Tag Archives: sewing

Challenge: Learn to sew and make something wearable

Hello!

Okay, it’s Thursday… those of you who read my previous post will know I should have posted this on Monday, but hey, no one’s perfect!

I’ve made a list of 25 challenges, and here’s the first one I’ve managed to do:

Learn to sew, and make something wearable! Drum roll please……

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Ta dah! (excuse dodgy photo – was having a bad face day, but just wanted to prove that it is in fact wearable.)

In half term, I descended upon my mum, demanded sewing lessons and said “right! I’m gonna make a top today, a skirt tomorrow, and a dress on saturday!” Three days later, I realised I’d been a little ambitious and spent around 15 hours making just the one the dress in the end. Ho ho ho.

I learnt quite a few new things. Having my mum there (aka sewing guru) was a massive help when things started going a bit dodgy, or if I reached a point where I didn’t understand what I was doing.

Weirdly, I also found myself being a lot more careful and patient under her watchful eye. When I sew alone, it usually goes wrong because I get frustrated, go really fast and wreck everything!

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Above is our sewing station. My mum was also making a dress, which she did in quadruple speed compared to me. I’ve got a lot of practise to do!

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Here’s the moment when Mishka came to help 🙂

And here’s the end result:

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I’m quite chuffed with my dress, and I wore it to the lovely Polly’s christening, which made it extra special.

Things I’ve learnt whilst making my first dress:

  1. It takes a LOT longer than I’d expected
  2. But it’s a lot quicker than knitting a jumper
  3. Sometimes you need to take a breather and go outside to stop yourself destroying your garment.
  4. You need to use an iron a lot in sewing (eye roll)
  5. Bias binding is a pain in the arse.

Onto the next challenge!

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Tackle nagging tasks

Having recently read Gretchen Rubin’s “Happiness Project” one of the parts of the book that really stuck with me was to ‘tackle a nagging task.’

I know what you’re thinking – I’m entering a blogpost for the most boring thing ever awards. You may be right!

There were a few things that were bugging me that I needed to tackle:

  • Get the windows cleaned (I could barely see out of the house for the filth and it annoyed me every time I looked out of the window. I could have kissed the cleaner when he left.
  • Ditto with my car. Filthy and irritated me every time I looked at it. Felt so much better once I’d cleaned it.
  • Wardrobes full of clothes that I never wear that need flogging on Ebay to boost my travel funds.

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(Can you see my wardrobe assistant? He’s very beautiful!)

I emptied my wardrobe and only put back clothes that I actually like and wear. In doing so, I stumbled across this:

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An amazing vintage Mexican hand embroidered dress that I got from Ebay years ago. I wore it once and when paying in my local Sainsbury’s the cashier asked me “where are you from?” I replied “erm… the North-West, why?” to which he responded “Oh, no reason I just thought you were wearing some kind of national dress.”

😮

Anyway. To summarise, this dress is a very weird length, almost like a kaftan and I’d been meaning to shorten it for years. Also the sleeves are poofy, which has the undesirable effect of making me look like an over-grown infant.

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(These kind of sleeves really aren’t a good look on an almost six foot tall woman.)

So I brushed the dust off my sewing machine, snipped the bottom off, gave it a hem, pulled out the sleeve elastic and sewed up a hole in the armpit region and ta daaahh.

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Should have done this years ago! Above knee length is much better, much less weird and national dressy. Also I sorted the sleeves:

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I’m delighted to have made a weird dress wearable, added to my travel wardrobe and ticked off a nagging task off my to-do list all in one.

Interestingly though, if you have more than five items on your to-do list it can be overwhelming and less satisfying than not having one in the first place. You can’t win can you?!

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