Thursday, 18 April 2013

Squinty Beginnings

I've always wanted to learn how to sew my own clothes.  I just never had anyone to show me!  A few years ago, I asked Santa (also known as my lovely mum) to buy me a sewing machine for Christmas.  I was so excited to get started.  I was also pleasantly surprised by my lovely fiance as he bought me a beautiful dressmaker's dummy that expands to fit (most) different shapes as a present - and a very thoughtful gift of left-handed pinking shears of which I have (unfortunately) not mastered yet - I have a lot of years of making do and using right-handed scissors upside down (It worked for me as I'm a leftie!)

I bought loads of 'beginner' sewing books, subscribed to some sewing magazines and hoped I would pick it up.  I really wanted to find a sewing group in my area too, to improve my skills.  My efforts of making a couple of bags, a tee-shirt, a skirt, dress and some soft toys were "OK" for a first attempt but certainly not presentable in public!

I got a wee bit disheartened because I really would have loved to attend some workshops but never had the money to splash to make it happen.  I also found trying to copy magazine or book instructions quite complicated and sometimes impossible to follow.  The main reasons I want to make my own clothes are:
1.  I have a quirky colour and pattern palette - I LOVE colour (except orange and brown) and I totally love patterns (stripes are my obsession).  I definitely get a kick out of clashing my colours (my friends sometimes despair).

The main reason, though, is that I have an extremely huge bust (like, waaaay out of proportion compared to the rest of me).  It is pretty much impossible to get clothes from the high street to remotely fit and I rely on stretchy fabrics in my wardrobe.  I thought that sewing would solve this problem to me.  But I have now found that the pattern makers don't really help in this situation either.  All the patterns are designed for teeny busts.  So not only do I have to master cutting and sewing techniques... I have to learn how to edit and adapt patterns too!  This is something I really want to be able to do, but it has proved tricky so far.  It did put me off for a short while, but I am determined to master it.

So... now I am super excited!  My initial excitement has been rekindled through the discovery of the online craft community!  I am loving youtube as there are just so MANY wonderful 'how to' videos on every aspect of sewing.  I also love looking at the many billion sewing forums, websites and blogs that are really reassuring and helpful.  I plan to use my blog to link every page/ site/ video etc that I find helpful.  Than will mean that all of my learning tools are in the one handy place!

I've de-cluttered (sort of) my spare room and now have a lovely work space.  I am hooked to any TV programmes that are about sewing - Project Runway, Sewing Bee, Project Catwalk to name a few.   I just wish there were more!

I have also just learned to knit (Hey! I'm left handed, so it was quite tricky to pick it up as a child, ok!). Knitting isn't proving as much as a challenge because I know quite a few people who are excellent knitters (especially mum) and they keep me on track and help me along the way.  I wish I had this type of support with sewing too!

I love scouring the net to find more pdf patterns, free tips, blogs and videos. I still have not found the perfect site that supplies reasonably cheap and pretty fabrics... any ideas?

Until next time,


I thought my blog name was very apt and cute.  I hope I can make my seam less squinty as I progress!

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