So as it turns out, learning to make my own clothing has become one of the most rewarding experiences! I’ve been trying to sew for most of my life but somehow it has only just recently clicked for me… I think my growing awareness of ethical fashion has been the catalyst I’ve been needing to properly motivate me. When you begin feeling the weight of guilt from the mystery that surrounds so much of our clothing it feels great to have actually been so intimately involved for once.
Through this new journey I’ve learned 3 key things:
- Materials are everywhere! You just have to keep your creative senses tingling. The BEST way of sourcing fabric for me so far has been from upcycling curtains, sheets, etc. Both the outer and lining fabrics for this dress were vintage 1970s bedsheets that I thrifted for under $4. I also used vintage thread that my mom acquired for me from a yard sale YEARS ago. I hoard everything.
- Patience and accuracy are crucial. I’m a bit all-over and everywhere when I’m deep in a creative frenzy. If I’m crafting or drawing or even playing music I don’t focus on perfection, I move intuitively and often quite messily, following whatever feels right. Sewing does NOT work this way! It requires precision, lots of measuring and the patience to execute with accuracy. While it’s freeing to create without worry, it’s also healthy to practice a more disciplined craft and honestly I think it’s been good for me.
- Have some really good music to sew to! Seriously, as soon as my favorite songs came on I was doing my best work. Sometimes I need a really good distraction to help me get laser-focused. Sort of counterintuitive but it works for me!
So, here is my second dress that I have made. It cost me probably around $4 to make (with enough fabric left over to make several more skirts or tops) and it allowed me to up cycle materials as well as practice a new craft. Win / win / win!