Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hey, I made clothes (sort of)

I'll stop rubbing it in that I spent two glorious weeks on this beach soon.

IMG_5140

But first I am going to *reluctantly* show you my attempt to make an article of clothing for myself. You see, I fall into the category of Competent Sewist of Stuff; Amateur Sewist of Clothes. I dallied in a few sun dresses when I was a teenager, but have never tried again to make myself something that I would actually wear in public. I think it's because I just figured you have to be skinny and tall to home-make decent clothing. I never see anyone modeling 'real-sized' women clothes on their blogs, or on the popular group blogs like Sew Mama Sew, for instance. My set of measurements seemed so wacky and didn't correspond to any on the pattern, so I cut out the size 14 and prayed it would fit over my head. It did. It fits across the chest (the darts appear to have worked out), but then falls in a shapeless tent from the boobs down, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, with that disclosure, here we have my linen beach sack.

Linen beach cover up
please note that weird crease on the left arm hole must have been bad pressing b/c I didn't even notice it until I looked at the photos - it's not a sewn pleat!

No one in my family said a word when I showed it to them. Nor when I wore it at the beach. Even though they knew I'd made it. So, uhmmm, I guess it was that bad. It is totally shapeless, and probably not the best pattern decision for my body. A straighter cut with an empire waist would be better.

BUT, I am thrilled with the groovy applique!

Raw Edge Applique by Poppyprint
The silk-screened flower applique was a gift from Amy. The pink flowers are pieces of my own poppy-printed fabric.

I used Steam a Seam Lite to stick the printed flower shapes to bias cut hunks of linen, then trimmed them, leaving about 1/4" of linen outside the flowers. I sewed with white thread through all three layers, attaching the appliques to the dress (no Steam a seam between the dress and appliques - I figured doubling up that stuff would make the appliques too stiff).

And the topstitching looks pretty, I think:

IMG_5321

I can see that having a serger would make clothes sewing more tidy. This was perfect as a beach cover up, but it is not going on any public city outings.

It's unlikely I'll be cutting any fabric for more clothes. I bought the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern over a year ago, and some AMH voile to go with it, but the thought of sewing it up only to find out it looks terrible on me would be heartbreaking. Dude, where did my waist go?

29 comments:

Amy said...

Wait, you didn't show a picture of you wearing it! I can't comment accurately without seeing it on! I do love the applique. I always find sewing for myself a touch depressing too...perhaps it is more our middle aged bodies than the clothes?

Kelly said...

I think your waist and mine took off for parts unknown! I'm with you on the cloths sewing. I want so badly for things to turn out, but I just don't have talent with clothing!

carol said...

Good attempt, but I'll admit, not one of your best ventures. Sewing for people isn't easy. Now you know why I made kids clothes for 30 years instead of stuff for myself! Quilting is a whole lot easier!

Rachel said...

I'm neither tall nor skinny, but I've made some pretty decent clothes for myself (and posted them on my blog). So, don't despair - it is possible to make real clothes for real women!

Katie B. said...

I'm with you--sewing clothes is hard! And the fabric is such an investment. This looks cute! Hard to tell with it on a hanger.

Patti said...

What!!! We are supposed to have a waist? Since when?

♥Duff said...

i think it's darling! It does exactly what it's supposed to do--go over a swimsuit. By definition alone, it can't be form fitting! I see what I have termed "a good eating top" which means I would wear it out for a meal so my stomach could expand an no one would be the wiser!!

paulette said...

I have given up trying to sew for myself...nothing looks good! I do sew pants for my middle daughter only because she is seven feet tall and normal pants look like capris! OK she's ONLY 6'4" but they still look like capris! :o)
I think your cover-up is very cute and love the applique!!
P

badlandsquilts said...

I love the contrasting topstitching! Way better than my first attempt eons ago.

If you are nervous about cutting into fabric you love, you can make a muslin first to check and adjust fit. (or pick a different pattern if it's bad)

Marie said...

I think it's beautiful! You did a great job. You should definitely use the voile and try the other pattern. I think the more you practice making clothes the better you'll be. It's neat to find patterns that you really like then you can use all kinds of fabrics.
I love the linen, the pink top stitching and those flowers are so cute!!!!

anniem said...

I too got the schoolhouse tunic and the AMH voile to make one. But I too am afraid I will HATE it on me. I know I could make a muslin but that would be way too much work. | feel for ya' sister.

Kaelin said...

i LOVE it! i wish i had the guts to attempt clothing...i'd make a dress just like this if i did :)

Kristie said...

I feel your pain! I have some patterns set aside for me, but hesitate to cut up good fabric for it...my kids can make homemade clothes look good, but me? Not so much! Can't verify how yours looks on the bod, but on the hanger, I think it is adorable! Love the fabric, the applique and the topstitching.

Nina Lise Moen said...

Well, it looks very pretty in the hanger, Krista, and evrything is beautiful and properly done, so you have just made a garment that does not suit your body type. It's not your skills, it's just a bad pattern for you - and there are gazillions of different patterns out there. How many times don't we try on beautiful garments at the store and they look like ill fitting crap on us.
I wore selfmade pants for many many years, even to a wedding, using my worn out favourite pants as a pattern. My ex husband still uses the shorts I made for him more than 20 years go; I wish I still fitted into mine...

Flying Blind... said...

I think it looks very pretty; I am usually carrying so many bags, blankets and kids bits down to the beach no-one would notice my missing waistline!

Kerry said...

The details are lovely, esp the top stitching! It looks floaty to me and I like that. I think the empire line in the school house tunic will give your the shaping you need under the bust and I would make a one armed practice one to check the shape- I have made a few things that look great off the hanger but don't look good on me and it kills me every time, at least with a practice, although a pain to do, you can see if it is worth pursuing or looking for a different shape.

WandaFish said...

Linen, applique, cute topstitching - ticks all the boxes! I really like it, but only you know how it feels to wear (seeing as you didn't post a modelled shot!)
I'm another one with an unused Schoolhouse Tunic pattern and AMH voile!! Maybe after I've got toned up at the gym.......

Lynne (Lily's Quilts) said...

Well let me just say that you can wear that when you come and visit me and I'll wear the dress I made once where I attached the arms to the neckhole

Quilthaze said...

I love the fabric, topstitching and applique. I think you should definitely try another pattern if you're not happy with the style. It is worth taking the time to make a muslin because once you have it fitted you can make it up in several different fabrics. I like Erica B's blog for inspiration - and real bodies! http://www.ericabunker.com/

Kimberly said...

What a lovely linen beach sack! It's far more impressive than anything that I could ever make to wear!

Krista said...

I think it looks great! The topstitching is totally fun, and what a great use for Amy's flower applique. Where is that linen from? I love it.

I'm a terrible clothing maker. I think it's really, really hard to do the neck and arm holes correctly. And then I get peeved about wasting so much fabric on something that will never get worn. I also think that the easy sewing patterns work best on women with very small chests. I think once you've got a good set of boobs, there is so much shaping needed to make things look decent.

Trish said...

You'll like the schoolhouse tunic - it's cute with a pair of leggings. Anything you make is adorable!

sew katie did said...

It looks super cute. I made the Amy Butler skirt apron with the same fabric.

PinkGranny said...

Good looking beachwear...it could be the beginning of another hobby!

I am with Amy though, a picture of you wearing it would be fitting, so to speak.
Thanks for sharing.

Sana Saroti said...

Well, I like it on the hanger. Cute blossoms! I recently just made my first real piece of clothing (about 15 years ago I made something for my 1 year old sister): a linen shirt for my husband. He has no clue, it's on its way over to the states now and I couldn't say a word about it on my blog yet. I am so nervous cause I had to sew it "blindly". Can't wait to see him trying it on!!!! Now I wanna sew a skirt for myself. You should not give up and try to find the right pattern for yourself!

dearmrsreese said...

This post inspired a small rant in the middle of my recent blog post.
http://dearmrsreese.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/goodbye-summer-ill-miss-you-with-a-rant-in-the-middle-about-being-skinny/

Holly said...

I feel your clothes sewing pain. I really like to know how my clothes are going to look on my most-certainly-not-a-size-2 body before I invest time and effort (and fabric!) into making. I lust after the school house tunic pattern...I think that it would suit a curvy body. I'll keep checking back to see if you are the pioneer who tests out the pattern and shares your wisdom with the rest of us!

Berene said...

I told you you can use my serger any time. It could do with the exercise! :-D

PatchworkPottery said...

I think it's super cute! Any crafty person would have commented!!!
PS How did you get the numbers on your comments?