So, here it goes, my first official blog post. Within this post I will be talking about the different items of clothing that I have created touching on any hints or tips I came across whilst creating them. As mentioned before in my previous blog post (I sound like I’m sending a very passive aggressive email) I bought a midi multi-purpose sewing machine from Hobbycraft for only £40. It’s nothing too fancy but perfect for someone who is starting out using a sewing machine like me. There are no overly complicated features which would send an amateur into a confused panic, and the user guide helps with anything that you may not know.
I would like to also thank my friend Mat (@matski89) for buying me a sewing box and the Simple Tailoring & Alterations book by Francois-Campbell which has a load of simple hints and tricks when it comes to making your own clothes. All these components and a glass of Pinot Noir later, I finally started making my first outfit with the sewing machine, well maybe more than one glass. Okay, a bottle.
THE BLACK BRACED CROP TOP
My first challenge with this top is trying to find a fabric store in Cheltenham or Gloucester. After trawling around both cities trying to find a shop which sells loads of fabric under one roof, hallelujah I managed to find one just a 5 minute walk from my work. I decided to go for a black velvety fabric as it caught my eye as I was looking around the shop. I decided to buy a tonne of it because apparently I thought I was making a garment for the BFG. I have since realised that I only really need to buy fabrics at the most, 2m at a time.
The inspiration for this top came from Aquaria’s werkroom outfits from the episode Cher: The unauthorised Rusical from season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I instantly fell in love with the design of the crop top which clipped onto the trousers. After scouring the internet for what seemed like 3 decades, I gave up. Could not find it anywhere. Frustrating. Hence this led to me thinking, it can’t be that hard to make, all I need to do is find a simple pattern and there’s my starting block to create the garment. I already had some old braces which were broken which I could cut the buckles off to sew onto the crop top, what could possibly go wrong?
I started out using a simple t-shirt pattern that I found on Mood Fabrics which, by the way, perfect for starting out seamstresses and tailors. As well as selling fabrics they run a blog and the Sewciety allows for different people to share the patterns and sewing projects they have created, providing advice and tutorials on how to make the garments. After creating the t-shirt, it did require bringing in the seams as I prefer tighter clothes which are more tailored to my slender build. Once this was done I was able to cut out the straps at the bottom of the piece for the braces to attach to. I kept a rough effect on the vest for aesthetic purposes and I was really pleased with the end product.
CROPPED CAMO CO-ORD
Well this garment was not the easiest thing to make. Mainly due to the fact that I didn’t read at the beginning that a 50% stretch fabric should be used for the garment, so of course I chose a fabric with less give in it than a bottom on a Grindr hookup. So there was me cutting out all the patterns (also from the Mood Fabrics website) thinking that a size 10/12 would be perfect, not realising that without the stretch in the fabric, it was probably more suited to a 10/12 year old.
This outfit required a lot of logistical thinking which my assistant (@matski89 on insta) helped with. There was a lot of “so where does this bit go?” and “now which way up is this?”. However, after many hours spent over the sewing machine, we managed to make it work. Well, so we thought. As mentioned above, when it came to trying it on I felt like on white chicks when he comes out of the dressing room, yanno the part where they’re like “just breathe”? Yeah let me tell you that that was me. But with a bit of artistic reconfiguring and blagging, I managed to turn the sleeves into lapels.
To finish this off I added a black trim to the edges of the garment and black stripes down the side with a zip to accommodate for that extra 50% that I had disregarded. Later on did I find that you can get pre made black edging which looks a lot neater than what I sewed, however this is a learning curve and I know now how to cheat.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this first post regarding my seamSTRESS skills and that I haven’t bored you with a short story on my first world struggles of sewing.
Peace, Love and Pinot