Friday, September 01, 2006

I, Seamstress

So I have mentioned, once or twice, that I can sew. That is, I've mentioned that I can sew curtains which, as any of you who have attempted garment sewing know, is QUITE ANOTHER MATTER INDEED. Curtain sewing rarely makes you BFF with your seam ripper, for one thing. But really, I am a garment sewer of intermediate skills.

It's funny to think of myself as "a seamstress." I suppose it's an antiquated term, but until recently, it's felt like a flat-out antiquated occupation for a twenty-something American woman. Most of my generation can, under the duress of poverty prohibiting tailors, HEM A PAIR OF PANTS. I've known some friends (HF and Laura spring to mind) who've outfitted entire casts with period costumes, but they are the exception, not the rule. And why not, right? It costs $5 for a clearance T-shirt at Old Navy and I can spot a new dress on a sale rack at Ann Taylor LOFT for $40 a several times a year. It seems a weeee bit nuts to go out and buy a pattern, yards of fabric, a zipper, some bias tape, lining fabric, and you know, the big expensive sewing machine just to make a freakin' dress. Ah, but that's where I miscalculated my rebellious generation.

Behold, I have found so many sewing tutorial sites and crafty blogs that I am awash in inspiration. If you're not the type to be interested by sewing websites, then by all means skip the rest of this entry, but if you've been wondering where you can find some sweet helps/hints, read on, all 2 of you. I might just be doing this for the record of links anyway. MIGHT.

1. rocks. I mean OFF THE HOOK. I haven't yet registered in order to access the archives, but let me tell you, even the free content is worth it. The idea started with a central place for people to make comments on different patterns they bought - Did they work? How was the fit? Did it run big/small? Were the instructions clear? Any recommended changes for fit or ease of construction? Like I said, it's a treasure trove. I found out about some great dress patterns, and I fully intend to make a Duro Olowu knockoff, but the site helped me pick between two competing pattern companys' interpretations of the style. ROCK!

2. This woman's blog is, frankly, just plain adorable. She seems to sew a lot, and though she's British, she still ends up using a lot of similar patterns. She also seems to know a thing or two about fit and has a similar frame to me, though she's taller, so I think her advice is pretty appropriate for me. Great ideas, too.

3. This woman has an excellent, well-spelled name (one guess as to what it is >;) and a lovely blog. She knows her fashion, and she uses sewing to achieve good fit for the latest styles. She's also a crochet/knitter type, and the more I read from those folks the more my fingers start to itch for some sweater-y goodness. Anyway, worth a look, if only to see what she's stitching up. Her finished garments look fabu.

4. I'm actually not sure how I found this sight in my surfing, but I'm so glad because it's my renewed my interest in non-home-decor sewing. It's called Wardrobe Refashion '06, and it's a group blog of people who've taken a 2-, 4-, or 6-month pledge to buy no new clothing but instead to make or preferably remake their clothes and accessories as much as possible. Some are doing it for the thriftiness, some from environmental motivations, and others just to start or keep sewing. Anyway, they have some great ideas about ways to find fabric or remake clothing that's too big, too small, out-of-date, or just plain boring to us now. I've found several amazing seamstresses through that site, and though I'm not pledging, this is one sorority I might want to join.

Okay, and that's enough for now. I'm already itching to make clothes for which I have no equipment whatsoever. As KD would so succinctly put it, "Let's not get excessive."


laura said...

i would like to point out that assisting someone in outfitting an entire cast in period clothing rates one higher than an intermediate garmet maker. besides which, aforementioned someone would never have been able to outfit the entire cast had you not coaxed her out from underneath the table where she was hiding from the evil actors and calmed her down from many stress induced moments of hyperventilation.

Kristen said...

have you checked out the A Dress A Day blog? (and of course I do not know how to do links, so you'll have to look it up..) It's an awesome blog all about sewing and lovely dresses. I'm totally addicted. :)