5 harsh rules to sewing an exquisite wardrobe, 2 reasons to break them and a tricky question.

Photo credits: Mrs Bobbins

Us, seamstresses and sewers, often get the same reaction every time someone learns about this skill of ours: “Omg you are so lucky! You can make anything you see and like!” and the imagine my sewing machine as a factory that imports high fashion designs and exports exact copies of them. However, usually the truth lies far from this illusion. Bad fabric choice, fitting issues and patterns that prove to be more dull than what we thought they would, often leave us with handmade garments that don’t quite meet our aesthetic criteria. At this point, let me express my humble opinion about sewing as a hobby and a efficient and affordable way to built a wardrobe, at least what I am trying to do. Please don’t hate me about what you are going to read, with some of some of them you may not completely agree. Sewing is a hobby, offering us a pleasant activity to relax and use our creative minds. For some of us, it is even the best therapy! Clothes on the other hand, are those items that form a part of our appearance and style, the packing of our presence. Being myself both a passionate seamstress and a fashion lover, managing to combine creativity with stylish results is, in my opinion, a sewer’s heaven. We all have different styles, figures and preferences, but spending our free time (specially if we struggle to find it) alongside building an exquisite wardrobe has some rules ladies and gentlemen and here I present them to you:

  1. You really don’t have to wear EVERYTHING you sew even if it is a success. Unfortunately when sewing your own garments you don’t get to try them on first. Sometimes the pattern or the fabric don’t really complement your figure. Sewing experience can prevent such misfortunes but guess how it is gained; by making mistakes.
  2. You really don’t have to sew EVERYTHING you wear. Before sewing something new, stop for a moment and ask yourself: is it worth making? A perfect example for that is knit tank tops. In most cases making them costs more than buying and unless you have a professional serger, you can’t be sure about the results.
  3. If your make is not a success, think again before wearing it. I know you have put a lot of effort on it, I have been there, but if it doesn’t meet your standards and you are not happy with the result, simply repurpose it . I do however understand, especially for new sewers, the urge to wear and show of your your creation but if you know you can do better, don’t compromise for poorly made.
  4. If you find something you like and you can afford, go ahead and just buy it. I know, if you can make it, why buy it, right? Noooope! Don’t be sure that you can find the right fabric and pattern for it and chances are that the final result won’t be exactly what you tried in the store.
  5. When first trying your new make, look in the mirror and ask yourself:”Do I look good in that? Would I buy that if I found it in a store”? if you don’t get me, check again 1 on the list.

Things in life are not however just black and white, so here are two reasons I can think to break all the rules above:

  • You have sewn something that may not be perfect, but in means a lot to you
  • You just want to sew it and wear it no matter what. Period.

Ps1. I still have some doubts about #3,  and I was delighted to see Maddie’s last post about failure as a learning essential. It would be a great honor for me to hear your opinion Maddie to this tricky question: what to do with a garment you made doing your best and doesn’t fully meet your standards? Thank you in advance!
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4 thoughts on “5 harsh rules to sewing an exquisite wardrobe, 2 reasons to break them and a tricky question.

  1. Oh, I like theses tips! I’m slowly getting the hang of fabric to pattern combination and some of my creations just don’t make me feel comfortable. I’m learning and as, you said, I don’t need to wear everything I make, but I do want to take everything I make as a learning experience.

    On another note, realting to “you can make anything”; sometime’s it isn’t a blessing being able to make anything with endless choices, last time at the store I spent fifteen minutes just deciding on buttons for a blouse. All small decisions become over-whelming at times.


    1. I totally feel you! The first time I tried to combine patterns was a total disaster… Three years later I’ve got much better but at the moment if I have to alter a pattern, I prefer to draft it from scratch! Endless decisions on the other hand can indeed become very very overwhelming!


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