Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dressmaking and Tailoring

I used to make some of my own clothes.  I learned to sew when I was young girl.  My freshman year in high school, I made a prom dress.  I wasn't old enough to have a date and go to the prom, but I was on the refreshment committee and would be required to wear a dress that night.

I still sew from time to time but here in the UK, fabric shops are very rare now.  Making things isn't nearly as fun as it used to be.  Cloth costs more and is harder to come by.  It is less expensive to buy a cheap top at the supermarket than to buy the materials and notions needed to run it up myself.   How does that make sense?

I have recently completed two baby quilts for my lovely grandsons.  It has reignited the satisfaction I get from sewing.
I still look at garment construction when I shop.  How close together are the stitches?  Are the buttons going to stay on?  Hems secure?  My current annoyance is with jeans for women that are made of the flimsiest material.  Jeans made of denim coloured dress material will not stand up to working outside.  Why can't we have jeans made of good old heavyweight denim?

I know how to lay out a pattern and make simple garments, but I want to add to my skill base.  I would like to be able to alter the pattern to fit my odd shape.  I want to be able to make a pair of trousers.  Wool trousers that are fully lined would be nice. 

Some of the finest wool fabrics in Europe are woven right here in my part of the country.  Couture houses have their materials made near by.  I can buy the ends of rolls and factory seconds from the mills that produce cloth for design houses like Dior and Chanel.

I'm going to see about enrolling this week.  More on that as we go along.


Anonymous said...

Peggy - go for it! I made more clothes for my own kids than I have for my grandkids so far, but I had more fun doing that than I did sewing for myself. An embroidered christening gown and a flower girl dress for the oldest's wedding were the best ones. Now my creaky old back makes standing over patterns pinned to cloth on my dining room table something I have to give up, but I'm standing with you in spirit!
Cousin Susan

Peggy said...

Thanks Susan! I really loved making my new nightgown. I like the fact that I can make things to fit ME. Nightgowns that reach the floor and have pockets. Shirts that will have perfect sleeve length. One shoulder higher than the other? I will be able to adjust things so that my clothes fit! I wish we lived closer, I could cut the patterns out for you.

Sasseymills said...

Close to where I work is an area called Petticoat Lane which is the old garment district. There are oodles of fabric shops but these days tend to focus on the ethnic fabrics. There is one shop I walked past on Friday that all the bright/bold colours/patterns of the African nations. Wouldn't they be gorgeous done up in a child's quilt (I LUVS COLOUR!).