“Oh, that looks as if it could be store-bought!” Most home sewers beam when they hear an admirer gush those words about one of their home sewn creations. Though such a remark may offend the doyennes of traditional couture dressmaking most beginning sewers are thrilled when one of our homemade garments is mistaken for ready-to-wear. We admire ready-to-wear style and want to make clothes modeled on what we see in stores and in fashion magazines. That one little phrase is a marker that the beginner is now a true seamstress, someone who knows her stuff. It means that finally conquered is that plague of home sewing, the dorky homemade look.
The dorky homemade look is hard to pin down but “you know it when you see it.” Possibly the color or print was fashionable several years ago. The cut of the shoulder, collar or hemline subtly do not resemble today’s look. Sloppy hand sewing is used instead of sturdy machine stitching. Or the fit is vaguely “off.” Such home-sewn horrors have given the craft a bad name.
Most people tell themselves it is “cheaper to buy” than end up with something you won’t wear.
Most often they are right. Still that hasn’t ebbed my desire to sew. I love perusing pattern catalogs, taking fabric and matching it to a design, and then simply watching the seams feeding through my machine. No matter how long I sew I am still amazed that I made two pieces of fabric adhere to one another. And when my garment is recognizable as the item displayed on the pattern envelope – I am elated. Who thought you could do this at home!?
I have struggled over time to take my garment sewing from barely recognizable as such to the sometime creation of pieces that could be mistaken for store-bought. I don’t always get it right. I’ve cussed out my machine more than once and I have felt the sting of a project that was so much less than I dreamed. Largely self-taught, I have endured my share of pitfalls and been led wayward by instructions or patterns that give so much less than promised.
Sometimes what I sew is “the bomb”
and sometimes it is “a bomb.”
As I sew along experiencing both success and defeat I have often wished for a place to “get real” about what works in sewing and what doesn’t. This blog is my sewing journal of what is and isn’t working for me as I pursue my dream of defeating the dorky homemade look for good and successfully stitching clothes so cool they could be mistaken for store-bought.