How much of your own clothes do you sew?

marti8aSeptember 2, 2007

I hate to admit it, but I've gotten...old. I don't like most of the clothes sold in stores today, or it doesn't fit my changing shape. I haven't sewn for myself in years, and wasn't good at it then. But I would like to make some simple pants and shirts that I wouldn't be embarressed to wear in public. Any ideas what type pattern I should start with?

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I sew around 75% of my own clothes. I would suggest that you look at all of the pattern books at your fabric store (Joannes etc), but look at the ones that say "easy to sew" or phrases like that. They are a more simple design and will not frustrate you as easily. I would also suggest that you take a few sewing lessons as well. You may find things have changed over the years. My best tip for you would be: Your clothes hang from your shoulders, so match your measurements with your bust more so than your hips. It is easier to enlarge the hip area than it is to make the bust smaller.
Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 10:00AM
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I make about 90 percent of my wardrobe, as I am in my 50's and agree with you completely about today's styles. They lack a certain modesty? Let's bring back the styles of the 1930's and 1940's, pretty flattering dresses and hats! Email me for links to my photos. I take pics of all my latest creations for sharing. Most of the time, I am on my way to church and I hand the DH the digital camera. I also crochet nice shawls to go with the dresses. I would really enjoy sharing my ideas and agree about going to the fabric stores, look thru the pattern books, find something that accentuates your assets. I got hooked on a TV show called What Not To Wear that explained it all for me. They say to make sure a dress fits you under the bust where you are the smallest. Great idea. I am pattern size 14, and need to fit each pattern to fit me. Be brave and do it. Get in touch with me soon. I'd love to discuss. Summer dresses are the prettiest! Look at cottons on sale. Wash and wear.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 8:13PM
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When I was in my twenties I sewed almost everything. Thirties and forties all of my suits and blouses for work, winter coats. Now I live in FL I live in shorts and tee's and bathing suits.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 9:54PM
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I have a huge to-do list but haven't gotten to all I want to create. I'd sew everything I wear if I had the time! I'm only in my mid-30's but also hate most everthing out there. I;m a snob when it comes to fit, and can't stand to spend money on all the pants that have droopy seats, too-big legs, etc.

As far as good patterns, I find McCall's fits the truest. BUT, what I really suggest is making muslums of the 3-4 basic pieces (shirt, pants, skirt, jacket) and make sure they fit you shape well. Get a pattern alteration book to help you with simple basic alts that will make a huge difference. Once you have acheived that, those 3-4 basic pattern pieces will becomw the patterns you use for everything Shorts, pants, LS and SS shirts, vests, etc. Most garments are constructe from the same patterns over and over again, with the style changes coming from fabrics, necklines, closures and opening, etc. Because once you find the shape that looks good on you, you will want to recreate it again & again. Why fuss around with a bucket if patterns? And I find it to be fun to create my own look this way. And I have learned so much!

If you are really at a loss, do what I did after my body 'settled' after having children - go to some really high end stores and try on what you like (don't even look at price) If you like the fit, take notes in the dressing room & search for patterns that duplicate the look. That's much better than sewing an outfit up from scratch and then finding out you look like a damned petunia in a flower pot. (Yes,I did that. Wasted over 12 hours on one dress!)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 10:50PM
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Finally a post that makes me feel less alone...Yep my shape has changed and I agree the styles for the last few years have been less than kind to older women. I am currently doing as Bonnie has suggested, and I am starting with a quick sew easy pattern that makes a very ordinary little shirt that fits over a sleeveless top. I figure if I can get the fit worked out it will make up the basic layered look (at least the top part) that I like to wear around the house, shopping, etc. most of the time. It is an unusually basic pattern in that you can make it up in either knits or wovens.

So far my first try was a dud, way too short, just like everything off the rack. I finally talked a freind into helping me take my back length measurement, and I am loooong waisted (I am tall). So on to version 2. (and 3,and 4)...... :)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 12:19PM
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Twenty years ago, when I had a cute slim shape, I sewed everything I wore (except underwear, pantyhose (UGH) and coats). More than once, I'd buy an expensive outfit in a department store, take it home, and copy it (never removed the tags), then return it (just couldn't afford off the rack clothing, but cared very much about how I looked).

Now, I live in sweats (winter) and shorts (summer). I could care less about clothes, and shop at thrift stores for myself.

I do sew for a granddaughter who is hard to fit; also for my mother who doesn't like the current fashions (who can blame her?). I found vintage patterns on ebay for styles that she's comfortable with.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 1:02AM
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i don't sew any of my own clothing yet (but i've thought about it a lot), if your not comfortable with your abilities JoAnne fabrics has classes for learning a few techniques. They are a little expensive, but it's like a "make-it and take-it" type of class where you actually go home with something you can wear, and the ability to do that technique again!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 1:07AM
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