yourself.
I would say go for the private tutor later on. I felt like I had met a lively woman with all this experience in theater costume making and it was lost on me. If I met that woman now, I would have been able to ask her about fitting a Victorian bodice correctly or how to drape a bustle correctly over a bustle pad and still get an even hem.
Sewing is easy, especially when you’re starting out. I made a simple dress with no sleeves for my first project and hated it. It was dull and didn’t fit right. I didn’t have enough experience to figure things out.
After that first disaster, I found out that it wasn’t the sewing that was boring, it was the project itself. There is a steep learning curve from making a simple dress to setting sleeves and fitting darts. But you’re not alone.
I went to that steampunk convention and labored over my fresh Truly Victorian patterns. I highly recommend these patterns, they are well made and the instructions were easy to follow. I made a parlor skirt and a formal ballroom bodice with a lovely overskirt.
Even though this project was way beyond my skill level at the time, I still managed to pull off a wonder outfit to wear.
The honeymoon phase
Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever left this phase. I got through times where I don’t have a project going for a couple of weeks but maybe I just enjoy sewing and making clothing that much.
I am always idly watching sewing YouTube videos and reading blogs even when I’m not sewing.
I highly recommend Abby Cox, Bernadette Banner, Morgan Donner, Micarah Tewers, Rachel Maksy and Dixie Diy. There are of course more but those are the ones that I can think of just off the top of my head.
These Youtubers give me hope that there is a great renaissance emerging of people making quality clothes out there.
The sad state of fashion
And now we’ve come to that point where you realize exactly what society has accepted.
The most expensive dress I ever bought was six hundred dollars. I bought it when I was in the middle east and it is a gorgeous dress. Definitely worth the money.
But I’ve only worn it twice. And that is where we are at. We wear jeans, t-shirts, leggings and don’t think about what we are actually wearing.
I go thrifting and have bought wonderful dresses for cheap just because I was looking. I bought a skull dress for 15 bucks that is originally a hot topic dress.
That doesn’t compare to my most recent project where I bought a white bed sheet and made it into a regency dress. The bed sheet was only 3 bucks.
I worked at a department store in a mall for a little longer than I wanted and that really opened my eyes to the amount of money people will spend for something that really is not worth it.
Why I sew
And now I think I’ve answered the question on why I sew. My ex-husband asked me originally why I wanted a sewing machine so badly. You spend more in buying fabrics and notions than even going to a discount store, not to mention the time spent on making the clothing.
I want something that fits me. I want something that I know I made for me and I want to put my own creative expression into what I wear.
There are ways to save money and still do all that. And now we’ve come to why I started this blog, to help others to discover their own path in wearing their own creations.
So what do you want me to make a post about? After years of sewing I’ve learned a lot and think it would be great to share all that knowledge. I’ve learned that sewing is a lot of trial and error. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way and it can be helpful in sharing.