My goal is to make a handmade wardrobe, sewing 80% of what I own. It’s an arbitrary number that would force me to replace and discard everything from work clothes to workout gear to undergarments.
The benefit and problem of making your own wardrobe is that you get a lot of practice…because it takes forever.
There are a number of steps before you can make an item:
1. Choose and purchase the pattern
2. If digital, print and assemble the pattern (either find a plotter printer or print on 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of paper, cut out, and tape together)
3. Trace the pattern pieces in your size and cut them out (keeping the original pattern intact in case you need to trace off a different size)
4. Make any necessary adjustments to the fit (lengthen/shorten, full or small bust adjustments), which can involve cutting and reshaping the pattern pieces
5. Wash, dry, and iron the fabric
6. Lay the pattern pieces out on the fabric, pin down and/or weight and trace
7. Cut out the pieces
8. Pin, sew and press per the pattern instructions
Imagine my begrudging acceptance in finding out the sewing is step eight.
I’ve made about 25 items (most of which I will give away or re-make, as I keep learning more about fit) and would like to start sharing some of them as I go.
You can see the seam pulling where I didn’t pin and the fabric moved…it never pays to be lazy when sewing! Less noticeable in real life.
I originally purchased McCall’s M7129 because I wanted a casual, romantic wrap skirt for next summer. However, after cutting a Seamwork Christina pencil skirt out of corduroy, I had leftover fabric. The wrap skirt version C takes a very small amount of fabric, so I decided to make one for autumn. On a recent trip to JoAnn’s I saw red suede and decided to double down and go for two.
I made the red skirt first. I didn’t pre-wash the fabric, which was a mistake because it was overly stiff and shed red dye over my hands and sewing machine.
Back view of the skirt
This is a ‘learn to sew for fun’ pattern, and it was relatively easy. I am between sizes and sized down (I can’t stand baggy clothes), but probably could have just graded the pattern between the two sizes. The straps are sized perfectly to tie evenly on the front, back, or side, thought it took me a bit to figure out the side tie. This was my first experience with in-seam pockets and they don’t quite lay flat; not sure what I did to make them bulk the seam.
Front view. Could be worn a little higher on the waist, I think (fine with me)!
I’ll be making one more of this pattern, and then am interested in trying version A or B in a lighter cotton for summer. This was a bit of a detour and not on my list of items to create for my work wardrobe, but I think it makes a nice addition.
Side view, with the in-seam pockets and tie
Difficulty: Beginner. It wasn’t more or less hard than other skirts (other than installing a zipper)
Cost: $21.82 + tax
Breakdown: faux suede was originally $21.99/yd. I purchased 1 5/8 yards for 30% off ($15.39/yd), or $25.01. I had 20% off total purchase so it was then $20.01, plus a new spool of thread, also 20% off ($0.81), and the cost of the interfacing (let’s say $1 for the amount I used).