My first (proper) sewing project - mo'adore: cruelty-free beauty ∙ vegan food ∙ glasgow/dundee lifestyle

17 July 2016

My first (proper) sewing project


Do you ever have those moments where you're really proud of yourself? (I hope you do 'cause you're awesome). For me, my first (proper) sewing projct was one of those moments. Not that long ago (okay, a long time ago because my first proper sewing project took a few weekends to finish) I attended the 70th birthday party of Remnant Kings at their flagship store in Glasgow. If you've never been to their store on Argyle Street above House of Fraser, it has walls of fabrics from cute children's print to classic faux furs and classy tartans. Also in store are sewing patterns, threads and knitting/crocheting materials. There's also a sewing room where they host classes for people not overtly confident with a thread and needle. 

Now, if you've known me a while, you will know I have a love-hate relationship with sewing. That love being the creative part of me who loves getting lost in a project and creating something no one else has. The hate side of me filling up with rage about how damn fiddly sewing can get and why can't I just by-pass the learning stage and immediately become a professional dress-maker who never has to wear a store-bought dress again. So shockingly enough, I didn't go there expecting  to buy anything. 

However, that was before I bumped into Sinead of Wee and Twee. Being a sewing blogger she was actually there to buy stuff (and not just mingle and drink prosecco). So she, erm, managed to talk me into giving sewing another bash. A proper bash. Not just the time I made a stuffed bird at a blogging event or my own Togepi for a Misty cosplay (and a related note: omg, Pokemon Go amiright?!?!!?). 

This all happened because she caught me eyeing up the Tilly & Buttons sewing patterns. If you've ever looked at a sewing pattern and thought the woman in the picture looks like the photos you've seen of your mum in the 70s, you're not alone. That's how I look at most sewing patterns. Tilly & Buttons caught my eye because they design patterns that look like they were designed this side of the millennium (and cute-as-a-button branding). That's when Sinead stepped in - and convinced me to try the cute Fifi boudoir set reminding me "if you muck it up a bit, it's only pyjamas and you could still wear them 'cause no one will see them". 

Well, aside from the entire internet. 

She then helped me pick out everything I would need to create the pyjamas I was inevitably going to blog about regardless of how they turned out. There was of course the super-gorgeous and super-pink penguin fabric (from the kids section, no less) and on top of that matching thread (pink and navy in my case), some dark navy material for the straps, elastic for the waist and a small ribbon for a final touche. Thankfully, this information is on the packet so even you don't have a Sinead to help you you should work it out.



Once I was home I would like to say I eagerly dusted off my (second-hand from my mum) sewing machine and got to work like Cinderella. Instead I waited a few days, and there was lots of faffing. Like re-learning how to thread a sewing machine. Wrapped thread round a bobbin. Watching YouTube videos to try and convince myself I knew what I was doing. After all that faffing I was able to start. and by start I mean wash the fabric (I didn't know this: but you should wash fabric before you start sewing so you don't make a pretty dress which then shrinks in its first wash). Then waiting for it dry overnight (and ironing it)

After preparing the fabric, I was able to cut out the pattern. I did so, and decided that was enough work for one day.

Next Weekend I started sewing. 

Very tentatively and timidly. Honestly, it's hard to remember which part I started with but I think it was the shorts, because they required less steps. In terms of  difficulty this was probably not the best pattern to start out with. There were folds, thin seems to iron down, elasticated waists and French seams. The instructions were helpful - helpful being the strongest word I can muster up. When you're a beginner - in pretty much anything - you appreciate intricate steps. However, the instructions were numbered paragraphs, which made them a tad intimidating (and easy to lose your place). It left me having to think about my next step, YouTubing things and sometimes just hoping for the best. Tilly & The Buttons actually have a beginners pack - which this design wasn't included in. Figures.

I was a size five on the pattern, and I'm a size 10-12 in the UK. The pattern sizes have only a few millimetres between them so I imagine anyone who is smaller than a size UK 8 and anyone bigger than a size UK 14 wouldn't fit this pattern. With size 14 being the UK average this seems like a bit of bad business move - just some feedback for pattern designers.

I spilt the project across a few weekends and was honestly high-5ing myself when I completed my Fifi pyjamas. The seams are messy and there is lose thread hanging everywhere, but as Sinead said I'm not wearing pyjamas in public (but I will post photos in the public domain). I could never sell them for an amount that would cover the cost of making them, but for a first attempt at making a proper piece of clothing I'm really pleased with myself.


Will I sew again?  

My next sewing project is already in the works. My mum replaced her old sewing machine (my current one) with a fancy ass expensive one and we're going to work on something when I visit my parents in Aberdeenshire. I've spent some time sifting through the 70s style patterns to find something a 20-something like me would genuinely wear in the street: this dress with cross-over straps has caught my eye, this lacy top, this Arielle skirt from Tilly & Buttons have been catching my eye, or I might try a bash at some underwear with the guide my mum has in some of her sewing patterns.

If my descriptions of how the sewing went aren't clear (for the experienced craft bloggers - how do you 'review' a sewing pattern?) I created a YouTube video to help illustrate my ramblings. Linking back to my opening sentence, this is something I'm also really proud of. I've dabbled in vlogging a few times but had never really sat down to 'learn how to YouTube properly'. This is the first video I really put in effort into and I'm really proud of the outcome. Not going to give Zoella a run for her money but it's not bad for an early attempt (though the quality dropped after I uploaded it, grr). 


Learn more about Remnant Kings: 


Learn more about Tilly & Buttons: 




To be clear: I attended the Remnant Kings event as a blogger and did receive a goody back with some sewing equipment (like pins and a tape measure). I bought the sewing pattern and fabric myself with my own money,with the discount available that night.

2 comments :

  1. This is absolutely wonderful. I've long wished I could make my own clothes, and I've had half-hearted attempts to take up knitting that have always ended in a pile of unused supplies. I love the idea of having clothes that nobody else has, and that fit beautifully...

    The skirts and dresses that Tilly and the Buttons sells patterns for look fabulous, but I think by the time I've, um, bought a sewing machine and learned to use it I'd be as well buying from a shop!

    Lis / last year's girl

    x

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  2. I've tried sewing in the past month so it's lovely to read a post from someone else who's tried it! i also love the Tilly & Buttons designs :) may have to invest in one! I recently tried making my own headband, starting small :P These look great, love the material!

    Bumble and Be

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