Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Do you sew basics?

So I haven't been sewing much [read at all] recently, and am spending my free time finishing up my project and revising for my exams [boo hiss].

Side note:  my stepdad couldn't fix the laptop, apparently there was a motherboard connection problem.  But he did rescue my hard drive and has lent me his old laptop so I can finish my project, yay stepdad!!!

I am stepping it up with sorting out my sewing room (update post to come soon).  And I still want to keep my blogging going even if i have no crafty projects to show you, so I thought I'd ask you lovely readers a question or two. 

I've been thinking a lot about the fact that I keep wanting to sew "feature" items, you know pretty dresses and fancy clothes for special occasions, but not really practical for everyday wear.  Five days a week I have to wear smart clothes for work, and that's an area where I should be sewing clothes for but I  don't really want to spend my time making things to wear at work.  I want to make fun things!

Also I should be sewing things like basic tops and maybe a simple tunic dress or two, but again they don't exactly inspire me.  But if I'm ever going to get over the "fear" of wearing things I've made I do need to make something I can wear on a regular basis!

So what about you, do you sew good basic staple items, or mainly fun pretty things from fabrics and patterns that really grab your eye?  Or maybe you're a bit of both? 

What inspires you to sew, practical need or desire for beautiful clothes?

Here's a few of my basic items I always wear:

The Denim skirt
I have a short(ish) denim skirt and it is my fallback item, along with a pair of leggings or tights.  Can be worn with pumps, heels or boots so is good to dress up or down. 

Would I ever sew one?  Well I am considering making a Beignet skirt and denim is a fabric I'm thinking of using for it (that or corduroy).  Plus Lucy made a great skirt refashioned from old jeans so it's certainly possible.

The Black Cardigan
I love my black cardigan, it's a work staple and is the thing I grab on a sunny day "just in case" it gets cold.  It goes with anything and is soft and comfy.

Would I sew one?  Well it'd have to be made from a knit, so at this stage probably not.  I want to customise more of my existing knitwear though, as lets face is it black is a bit boring isn't it?

The baggy jeans
Jeans that are well worn and easy wearing.  Comfy and relaxed, good for "fat days" and slouching around on weekends.

Would I sew them?  No way would I attempt jeans at the moment!  Maybe way way into the future (but don't hold your breath).

Plain vests and T-shirts
Dull dull dull, but again they are a good basic top to just "throw on". 

Would I sew it?  If I had an overlocker I bet you could whip these up in minutes, and could probably customise them very easily too.  But until I can afford an (and justify the purchase of) overlocker it's another thing I have to buy.

So those are my basics.  Pretty dull huh?  But who wants to sew dull things when you can sew pretty things like these:


  1. Hi Law,
    I'd go where your energy is, definitely. Make the things that excite you. Later on you can think about what else you actually need. It's only now that I'm looking at my gaps (& yes, they tend to be wardrobe staples in plain colours to go with all of the lovely prints that I've been excited by)Look forward to seeing how you get on!!

  2. Hmmm, interesting question! Just this evening, while folding my washing (living the dream as i do!) i was pondering just how tricky it would be to sew pyjamas, as the bottoms always seem to be too short for my long legs.

    I am hoping that my crescent skirt will be something that i can wear to work, or to play. If it turns out well i might make another in a plian fabric, which i suppose would probably count as a basic. Not sure i would ever attempt T-shirts, but blouses maybe.

    So in answer to your question, i think i'm inspired by the desire for well fitting (ish!) and beutiful clothes...but if i can make them useful too then that is a bonus :)

  3. My basics are pretty much the same as yours. I practically live in the £1.99 strappy vest tops from New Look! lol It's because they're stretchy so they fit ok-ish on my chest. Whereas if I want to sew a top for myself I have to do an FBA and other adjustments, because I haven't dared try a stretchy fabric yet! lol
    I prefer sewing pretty dresses, and also skirts to go with all my vest tops! :)
    Ashley x

  4. Great post! Sounds to me like you need to attempt that beignet skirt ;-) It'll slot right in to your basics theme, it'll be super pretty, and I'm sure that'll boost your confidence in wearing your own handiwork!

  5. Hmm interesting thoughts guys! Thanks for the feedback. I think a follow up post is neeeded!

  6. the difficulty with basics is that we tend to wear the same 3 things all the time, and there is little point trying to recreate an item you already have (unless its falling apart!. Try thinking about what makes you like the basics you have an then make something that fits those criteria but is slightly more jolly. If you like your denim skirt because its easy to wear, sturdy and goes with everything, try making a simple skirt in a different colour in thick cotton or coloured denim. Whilst I do tend to make pretty things, several of the things I now consider basics were things I made. Often very easily. Also try and make things that seem "pretty" to you, but which are in simpler fabrics or patterns so you can wear them everyday.

    I dont bother making vests and stuff though. buying them is cheaper than the material, and I'm rubbish with knits.

  7. A serger isn't essential for making t-shirt basics - if your machine has a stretch stitch function t-shirts and tanks are still pretty quick to sew up. Maybe not as quick as with a serger but still pretty quick.

    I've made a couple of tank tops and a t-shirt using my sewing machine and the outcome was great. the tank took an hour start to finish, including tracing the pattern from a tank that I own. the t-shirt took an evening. And i love wearing them, and plan to make more in the future. Particularly since the shop that i buy most of my basic tops from has stopped supplying the kind that i like.


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