I’m not much for resolutions because, in general, I’m not great about committing to things. However, one resolve I did make this year is to create one article of clothing per month.
I’ve tried to make my clothing for the past 10 years, but the skills necessary have managed to evade me. There was that skirt I sewed by hand in college using an old pair of jeans and some tapestry fabric that I’d just used to cover a chair. There was no zipper. There were only hand-made hook and eye closures I made from some wire I found under my bed. I wore this contraption out to my 21st birthday — to the fancy martini bar my friends took me — and am surprised I wasn’t asked to leave only to return when I could meet the dress code.
When I lived in Virginia and was trying to fill my non-table-waiting hours with creative pursuits, there was that t-shirt I “designed” without understanding zig zag stitches or the concept of stretching. That remarkable looking rectangle didn’t even make it over my head.
Now that I’ve taken the time to learn a few of the basic rules of sewing, I realize it’s possible to make things that I can wear in public and not be too ashamed of. Obviously, I’m still getting there, but below is my January project.
It’s a t-shirt I made from a 2XL men’s shirt. I wanted to make a dress out of it originally, but unfortunately I bend at the waist often which made the hemline wildly inappropriate.
Instead I used the t-shirt template from Sew U Home Stretch and took in the sides, lengthened the hemline, and widened the neck. Normally I’m not one for glitz and ruffles, but lately I’ve been a magpie and have been gravitating to shiny things. I’m easing myself into frill with this number, trying to figure out the appropriate balance between fluffiness and Claire.
Below is a close up of the fabric gathers at the bottom, which I created on the machine using black elastic. Each is topped with a tiny cluster of beads salvaged from a box of crafty things my friend left me before she headed off to Ireland (thanks, Maryann!).
I also added a bit of beading to the shoulders as a sort of feminine epaulets mostly to practice stitching in a straight line.
Overall, I like it. It’s got that awkward shirt length going, and the gathers place all the focus on the hips, which I know any fashion magazine would tell a girl not to do. But it is comfortable and the sleeves… Oh my. The sleeves are sewn on properly. And, for that reason, I’m going to celebrate this one as a victory.