Author Topic: DIY clothes (sewing)  (Read 12817 times)

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12887
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2017, 12:30:20 PM »
My wife always laughs at me for my needle and dental floss "man sewing".

I find myself tailoring a lot of clothing to fit better rather than sewing clothes from scratch.  This gives you many more options when rummaging through the local thrift shops or discount bins.  Just flip it inside out, pin it, sew, and cut off the excess material.  You would never know it had been altered afterwards.

It's great for sports clothes if you're an odd size too . . .  All of my cycling shirts have been taken in by me since I've got a bigger upper body than most cyclists and don't like flapping material around my waist.  I've done a cycling jacket too to get the trunk and sleeves just right.

Evgenia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Location: California
    • Evgenia Got FI
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2017, 02:33:21 PM »
I knit and sew a lot, for myself and others. I also love what's called "visible mending" and genuinely enjoy darning socks. I am mostly motivated by fit and fabric quality, and longevity of wear. The majority of fabric used in cheap, fast fashion type garments today is absolutely crap, and made of toxic, polluting synthetics. 

I've noticed that, in H&M garments for example, the fabric often comes apart before the well constructed seams do, e.g. the garment construction isn't worth the fabric it's made of. Suffice it to say, this does not jive with my Mustachian ethos, and I am not going to spend hours upon hours of my time fitting and sewing something made of poor quality fabric, no matter how much I enjoy the process.

I have found much of my high quality, vintage fabric at flea markets and on Etsy. The fabric made in this country decades ago is a DREAM. I've also gotten some on Freecycle, just by asking. And, I splurge on fabric made of fibers grown in the U.S., i.e. that are 100% U.S. throughout the supply chain, because I like that.

Karen Templar, a slow fashion blogger, recently had an interesting post on the costs and payoff of handmade clothing you might enjoy:
https://fringeassociation.com/2017/10/23/the-cost-and-payoff-of-handmade/

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4124
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #52 on: November 06, 2017, 12:35:26 PM »
...
I've noticed that, in H&M garments for example, the fabric often comes apart before the well constructed seams do, e.g. the garment construction isn't worth the fabric it's made of. Suffice it to say, this does not jive with my Mustachian ethos, and I am not going to spend hours upon hours of my time fitting and sewing something made of poor quality fabric, no matter how much I enjoy the process.
...

Yes! I have an H&M dress that my mom bought for herself but then decided would look better on me. The seams are fine but the fabric is pilling all to hell. I might disassemble it so I can trace the pieces and re-create with better quality fabric.

TheWifeHalf

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2017, 09:09:04 PM »
If a Joann's Fabrics is local, they often have patterns for 1.99.
There are places online that sell fabric for as little as 1.99/yard. 
If you made 4 tops from a pattern, 1 yard each, that makes them $2.50 each.

I have a Husqvarna machine that I bought in the 80's.  If anyone is just starting sewing, a machine is going to be the biggest expense. I have found machines identical to mine on Ebay for less that $100 and have bought a few because
1. I figured that there were parts in this machine that can't be found anymore and I wanted parts available when I need them- thing is, all the machines work!
2. Why did I buy so many? I had a traumatic brain injury 10 years ago and one of the effects is that I have a really hard time learning new things, my short term memory is awful.  I'm not sure I could run a new machine without a lesson every time I sewed. I remember my old machine, plus, it's an old all metal machine, a real work horse.

I've been sewing since I was 9 (59 now) and amazed that my sewing abilities survived the accident.(long term memory is as good as it was before)

Imma

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1598
  • Location: Europe
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #54 on: November 09, 2017, 01:56:44 AM »
Those old metal machines will last a lifetime. I have an 1980 Bernina, my mum bought it when she married. Those machines are indestructible and they sew through multiple layers of thick fabric without any problems. In fact, friends with modern cheap machines will sometimes ask to use it to sew fabrics their own machine can't sew through. I think you're better of buying a good brand 1980s machine and have it serviced than buying a cheap plastic new machine from a big box store.

I don't buy up old machine, my sewing machine maintenance guy does that for me ;-) . He's a real lover of machines, he's in his 50s now and he grew up in his parents' sewing machine repair shop. He knows every machine inside out and he has a workshop full of salvaged old parts.

Cali Nonya

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 514
  • Location: California
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #55 on: November 09, 2017, 10:09:29 AM »
+1 on the donated fabric.

Sewing seems to be a thing that is loosing traction, so if you openly identify as someone who sews, I am surprised at the amounts of fabric that get handed off for free (in my case mainly from aging distant relatives).

I seldom make real clothes anymore but I get lots of request from family for house projects that need a specific fit (curtains, cushions, covers).  And very random things like shopping bags or dog coats.  And in my previous city what I made was lots of little draw-string bags for mystery-grab bags sold at the county fair.

Evgenia

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Location: California
    • Evgenia Got FI
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #56 on: November 10, 2017, 09:27:53 AM »
Yes! I have an H&M dress that my mom bought for herself but then decided would look better on me. The seams are fine but the fabric is pilling all to hell. I might disassemble it so I can trace the pieces and re-create with better quality fabric.

That is a great idea. You'd have reusable pattern pieces for as many versions as you'd want. I like it!

Imma, I loved your post on old machines. I have my deceased MIL's 1967 Kenmore and, with a simple fix of the dial for different settings, is a dream. I couldn't bear NOT to take it. Yes, I have two sewing machines, not very Mustachian, BUT it has turned out to be quite handy. I can loan a machine to a friend who isn't sure about buying yet; it's easy for friends to come over and have a sew-along; and when making something like jeans (or anything else with top stitching), I thread one machine with the seam color thread and the other with the top stitching thread color, and just bop between the two of them.

Linea_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4684
  • Location: Norway
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2017, 01:49:45 PM »
DH is sewing himself a nice vest/jacket. He owns two commercial ones and drew the pattern from one of them to make a new from a piece of cloth that we got from his mother. It just fitted, using a different cloth on the inside of a pocket.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 02:02:18 AM by Linda_Norway »

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #58 on: November 30, 2017, 01:25:33 PM »
I'll begin by saying that I don't personally enjoy sewing as a hobby -- if you do enjoy it, that's a whole different kettle of fish. 

I agree with those who say that sewing for the home is absolutely worthwhile!  Drapes and bedspreads are SO EXPENSIVE!  Fabric to make these things isn't cheap either, but you're really talking about straight lines everywhere.  A pillow would be a great starting project. 

Hemming and mending is totally worthwhile! 

But making whole outfits -- the value is questionable.  By the time you buy a pattern, fabric, all the notions, you've spent as much as a finished item.  And unlike a finished item, you can't try it on before you commit to owning it.  I don't know about you, but I OFTEN find that I don't like something once I've tried it on. 

frompa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 407
  • Location: Pennsylvania
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2017, 07:49:37 AM »
I see the "sew or not to sew" question as more complicated than whether figuring whether making items out of new fabric makes economic sense.  One more thing that a few people mentioned in passing, is this: Going to second hand shops and finding an item that has some use, I can tell how well the fabric is going to last, and whether I like it after its "new clothes" sheen has worn off.  I then take the item and use my sewing skills to custom fit whatever it is.  Doing this, I have made some really fine skirts, jackets, shirts, etc. that fit and my curves perfectly. For example, last year I made a heavy olive green denim jacket out of very big men-XXL size shirt. I cut off the sleeves and reduced them considerably; removed the sleeve cuffs, shortened the sleeves to fit and put on cuffs with a soft flannel I liked; took in the side seams by about 8 inches; and put darts up the back and front, so that the jacket fits my curves.  I love this, it's one of a kind, it was dirt cheap ($2!) and I wear it all the time.  And it was great fun to work on. 

Linea_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4684
  • Location: Norway
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #60 on: December 12, 2017, 01:50:46 AM »
@frompa: Yes, buying new materials is expensive. The best strategy is to buy some in advance when you see a good bargain in a shop. The danger is that you'll become a hoarder with a closet full of materials that you may ever start using.

DH is sewing me a nice indoor jacket made from a hand printed cloth that he found in his mother's sewing room. MIL must have bought it on a discount in the past. I specified that I didn't need a zipper. He only used some vlieseline (Not sure what the correct English word is, fleece line?) and thread that we already had.

He also sewed an indoor jacket for himself from another piece of cloth that came from MIL. It was a very short piece of cloth, it was probably therefore cheap for her to buy. He just had enough to make the jacket with a little improvisation.

kei te pai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 247
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2017, 02:20:56 AM »
I sewed most of my clothes as a teenager, stopped for many years, then started again in the last decade. Most of my fabric stash is accumulated from op shops (thrift stores). I love making clothes, even when they dont turn out quite as I imagined. Its like relaxed concentration, if that makes sense.
There are heaps of young indie pattern makers on line, and the sewing blog community is great for inspiration. I have just bought a pattern from a Melbourne fabric store as a download, and got it printed by a local copy shop/printer, for less than the cost of a traditional paper pattern.
I think sewing is a good mix of creative, problem solving and hands on technical skill. The economics go beyond whether you could just buy something for less. Everything you make adds to your skill. You also learn how to assess quality fabric and construction in ready made clothes.

hoping2retire35

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: UPCOUNTRY CAROLINA
  • just want to see where this appears
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2017, 06:37:34 AM »
My husband typically sews outdoor clothes in goretex and packlite, or hiking trousers with lots of attributes. Those things usually cost a small fortune in the shop and are not always designed in the way you want them. He buys the material in a German shop, Extreme Textile, that sells these garments in typically one colour for a good price. The things that he sews would probably cost 2-3 times as much as bought from a store and he makes them exactly the way he wants them.

Do you have any recommendations on how to sew with waterproof materials. If this is seriously viable option for waterproof homemade clothing...i am just not sure what to do with myself. I guess I will be getting out the sewing machine!

On another note, I think I have the same upper body problem as skyrefuge. General question for everyone, do you typically just take a shirt you own and tailor it or do you really need to use new/unused material?

Linea_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4684
  • Location: Norway
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2017, 07:00:26 AM »
My husband typically sews outdoor clothes in goretex and paclite, or hiking trousers with lots of attributes. Those things usually cost a small fortune in the shop and are not always designed in the way you want them. He buys the material in a German shop, Extreme Textile, that sells these garments in typically one colour for a good price. The things that he sews would probably cost 2-3 times as much as bought from a store and he makes them exactly the way he wants them.

Do you have any recommendations on how to sew with waterproof materials. If this is seriously viable option for waterproof homemade clothing...i am just not sure what to do with myself. I guess I will be getting out the sewing machine!

Yes, I have a recommendation. Instead of using needles, use painter's tape to stick the fabric together. You can sew right through the tape and then tear off the tape. I mean this kind of tape:
http://shop.meilink.eu/Tesa-Tapes/TESA-schildersplakband--chamois-/artikel.785

DH buys his materials at https://www.extremtextil.de/, where they sell these fabrics for a good price. They often only have one or two colours, so you'll need to accept what they have.

DH thinks it is easy material to work with. The only thing is that you have one chance to do it right. After that there are holes in the fabric. You'll need to tape the seams. This is done with an iron. Tex-materials seem easier to work with then traditional waterproof fabrics that are stretchy.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 07:54:16 AM by Linda_Norway »

frooglepoodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1356
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2017, 07:38:43 AM »
I sewed most of my clothes as a teenager, stopped for many years, then started again in the last decade. Most of my fabric stash is accumulated from op shops (thrift stores). I love making clothes, even when they dont turn out quite as I imagined. Its like relaxed concentration, if that makes sense.
There are heaps of young indie pattern makers on line, and the sewing blog community is great for inspiration. I have just bought a pattern from a Melbourne fabric store as a download, and got it printed by a local copy shop/printer, for less than the cost of a traditional paper pattern.
I think sewing is a good mix of creative, problem solving and hands on technical skill. The economics go beyond whether you could just buy something for less. Everything you make adds to your skill. You also learn how to assess quality fabric and construction in ready made clothes.

It's interesting to me that you found indie patterns less expensive than traditional paper patterns. I use them sometimes, but the major fabric store chain here runs sales every few months where paper patterns are between $1.99 and $3.99 depending on the brand.

I recently made my own bridesmaid dress for my best friend's wedding. She had simply asked the bridesmaids to find a long dress in a style they liked that matched one of the fabric swatches she sent us. I made a very simple floor-length dress in a lovely, soft bamboo jersey for about the price of a clearance department store dress.

kei te pai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 247
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #65 on: December 12, 2017, 05:13:33 PM »
Paper patterns are all imported from the US or Europe now, and the price in the our only local shop now selling them is generally over $20 NZ. I collect them from op shops, but sometimes pattern pieces are missing. I can mail order for a little less cost, but that doesnt really help when the urge to sew strikes suddenly!
I also find many of them a bit uninspiring in style.
I find Pattern Review is a great site for seeing patterns made up in real life.

Chesleygirl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 639
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #66 on: December 12, 2017, 05:35:35 PM »
It's definitely not cheaper to sew clothing anymore but that's largely due to the proliferation of mass-produced clothing from overseas sweatshops. My mom sewed in the 1970s and it saved money. Not anymore. A pattern and cloth can cost more than to buy a similar finished item at the store. Although it might be made better and be better quality. A lot of clothing from Ross, TJ Maxx, etc is such poor quality. Not made to last. Buttons falling off, hems not sewn in, I've even seen threads unraveling on the new clothing at these stores.

Linea_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4684
  • Location: Norway
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #67 on: December 13, 2017, 12:31:29 AM »
We just ordered a stretch of completely windproof, but highly breathable fabric, some zippers and some extra stuff. All from extremtextil.de. I chose the English version of the site, but the site still showed a lot of German text. Luckily I can understand most of it.

This will replace my old Windstopper skiing jacket that is worn through. We will draw a pattern from the old jacket.

Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Location: Canada
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #68 on: February 08, 2019, 08:12:18 AM »
I've been sewing a lot more basics for the kids and I'm trying to make my own wardrobe this year. 2nd hand clothes are still cheaper (and less effort) when I can find them, but there are not a lot of options for 4-7 year old boys. They are tough on their knees!

My biggest score this year was a charity fabric sale where all the fabric was $1/m. I bought way too much ($50 worth) and I'm still working my way through. My goal  this year is sew most of it up, have plans for what I don't and then donate back what I'm not using or was not the quality I really wanted.


kei te pai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 247
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #69 on: February 08, 2019, 05:09:12 PM »
Ive started downloading patterns from some of the great indie pattern makers . I get them printed at the local print shop, and that way can have multiple sizing of the same pattern on good quality paper. Mostly there are well illustrated instructions online.
once you find a good pattern, its fun to make several different versions, knowing they fit and you like the style.
I find sewing is a meditative practice, with just enough challenge to keep me engaged.
Not so much about money as process and outcome.

Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Location: Canada
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #70 on: February 11, 2019, 07:57:59 AM »
@kei te pai what are your favourites? I absolutely love Jalie. They helped me like sewing as everything I made previously to sewing with them turned out huge. Their patterns actually fit.

chaskavitch

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 627
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #71 on: February 11, 2019, 08:44:39 AM »
Ooh, now that this thread has been revived - what are the most important things you look for in a sewing machine?  Favorite features, reliable brands, etc.?

I have an older one (can't remember the make/model right now) that was given to me secondhand probably 10 years ago.  Even though I've gotten it serviced, the tension is always a little weird, it doesn't do well sewing through any sort of thick fabric no matter what needles I use, it jams up often, etc.  I don't LOVE sewing, even though I enjoy making things for people or mending clothes for myself, so when issues come up that are machine-related, I get frustrated quickly and tend to leave things half-done.  I'm sure a lot of it is lack of knowledge on my part, but I'm having trouble remedying that.

My husband INSISTS that I buy something for myself (not allowed to be $ applied to my Roth IRA) with money from his bonus this year, so I figured a new or new-to-me sewing machine might be good.   Possibly I should take a class or two at a local vac and sew store as well, to give myself a better basis for my self-taught sewing skills.

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #72 on: February 11, 2019, 10:20:22 AM »
I want to start making and repairing my own clothes. My mom used to make handmade clothes for me when I was little and my grandmother was a seamstress, but until now I've only been able to do small easy fixes. Got a sewing machine as a trade for a few plants and now I need to learn how to set it up and start making and altering things. If I save money, cool, but I mostly want to be able to make stuff fit me better and lessen my environmental impact, so I think I'll try to alter stuff from thrift stores or find good trades for fabric and make nice stuff that will last a long time.

kei te pai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 247
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #73 on: February 11, 2019, 12:23:42 PM »
Maya- I am currently keen on Papercut patterns (Palisade pants, such great pockets!), and Tessuti patterns. They are a Australian fabric store who also do some patterns of their own, and a great blog too. The Tamiko pants have been my summer uniform. I am eyeing up Marilla Walker  but havent sewn anything from there yet.
By Hand London has a free top pattern (the Polly top) which is a summer favourite.
Frankly the world of internet sewing blogs and patterns is almost as bad as MMM forum for soaking up time.

chaskavitch - When it comes to sewing machines, I have a basic model Janome which is just fine for most things. More important for me is the amazing guy I bought it from. Old style sewing machine shop, he is a great trouble shooter, and repairman, Im just terrified he will retire!

PoutineLover - the internet is a great resource, try looking up "refashionista". I think sewing is a creative, mediative exercise. 3D sudoko! A well running machine makes all the difference though. Have fun

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #74 on: February 11, 2019, 12:53:43 PM »
Thanks for the recommendation! I can't wait to get started

Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Location: Canada
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #75 on: February 12, 2019, 07:30:47 PM »
Oh man I hear you on the time suck if sewing blogs. Spend way too much time admiring other people's work and not enough making my own.

halftimer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 121
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #76 on: February 13, 2019, 09:07:32 AM »
Happy this thread is revived!  I do some sewing from scratch, but often find the patterns and material very expensive and yes I have finished projects spending many hours and $$ and then not liked how it looked on me only to give it away.  Mostly I like to work with thrifted textiles and refashions - the button plackets are done, sometimes you can keep the hems or other seams intact and it can be a big or little job. And some projects go through multiple incarnations over time (change length first, add darts after a few wears, change neckline, and so on). Now I'm definitely saving money as I combine not buying too much new or thrifted, and keeping my family's items going with visible mending, invisible fixes, and full overhauls as needed.  A button up shirt had a worn out collar - flip the collar! Later, remove the collar for mandarin style (added darts and changed sleeves at that point too), later the shirt might become a patch for something else.

@kei te pai @PoutineLover I second the Refashionista reference - also Coolirpa for easy/quick fixes and slightly bigger projects.  For more elaborate projects with very polished results by a variety of people see the series the last few years on Makery.co.uk and the related hashtags
  #therefashioners2018  inspired by various designers & influences (the last year they plan to host it)
  #therefashioners2017 refashioned suits
  #therefashioners2016 refashioned denim
  #therefashioners2015 from button up shirts/blouses

Imma

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1598
  • Location: Europe
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #77 on: February 14, 2019, 01:46:12 PM »
I have worked on my pattern drawing skills for the last couple of months and just went through my stash today and found some pieces of cotton to make a few nice summer blouses and dresses. I think most of them were gifted. I haven't bought any buttons or thread in years and don't expect to need to buy them for these projects. I also found a 1/2 yard of novelty print flannel and I think I'm going to use that to make my friend's kid a pair of PJ pants and sorted through an old pile of worn out jeans. I cut off the legs for a quilting project I'm working on and cut off the back pockets for another project and recycled the remainder.

NVDee

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #78 on: February 17, 2019, 10:48:16 PM »
As a lifetime sewer (over 30+ years) I can say that sewing has saved me money over my lifetime.

Last spring I made a lovely denim/leather jacket that easily would be 100s of dollars. I used leather that was stripped off my 25yo beige couch, re-dyed the leather and voila a new amazing jacket.

For those new to sewing I highly recommend Burda Online, they often have free patterns as well as free sew-alongs that include the pattern,videos and wonderful instructions.  I heart their gal Meg for all her pattern videos.

Another often missed fabric store is Ikea, their fabrics are a great price especially since the width is usually 150cm.

My biggest challenge has been finding fabrics.  Very few shops in my area left, and many focused on quilting/cottons.

Regarding machines, I have three, the original one I learned on (purchased from my mum back in the 80's) which mum had bought the year before I was born.  I was given a free serger, and I just bought a modern machine from Canadian tire as I wanted a machine with a free arm. In total I've spent $250 on machines, none have needed servicing that I wasn't able to tend to myself.



Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Location: Canada
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #79 on: March 03, 2019, 07:44:11 PM »
Sewed up some swimsuits for our recent trip. Pictures on my blog. Nice to use up the fabric I bought for it.


https://www.ourfinest.ca/2019/03/capsule-wardrobe-swim-suit-edition.html?m=1

Malkynn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 489
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #80 on: March 04, 2019, 05:03:45 AM »
I've found that the cheapest and simplest way to use my sewing skills is to buy used clothes and then customize them.

This way it's infinitely less work as I don't need to construct collars, button holes, cuffs, etc. And when shopping, I don't need to care if it fits. I just look for nice details, and fabrics and then change the shape of the garment as I see fit.

It's a fraction of the time/energy/cost of sewing from fabric, and it makes thrift shopping much simpler because nothing needs to be tried on.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4124
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #81 on: March 04, 2019, 04:18:20 PM »
I've found that the cheapest and simplest way to use my sewing skills is to buy used clothes and then customize them.

This way it's infinitely less work as I don't need to construct collars, button holes, cuffs, etc. And when shopping, I don't need to care if it fits. I just look for nice details, and fabrics and then change the shape of the garment as I see fit.

It's a fraction of the time/energy/cost of sewing from fabric, and it makes thrift shopping much simpler because nothing needs to be tried on.

I think it's harder to learn, though. Any tips for getting started?

Malkynn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 489
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #82 on: March 04, 2019, 04:28:20 PM »
I've found that the cheapest and simplest way to use my sewing skills is to buy used clothes and then customize them.

This way it's infinitely less work as I don't need to construct collars, button holes, cuffs, etc. And when shopping, I don't need to care if it fits. I just look for nice details, and fabrics and then change the shape of the garment as I see fit.

It's a fraction of the time/energy/cost of sewing from fabric, and it makes thrift shopping much simpler because nothing needs to be tried on.

I think it's harder to learn, though. Any tips for getting started?

Destroy about $50 worth of $2-5 items until you get the hang of it, lol.

I just played with my sewing machine and serger until it started making sense to me. I wear mostly stretch jersey fabrics, so the tailoring demands are less complicated.

Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Location: Canada
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #83 on: April 07, 2019, 08:37:02 AM »
oups added my reply to the wrong thread. copying it over to the current one. sorry about the double post:

ODS needed an extra set of summer pjs so I made him a T-shirt and a pair of matching underwear briefs. After I made them I realized I had enough fabric left for 2 more pairs and as an added bonus he could likely do with some more underwear as he's been growing lately. Now to convince him to wear the underwear durning the day and that it's not just pjs LOL. 

Some pics are on my blog: https://www.ourfinest.ca/2019/04/fabric-harvesting-summer-pjs.html

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1555
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #84 on: April 09, 2019, 06:11:45 AM »
I've sewn clothing on and off for... forever. LOL

Now that I'm retired I find that it interests me again. I'm amazed at how much nice fabric I've found at the thrift store, plus old sheets so that I can cut muslins.

I'm having a good time with this - I can see it being my winter replacement for gardening!

skp

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: oh
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #85 on: April 09, 2019, 07:21:38 AM »
I have sewn off and on for years.  I agree that it  doesn't  "pay" financially to sew for most things. But it does make them more special. And I treat it more as a (useful) hobby. It only pays if you enjoy doing it.   I try to pick projects that are reasonably cost effective.   I have made both my mother of the groom dresses.  I think I came out financially even/ ahead plus I had the satisfaction of wearing something I was personally invested in. The first one was a long skirt with suit jacket made out of linen I got at Joann fabric.  It cost about $50 total to make.  For the second I made an empire waist halter top style gown out of a Italian cotton/silk $30 a yard fabric I bought on line.  Boy was I nervous to cut into that!!.  That dress due to the expensive fabric was more like $125 to make.  I know I could not have bought similar dresses for that price.  I probably could have bought the dresses at a second hand store cheaper but they wouldn't have been mine.  I think my linen suit turned out better. 
Right now I am quilting a baby play mat out of scraps.  I wanted my grandbaby to have something specially homemade by grandma.  My husband is going to make the baby gym out of scrap wood.
Total cost (I had to buy a few things)- $10. 
I always pick easy patterns- I check out the reviews of the patterns on Pattern review web site and see how the finished product looks on real people.  I would like to learn how to alter the patterns to fit me better.  I would like to learn how to make jeans.  When I grew up there were sewing lessons everywhere-  I learned at Sears.  I can't find anyone to teach me locally.

Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Location: Canada
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #86 on: April 10, 2019, 05:15:48 PM »
I  recently did the jalie Eléonore jeans (they are pull on) super easy and super comfortable. I was lucky that they fit right out of the envelope with no adjustments. That was a rare and exciting moment. I likely linked to them upthread. If not they can be found on my blog Linked in my signature. Great way to dip your toes in making jeans.

I've mostly learnt now from online ressources. I've also heard good things about the ginger jeans from
Closet case patterns and their jean course.

GreenToTheCore

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 80
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #87 on: April 11, 2019, 03:04:30 PM »
Alrighty mighty mustachians, here's a question:

Husband used bleach to get a stain out of my off-white cotton-woven dress, and it worked. The stain is gone!
But now the whole dress is white-white, I'd like it to be it's original off-white. Anyone have any experience with using tea as a dye? Any suggestions on a different solution?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 03:07:00 PM by GreenToTheCore »

sparkytheop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 753
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #88 on: April 11, 2019, 10:02:45 PM »
Alrighty mighty mustachians, here's a question:

Husband used bleach to get a stain out of my off-white cotton-woven dress, and it worked. The stain is gone!
But now the whole dress is white-white, I'd like it to be it's original off-white. Anyone have any experience with using tea as a dye? Any suggestions on a different solution?

I've seen both tea and coffee used as dyes, but the results aren't always even throughout the fabric.  You might look into RIT dyes (found at many craft and fabric places), since they are specifically made for dying fabric.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6083
  • Location: BC
Re: DIY clothes (sewing)
« Reply #89 on: April 11, 2019, 10:05:31 PM »
I have use tea on a whilte dress.  It worked.   Depends on the fiber content, and I would try to test an area first.  You can start very weak, and repeat to get the colour desired.   I can't remember if I did a final vinegar soak or not, but I usually do when I try to stop dye transfer for other things.