I am a sewing and craft obsessive. I am lucky enough to spend my crafty days running the Crafty Sew&So Studio in North Leicestershire and I also teach at various other venues in the county. Crafty Sew&So offers a wide range of dressmaking, sewing and crafts workshops, lessons and activities for all ages and levels of experience. Our ethos is to encourage everyone to learn, create, play and enjoy a bit of crafty me-time! You can find out more about Crafty Sew&So on our website www.craftysewandso.com
I'll let you in on more about my journey to creating Crafty Sew&So and our studio as we go along but for now the big story of 2015 is...
My Handmade Wardrobe Year ChallengeI've been inspired to embark on My Handmade Wardrobe Year Challenge by my good friend Julia, who also runs sewing workshops from the Bobbins n Button headquarters in the centre of Leicester and around south Leicestershire. You can read more about her challenge which she completed last year here.
The basic principle is that I will not buy ANY pre-made garments for a whole year* * certain exceptions apply as detailed in the rules below!
So here's the "rules"
1. I will not buy any pre-made clothing for a whole year, including coats, jackets, dresses, trousers and tops.
2. The only items I can buy are underwear and footwear – including socks, tights, knickers, bras, shoes, sandals and boots.
3. As I don't knit if I want a knitted item I can ask someone to hand knit it for me.
4. I can re-work items already in my wardrobe.
5. I can accept gifts of pre-made clothing for my Birthday and Christmas only.
I am slightly nervous as my staple wardrobe is jeans and tee shirts- not the easiest garments to make using domestic machines! But I'm really looking forward to this challenge! I've wanted to start creating my own handmade wardrobe for a long time now. When I left my full time job to take Crafty Sew&So full time I had a month out of teaching to plan and organise myself and the studio ready for customers. My dream was that my everyday work uniform would be entirely handmade and I would be a walking advertisement for my dressmaking skills. Unfortunately looking at my current wardrobe I realised that most of the garments I have made are pretty party dresses and lovely 50s style skirt (without matching tops!) - garments which are not very practical for crawling around on the floor picking up pins!
I generally wear jeans, tees and jumpers as my day-to-day working attire. This causes a number of challenges for me in the coming year!
Lets start with Jeans...Craftsy course to help me through the process- there are 2 to choose from so I'm going to read up and choose from those I WILL conquer you JEANS!
In the mean time I've booked myself in to do a Class at the amazing Sew Over It Studio in London, it's at their new Premises in Islington which I've not been to yet so I'm super excited for my Ultimate Trousers class on 24th January :) I have made trousers before but never been that happy or comfortable in them. I'm hoping I'll pick up some fab tips on fitting and construction (and also teaching techniques for my classes- I love watching how other people teach- it's hugely inspiring!) So February will be my trousers month. Eek!
But for now I'm going to start by looking at my wardrobe so far...
I get really - and I mean REALLY- attached to clothing! I have clothes in my wardrobe from as far back as my uni days 12 years ago and fortunately/maybe unfortunately I can still fit into them! obviously over the years they've seen a bit of wear and tear and I've mended, patched and replaced bits where I can. But today I finally took a super critical eye to my assortment of ensembles.
This was the result!
This mend is a little more tricky as the fabric has frayed and come away from the button placket-
I'm thinking I'll unpick a good section of the button placket- reinforce the frayed edge with interfacing and re-insert the fabric into the button placket and re-stitch. Hmmm... any other suggestions anyone?Some garments need a complete re-work. Those forgotten garments which have been lurking at the back of the wardrobe since the last decade! Well here they are- Please fire away if you have any suggestions...
I love the sequin fabric in the skirt of this dress, but the pale apricot colour of the chiffon next to my fairly pallid complexion does nothing for me! Also the skirt sits a little funny due to the lining being a bit pulled and stretched.
Maybe it should become a bag?
(back view)This style is so cute but I'm 31 it's a little too short for me now! I'll take inspiration from this shape to create a new dress with a slightly more demure hem line but if anyone has any suggestions I'd like to give this cute dress a new lease of life as a re-fashioned garment...
I love the cute cherry print on this top but the smocking at the hem makes it billow out and ride up in all the wrong ways! Also the binding around the neck frill is a little OTT for my liking. Any ideas?
And again another fabric I love but the shape is dowdy and old fashioned and really unflattering. Please share any suggestions in the comments below or on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/myhandmadewardrobeyear
So for now I'm going to go and have a good think about what to do with my "forgotten wardrobe" ... and whilst wait for inspiration to strike maybe I'll sew on a few of those loose buttons!