Author Topic: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes  (Read 79331 times)

greenmimama

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2014, 06:39:15 AM »
+1 to mending my boys clothing, it feels like my part time job.

To the OP, wouldn't it be cheaper to purchase clearance shirts and rework them, since fabric is so expensive!

Silverwood

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2014, 12:41:36 PM »
Im not even done reading it yet and I had to pause to comment. I am beyond impressed!

katie

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2014, 02:58:57 PM »
Nicely done, OP!  I have sewn for years (thank you, 4-H!), but for many years now it has just been quilts, random projects, and mending.  My husband is a very similar frame to you - he is 6'2" and 165 lbs on his "heavy" days.  I hate how dress pants fit him.  I should tear apart a pair of his and see if I can fix them, like you did.  I would love to have all my dresses custom made, but making clothes fit a curvy girl and look good is hard.  Maybe someday though.

furrychickens

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2014, 03:41:07 PM »
Hawt. Seriously impressive. I need to learn basic stitching to patch knees and hem my DW's clothes.

I don't need more clothes right now, but I'm totally bookmarking this for the future.

deborah

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2014, 04:06:53 PM »
You have done very, very well in your clothes making so far. Congratulations!!!

However, as you seem to want to improve, I have included the following suggestions.

As you say, your trousers aren't quite what they could be. It looks to me as if the crotch is too low, and not deep enough (needs to be further up the pattern length, and the point where the four trouser pieces join needs to be further out - that part of the pattern needs to be wider). I have had problems with this too. One problem when trousers are too big is that a correct pattern usually needs extra material where the crotch needed to be adjusted. I don't know the trouser making book you have, but most of my sewing books have a section on fitting problems and how to fix them. It also looks to me as if you don't have enough ease between the shoulders at the back of your shirt.

When patternmaking, you are usually expected to make a toille first (this is out of a very cheap, light coloured, but similar weight material - often calico). Use a pen to mark all the seam lines and darts etc. onto the fabric, and sew it up. Try it on, and have a friend work out where it doesn't fit right. Get them to cut it where it is too narrow, and add a bit of fabric behind (with pins) to make it the right width. Get them to make darts where it is too wide. Make a new pattern from the butchered toille, and try again. This is why you use very cheap material.

One further note - shears are used in the fashion industry in preference to rotary cutters because as you use your pattern, you can (and often do) remove very thin slices of your pattern each time you rotary cut it, gradually making it smaller.

You should look out patternmaking books in your library - "Patternmaking for Fashion Design" by Helen Joseph-Armstrong is the standard text used in a number of places (it has a small section on men's clothing). I also have "Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear" by Winifred Aldrich. Both books show you how to make a pattern for just about anything from scratch.

Lastly, the main reason that there is so much more written about women's patterns, is men's patterns have less variety.

lifejoy

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2014, 04:41:04 PM »
WOOOOOOOOW SO Impressive!!!!!!!! Way to go!!!

B L I S S

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2014, 05:27:51 PM »
Impressive.

PMG

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2014, 12:56:20 PM »
I love love love this!!

You did great work on these! I loved seeing you refashion things and make them from scratch!  Nothing fits like handmade tailored clothing.

You didn't pick easy things to start with either.  Nice work.  You have my admiration!

netskyblue

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2014, 12:24:44 PM »
I knit sweaters, and about a year ago tried to get into making dress slacks.  I made a muslin, made changes onto my pattern, and then a family friend asked to borrow my sewing machine.  I'm still waiting to get it back :(

You should go from making your own clothes to save money to the next logical step - making clothes for other people to EARN money!

kimmarg

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #59 on: April 13, 2014, 07:20:19 AM »

What have people found to be the most impactful sewing (or even knitting)?  I've found (in knitting, I assume sewing might be similar) that much of the utility comes from the ability to customize, rather than on cost alone -- materials can be expensive (and construction can be time consuming).  I could buy a scarf for less than the materials cost to make one.  On the other hand, my hat is of much nicer material than a hat you'd buy at Target, I can make it exactly the size/pattern/color that I want.  I actually haven't ever found wool socks in the US that I love (still wear older-than-me pure wool socks that my grandmother knitted whenever I go skiing), so that would be a more 'useful' project than others.  (Of course, being self-sufficient and have skills is impossible to put a price on.)

I suppose functional items like pillow cases would be both easy and cheap to make, so sewing would allow you to save money and launder less frequently/change covers more often (I absolutely hate doing laundry).  A friend has made kitchen towels and bathroom rugs with very cheap/machine washable yarn that knits up quickly.

I've found basic alterations worth the money. I buy my favorite brand of pants at an outlet store where they tend to have only the 'long' size. Im not a long but happily shorten them to fit.  Similarly for my husbands scrubs - length is easy to change and well worth it. I also do fine with curtains, pillow cases, sewing sheets together to make comforter covers. I have none of the (very admirable) patience of the OP so I stick to the basics.

Knitting wise hats and mittens are great. I actually don't knit socks because I wear them out too quickly. The only wool socks I wear now are from the Darn Tough company in Vermont. They guarantee you won't put a hole in them and if you do, mail them in and they replace them free! (Which I have done once so far) Their stuff is pricey, but since it is good for a lifetime I buy socks and stick to knitting hats.

mm1970

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2014, 08:34:42 AM »
Okay, I am very very impressed.  I took sewing in HS.  I made a couple of dresses when I was in college.  But in general, my skills in sewing lend themselves more towards household items (quilts, pillows, curtains, window seat covers), and less to clothing.  I think it's my patience level.  I have future plans to build a couch/chaise and upholster it myself.

But many of my friends make clothing for themselves and/or their husbands (sewing or knitting).  I always am impressed at how you can get exactly what you want.

Maybe when my youngest gets a little older, I'll give it another go. These days, I mostly just take the jeans-with-ripped-knees (I have an 8 year old son) and turn them into shorts. 

Pants though.  So I'm short and stocky.  Longer torso, short legs.  It's getting a LITTLE better but for the most part, if I find a pair of pants that fits on the hips/thighs/butt area, it is inches (5+) too big at the waist.

Freckles

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2014, 11:31:31 AM »
BADASS!

I will have to look into this.  Clothing seems tailored for fat people these days.

huh? maybe at wal-mart. but not in real stores. clothing is designed to fit specific people called 'fit models' who are basically people with perfectly proportioned figures. if your body proportions don't match the proportions the clothes are designed for, then shit is not going to fit you whether you're fat or skinny or whatever.

This is true.  I know a fit model.  Her body looks nothing like mine.  When I met her and learned of her job, I realized why clothes never fit me.

Skyrefuge, awesome work!!!  Let me know if you ever need me to get you something from Portland's Pendelton outlet store.  :)

greaper007

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #62 on: April 14, 2014, 09:39:39 PM »
Man who sews here!    The biggest problem I have is finding fabric that I like.    Places like JoAnn seem to only have fabric for old women.    Some online stores seem to have nice stuff, but it's really difficult to tell without touching it.   You can order swatches, but that takes forever and it's an additional expense.

What do you guys do about finding decent fabric?

oldtoyota

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #63 on: April 15, 2014, 11:13:18 PM »
This is inspirational! Thank you. A friend gave me her sewing machine when she moved, and I would love to put it to use.

steveo

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #64 on: April 16, 2014, 05:36:44 AM »
As per everyone else's comments that is freaken awesome.

I buy tailored shirts and suits and pants. I don't only get tailored (but basically all my work clothes are tailored) and some are cheap Internet tailored however its completely unmustachian but I hate getting shitty fitting clothes.

I was thinking about doing this recently. I have holes in my tailored pants but I keep wearing them because I don't want to buy new ones. They have been fixed already once before.

I can't see myself doing this but I think it is awesome.

T-Rex

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #65 on: April 24, 2014, 03:52:06 AM »
Awesome! I used to tailor all my clothes myself!

My proudest achievement: bought a puffy 80's black patchwork leather jacket with elastics at the sleeves and waist (yes hideous but I saw the potential!) new with tags for $14.

I spent a month working on it every night while watching movies. I cut it up removed the elastics and tailored it into a badass tight fitting motorcycle jacket. Whenever I wear it, people compliment it and ask where I bought it (hah!)  and some have offered to buy it from me (never).

I just don't have the time in the military, but I look forward to it in the future.

SJS

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2014, 05:57:34 PM »
Flippin Fabulous!! I am SO SO SOOOOOOOOOO impressed with the shirts you made from scratch - SERIOUSLY, I cannot believe how awesome they are!   You are gonna make some chic an amazing husband with those sewing skills!!  You go, boy!! ;-)   

On the topic of clothes and being frugal - I can't believe how many folks waste so much money on dry cleaning when most items you can wash at home yourself!! Unbelievable when I hear/see the bills people are paying for dry cleaning! 


k8esfolly

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2014, 04:53:04 PM »
Awesome job, OP, the fit and finish looks great!

Although you can't make clothes for less than you can go out and buy them, generally, there are a few areas where that's not true…if, like the OP, you're an unusual size/shape, you can come out ahead.

The thing that's stupid-easy and cheap is underpants.  Men, women, and children. You can make six pair in about an hour for the cost of a few yards of elastic plus a few t-shirts at the thrift store.  They wear well and can be adjusted for your figure (the wonderfulness of being wedgie-free can't be overestimated). Even if you purchase fabric for them, you'll still pay less than decent-quality store-bought.

Harder, but perhaps the highest payoff of all is making bras, especially, again, if you're an unusual size or shape.  You can spend upwards of a hundred bucks on a single good-quality bra, 50 if you're buying "cheaper" ones…You can really splurge on materials and make one for 20$.

I agree with others also, mending and tailoring can both pay off, big time, and you certainly don't need fancy equipment for that.

And the payoff of really understanding and valuing the work in the clothes you wear, regardless of who made them, is pretty cool, even if you can't measure it in $$$.

sheepgetlambs

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #68 on: October 30, 2014, 11:51:43 PM »
To the person making shorts out her son's jeans with ripped knees: A friend put a large red patch behind the rip in her son's jeans and embroidered a monster, complete with teeth, on the front. The red is the inside of the mouth, and it opens and closes when her son bends his leg.

sheepgetlambs

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #69 on: October 30, 2014, 11:56:53 PM »
I love you whole point of getting clothes to fit you propertly. I sew badly so I only use my sewing machine for mending and small projects like recovering cushions. I have found, however, that when we travel to Sweden (every three years) I can find clothes there that fit me better than anywhere else on earth. Relatives we visited in Denmark said I have a "Scandinavian build." It is an amazing feeling to have sleeves, shoulders, torso, all fit. This past June I bought two dresses, three shirts, and a jacket. That's a lot for me because I normally hate shopping and have very little interest in clothes. Based on my past purchases from Sweden, these items will easily last me 10 years and will be worn a lot. (They are my go-to pieces. I just love them and feel confident and comfortable when wearing them.)

SingleMomDebt

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #70 on: October 31, 2014, 09:17:27 AM »
I LOVE to sew but Hate cutting out patterns. So from experience.... You have some MAD Skills! Nice job.

tofuchampion

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #71 on: October 31, 2014, 12:49:44 PM »
Holy what.  You look AWESOME, and I'm jealous of your skills.

I've been wanting a sewing machine for a while (I know some basics but want to learn quilting and clothing alterations); will have to check out your model.  So thanks for that, too!

MarciaB

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #72 on: October 31, 2014, 05:02:44 PM »
I've been thinking about this.

Last year, I paid at least a few hundred to get my clothes tailored.

Sewing is a great skill and can be used as a side income. I used to have a little home-based business where I did alterations (hemming, shorting jacket sleeves, replacing zippers and the like). Good income! And now that fewer and fewer people sew, it makes even more sense.

Pigeon

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #73 on: November 03, 2014, 12:13:13 PM »
I love this thread.  OP, your creations are amazing.  You look great.

I grew up in a fairly frugal family.  My parents had six kids and they were able to put us all through college on one salary.  My dad was Mr. DoItYourself.  He and my uncle built the house I grew up in and my uncle's house with their own hands.  I don't remember anyone ever coming to our house to do any work whatsoever.

At one point, the couch in the living room was showing its age.  Dad started tinkering with it, and before too long, he decided to reupholster it himself.  It came out pretty well and he did other furniture, and ended up buying a sewing machine.

My oldest sister dated a guy with an uncle in the garment business.  My folks were chatting with him at a party, and lo and behold, he had a lot of extra fabric left over that he had to dispose of, usually not huge lengths, but often several yards of the same pattern.  He started shipping us cartons of free fabric.

Dad started sewing in earnest.  Every night in the winter, he would get home from his engineering job, eat dinner, and disappear to the basement to sew.  He made his four daughters (me included) and my mom some really lovely dresses and outfits.  He made our prom gowns and the bridesmaids gowns when we got married. He made all the curtains in the house.  He made himself some really nice tailored Pendleton sport coats.  It was awesome, and nearly all free.

The funny thing though, was that it was the family's dirty little secret that Dad sewed.  Some families have criminals, some have drug addicts, some have funny uncles.  We had a Dad who sewed.  When they went to a fabric store to buy notions, he would tell my mother what to get and he would lurk outside the shop.  She couldn't sew on a button, so often she would go thought a hilarious routine pantomiming her questions about what weight of interfacing or what length zipper to buy through the window, while he'd pretend he wasn't watching.

I can sew a bit, enough to do simple alterations and killer Halloween costumes and curtains.  A few years back, I asked dh to buy me a cheap, basic sewing machine for Christmas.  The school where he teaches was just getting rid of a bunch of sewing machines and instead of getting me a new $125 Brother, he got a used one for a song.  I hit the jackpot--it's a Bernina.  It doesn't do fancy stuff, but it is an absolute joy to use, much better than anything else I've ever used.  If you see one cheap on Craigslist, go for it.  I recently lost a bunch of weight, and I'm taking stuff in.  If fabric wasn't so expensive, I'd do more sewing. 

 

2ndTimer

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #74 on: November 04, 2014, 11:22:10 AM »
I love the story of the Dad who sewed!!

Fodder

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #75 on: November 04, 2014, 12:59:26 PM »
This was an awesome thread.  OP - your creations are amazing.  It doesn't matter how expensive a badly-fitted shirt is.....it looks frumpy and dumpy.  Your altered version, and your own creation look AMAZING on you.  And I love the accent fabric at the cuffs.

This makes me want to alter some of my husband's shirts.  He has more of a standard build (6', 195 lbs), but even then, so many shirts are loose and billowy and just don't look good.  There are some stores that have more fitted versions (Mexx and Express come to mind), but he has a few shirts hanging in the closet that I know would benefit from some light alteration.

I need to think long and hard about the rotary cutter and mat.  I'd love to have one....I may ask around in our local Buy Nothing group to see if anyone has one they no longer need.  I really REALLY hate cutting things out with scissors.

falcondisruptor

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #76 on: November 04, 2014, 04:27:01 PM »
Wow!  I have a sewing machine, but I've only used it for very basic things.  I get frustrated when I see the cost of cloth versus completed clothes.  I do hope to learn to alter my clothes though because I can't seem to find things that fit the way they're supposed to.

skyrefuge

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #77 on: November 04, 2014, 10:08:59 PM »
Wow, I had no idea this thread was still going! And it's among the 50 most-viewed threads in this subforum! If I'm ever feeling down I'll have to come  back here to read a bunch of people saying how awesome I am. So thanks! :-)

I'll get to some more responses soon, but at the moment, an update:
  • Partly due to my new wardrobe making more attractive to the opposite sex, I did in fact find a girlfriend right around the time I originally posted this. Switching from being a solitary guy to being half of a couple has changed my schedule quite a bit and limited the time available to create more clothing for myself. The last thing I finished for myself was this Pendleton wool shirt, shortly after I started this thread almost two years ago. :-(  Doubly sad because this is easily the awesomest shirt I've ever worn, and triply sad because I've had another piece of Pendleton fabric waiting to be turned into a shirt for almost a year.
  • But then I realize that I've continued to make a lot of use of my sewing abilities, some in much more practical, Mustachian pursuits than custom-clothing-from-scratch (and some decidedly less-practical!)
    • Made a curtain to cover a friend's laundry closet when she got front-loading machines that meant the doors could no longer close.
    • Hemmed a curtain from Ikea to separate the rooms in my girlfriend's apartment.
    • Cut and re-hemmed 3 pairs of her jeans to match the current style.
    • Turned a bubble skirt into a non-bubble skirt.
    • Repaired holes/rips in two pairs of her jeans that had gotten too big.
    • Repaired a split in her couch's upholstery.
    • Repaired her biking gloves that were splitting at the seams.
    • Made color-matched rain covers for her bike panniers:
    • Turned a purple dress from Express into a Daphne costume, complete with matching headband and scarf (and my ascot too!) Not exactly practical, but it did nearly pay for itself via the gift certificate we won in the costume contest. :-)
    • Dipped my first toe into clothes-from-scratch for women by making her a full Rennaissance Faire outfit:

    So while my personal wardrobe hasn't grown much, my skill-set has continued to expand, and I now know a whole bunch of stuff about sewing that I didn't know about two years ago. And that probably makes me even more happy than having more clothes for myself.

    But thanks to all your encouraging feedback, I'm now going to try my best to make time to at least kick out that other Pendleton shirt!

Worsted Skeins

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2014, 04:34:09 AM »
Fabulous update skyrefuge!  You continue to inspire.

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #79 on: November 05, 2014, 07:26:56 AM »
Fabulous update skyrefuge!  You continue to inspire.

+1. You should start a blog. Even if infrequently updated, a place to post your creations would be cool.
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2ndTimer

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #80 on: November 05, 2014, 08:28:01 AM »
You are totally cool and totally mustachian. 

Fodder

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #81 on: November 05, 2014, 09:15:16 AM »
Your stuff is so awesome!!!!!!

I love your updates - your girlfriend is lucky to have you! :)

Freckles

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #82 on: November 05, 2014, 11:01:16 AM »
I agree with Fodder, your girlfriend totally lucked out with you!  Also, she makes a good redhead.  :)

1967mama

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #83 on: November 05, 2014, 01:51:18 PM »
Thanks for the update and photos! The Rennaissance Faire outfit is FANTASTIC!

I agree with the above poster -- I'd love to see your creations on a blog from time to time.

MandalayVA

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #84 on: November 05, 2014, 02:28:09 PM »
That is super-impressive.  You could definitely turn your skills into a lucrative side hustle.  The Renaissance costume is lovely!

Dicey

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #85 on: November 06, 2014, 03:21:46 PM »
I'm even later to the party, but I'm jumping in anyway as the water looks fine, indeed.

Skyrefuge, this thread is a complete sham. It is not about sewing at all! This is a personal ad, plain as day...

And baby, I hope it works for you! You deserve to find an awesome mustachian partner. Congratulations on your resourcefulness. If I wasn't so damn happily married and a lot older, I'd be beating a PM path to your door. Good luck to you! I can't wait to hear the next chapter of your story.

Edit: Somehow it escaped me that there was a page two. Don't know how I missed this thread the first time around. Glad to see your social life has taken a turn for the better. Congratulations to you both. You look like you know how to have fun together! You have a nice writing style, so I hope you'll keep posting. BTW, the cool thing about sewing is the same as riding a bike. Once you've mastered the skill, you won't lose it.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 07:59:13 PM by Diane C »

fireferrets

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #86 on: November 06, 2014, 05:06:20 PM »
skyrefuge you are super cool.

My bf is of Asian decent, so he's got a slimmer frame than most and doesn't fit any American clothing. Either we have to buy him clothing from alibaba (aka straight from China) or look in the boys section of stores (which he considers humiliating). After reading your thread I am very motivated to see if I can start making him clothing for his future needs. :D

lpep

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #87 on: November 06, 2014, 05:19:12 PM »
Holy crap! This is inspiring. I've been thinking about re-learning how to sew, since as a 6'0" woman... finding clothes that fit right is tough.

How long did it take you to go from zero to tailor-level?

NataliaDuma

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #88 on: September 12, 2015, 12:51:07 AM »
It looks really good. Learning the skill of sewing can really help you a lot financially for learning the skill doesn't only let you save on the cost of having the sewing job done by somene else but it can also be a source of income as well.

Being able to mend your own clothes and custom fit it to your size and built is really special.

Pigeon

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #89 on: September 12, 2015, 09:32:17 AM »
Wow! The new creations are awesome. And you guys are adorable together.

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #90 on: September 12, 2015, 10:26:22 AM »
Well done.

Female here, but need to modify button-up shirts for similar reasons or make from scratch. Most shirts fit me terribly off-the-rack as 'broad shoulders' is usually assumed to mean broad in other places that I am not (!). Will admit to occasionally starting with men's shirts sometimes and then modifying (buttons end up on the other side, but who cares! :)  )

Sounds like you like sewing for similar reasons to me- it appeals to my analytical/mathematical side.
Same reason knitting does too-- customising knitting (where you actually make something fit properly) is all about the numbers.

You may not need to make a lot of clothes for yourself either, if you're making them well by hand. They'll last !

wordnerd

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #91 on: September 12, 2015, 12:37:18 PM »
Awesome! I don't know that I'll ever be that good--my attention to detail is lacking--but you've inspired me to check out some books on sewing and learn the basics. At the very least I should be able to make some stuff for my baby-on-the-way. I doubt he'll mind if my early work isn't perfect.

Nickels Dimes Quarters

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #92 on: September 12, 2015, 02:42:43 PM »
Wow. You have talent!

GuitarStv

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #93 on: December 30, 2015, 05:47:20 PM »
BADASS!climate change

I will have to look into this.  Clothing seems tailored for fat people these days.

huh? maybe at wal-mart. but not in real stores. clothing is designed to fit specific people called 'fit models' who are basically people with perfectly proportioned figures. if your body proportions don't match the proportions the clothes are designed for, then shit is not going to fit you whether you're fat or skinny or whatever.

This is true.  I know a fit model.  Her body looks nothing like mine.  When I met her and learned of her job, I realized why clothes never fit me.

YMMV.  I regularly cycle and have been religiously lifting weights for several years now . . . so have broad shoulders, a tiny waist, and large thighs/ass.  My experience is that most shirts are cut tight in the shoulders and arms/baggy in the waist.  Pants that are big enough to fit my thighs into are gigantic in the waist.

Basenji

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #94 on: February 26, 2016, 03:26:42 PM »
Bumping because awesome and I gotta expand my repertoire beyond throw pillow covers and draperies.

RetiredAt63

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #95 on: March 01, 2016, 07:55:49 AM »
Don't knock that!  I have some second hand formal pleated drapes and valance that I will have to modify to fit my living room window.  They are not going to be easy, I am so tempted to take them and the measurements to a seamstress, but I do sew and should be able to do this myself.

First I have to paint the living room.  They are part of my staging plan for the house as I get ready for my move.

Bumping because awesome and I gotta expand my repertoire beyond throw pillow covers and draperies.

maco

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #96 on: March 02, 2016, 01:16:01 PM »
Another "new technology" thing I'm happy to have sprung for is a rotary cutter (and self-healing mat) to cut out fabric pieces. It must have been way more annoying (and less-accurate) in the old days to cut things out with scissors.

I am horrendous with wheely cutters. I tried cutting my curtains (straight lines! Using a straight edge!) with one, and I'd just veer off at random. I haven't been brave enough to try one on clothing, where I actually need to be precise and can't go "know what? I'll just make the curtains an inch narrower. Nobody'll notice."

I trace my pattern pieces onto the fabric with chalk, then I cut them out using my hefty Gingher sewing shears.

I purchased the Craftsy class on making dress shirts last year, but I haven't had the guts (or bandwidth!) to do it yet. I did learn that my hate for sewing machines would probably be significantly reduced if I had more presser feet for my machine. I'm not precise enough for edge stitching / top stitching with a machine, so all my "it has to look good" sewing is done by hand. I'm attaching a photo of me in my wedding dress. The sleeves are hand sewn because I didn't want visible serger stitching and similar showing through them with them being sheer. The rest is done on the machine except that I did the chest by hand because getting a concave and a convex curve to match up on a sewing machine while sewing silk charmeuse? No. Utter failure.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 01:23:10 PM by maco »

PARedbeard

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #97 on: March 04, 2016, 08:33:04 AM »
I can't believe I have never seen this thread before! This is something I have to get into, but I have zero sewing experience. Anyone have a good place to find resources for a newbie?

maco

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #98 on: March 04, 2016, 09:15:39 AM »
I can't believe I have never seen this thread before! This is something I have to get into, but I have zero sewing experience. Anyone have a good place to find resources for a newbie?
You can get sewing machines on Craigslist or similar and books from the library. It might be worth it to pay for a beginner sewing class at your local JoAnn Fabrics or similar, though, so you have someone who can diagnose issues quickly as you're just getting started. My sister in law keeps a copy of Sewing For Dummies around (despite having been a professional costumer!) to diagnose sewing machine issues and "hmm where's that wrinkle coming from?" issues.

I have liked the classes I've bought on the Craftsy platform. They're video classes. You can bookmark important parts in the video and make notes, and you can ask the teacher questions. If you sign up and make a wishlist of classes, they'll eventually notify you "hey, classes in your wishlist are now on discount!" too.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 09:17:16 AM by maco »

Parizade

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Re: My secret and successful journey to making my own clothes
« Reply #99 on: March 04, 2016, 10:13:57 AM »
Great thread!

One of my favorite online sewing resources is http://sewing.patternreview.com/

Sewers from all over the world post reviews of patterns they have tried, with photos of the resulting clothing. This alone would be incredibly valuable to me

They also provide online classes, challenges, contests, and sewing machine reviews and a forum where you can ask any question that wasn't answered elsewhere.

I have never paid for membership, though I may  someday. What they offer is certainly worth it.