Guest blog: RTW vs ME MADE

Hi everyone, Sew Confident regular Laura here!

I’ve heard and read many reasons why people make their own clothes but rarely is the reason ‘to save money and protect the environment’ because we all know making our own clothes quite often costs more money. I can only speak for myself on the environment side of the debate and say that I am happy making some of my own clothes contributes to protecting the environment but that’s all I will say on the matter as the debate over fast fashion and slow fashion is another blog entirely. 

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For now I want to share my thoughts on ready to wear and me made items of clothing.  Looking through other sewists #makenine2019 goals and their resewloutions for 2019 I saw a lot of people wanting to eliminate their wardrobe of all ready to wear clothing and others wanting to buy nothing ready to wear in 2019.  It made me feel guilt for enjoying my ready to wear (RTW) clothes, like I wasn’t dedicated enough to making my own clothes.  I enjoy fashion and mixing my wardrobe with both me made items and ready to wear items, I mostly own ready to wear items as my sewing journey has just began.  Completely eliminating fashion retailers would deny me my inspiration.

Some of my much loved clothing is ready to wear, my wedding dress for one.  Although I have seen some beautiful me made wedding dresses by some very talented sewers and I wish I could have had more of a hand in my own but it does not dull how much I adore my wedding dress.  I still have the outfit I was wearing the night I met my husband.  I have a coat my gran bought me on one of our many shopping trips, she is no longer fit enough to come shopping with me and I treasure that item of clothing. 

Some items of clothing I have wanted to make have not come to pass, last year I wanted to make a dress to wear to wear to a friend’s wedding but due to being pregnant I decided to go down the route of ready to wear instead. 

The me made section of my wardrobe makes me very proud and I love to show it off but I am equally proud of my ready to wear section, I am trying to grow my me made wardrobe and make more conscious buys in relation to clothing.  I am also trying to use up my stash rather than spend money on more fabric.  Finding the time to make these clothes is proving difficult at the moment with a new baby, however, slowly but surely I am doing bit by bit nap by nap. 

Personally I prefer my wardrobe to be a mix of me made and ready to wear and I always try to remember that dressmaking is a hobby not a way of life (for me).  I think eliminating your ready to wear wardrobe would be difficult if not impossible for most and I don’t completely agree with the reasons why.  I’d be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on their ready to wear vs me made wardrobe over on the Sew Confident ‘sewcial’ fb group. If you haven’t already joined, you can do so here whether you are a SC customer or now!

Love Laura


WANT TO LEARN HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN SLOW-FASHION, ME MADE ITEMS? check out our up coming classes  here .

WANT TO LEARN HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN SLOW-FASHION, ME MADE ITEMS? check out our up coming classes here.

Capsule Wardrobe: Bottoms up!

Straight leg, boot cut, cropped, ankle grazers…. the list goes on when it comes to various styles of trousers making it a more popular choice than ever when it comes to being a staple piece in the modern ladies wardrobe. Despite their increasing popularity over the years, trousers weren’t considered ‘acceptable’ women’s attire until the 1970s and even then, in some places it was illegal for women to wear trousers! These days, trousers are worn by women for all occasions without any masculine connotations . One of the woman we can also thank for this is, Coco Chanel - The first woman who dared to wear a pair of pants in her daily life.

Ash Jeans Pattern Set

Ash Jeans Pattern Set

JEANS

“History of Jeans and Denim. Jeans are pants made from denim or dungaree cloth. They were invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873 and a worn still but in a different context. Jeans are named after the city of Genoa in Italy, a place where cotton corduroy, called either jean or jeane, was manufactured.”

Now many sew-ers seem to have a fear when it comes to wanting to tackle making their own jeans but we think they are the most satisfying make! Here are some patterns, both from Megan Nielsen Patterns , which cover different styles in each pack! :

Dawn Jeans (4 in 1)

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Ash Jeans (4 in 1)

VINTAGE

Not only does this 1940s vintage pattern by Simplicity come with the patterns for amazing loose fitting pants & the great overalls…it also comes with a sweet blouse and blouse with hood pattern.

FITTED

I could go on for ages about various trouser patterns I love, I will quickly mention the Tyyni Cigarette trouser pattern by NAMED. I personally think these would be the perfect capsule wardrobe make. These trousers are so flattering that they would look great for both work or day-to-day !

Capsule Wardrobe: A 'short' history of skirts

The skirt: a garment so distinctly feminine that in the 1800s, the word itself was slang for woman. This particular item of clothing comes with a lot of history too. The skirt is said to be the second-oldest garment known to mankind, with loin cloths winning the award for the oldest.

Today, a skirt's design is all about personal style. But not long ago, long skirts were the only way to go. For hundreds of years, a long skirt was the very definition of luxury, mainly because fabric was so expensive.

Here are some of my favourite classic styles and patterns to create your own!

THE PENCIL SKIRT

Here at SC HQ are totally loving the Pulmu High-waisted Pencil Skirt by NAMED. Whether you love wearing a pencil skirt to work or dressing it up for a night out at the weekend - we think this particular pattern would work well whatever the occasion!

THE MINI SKIRT

THE DENIM SKIRT

Available to create in various lengths, the Leonora denim style skirt by SEAMWORK would make a gorgeous wardrobe stable! This particular pattern features all of the usual denim garment constructions, including flat felled seams, a classic back yoke, belt loops, and jean hardware. Perfect for those looking to maybe advanced there garment making knowledge.

THE MAXI SKIRT

Depending how confident you are when it comes to sewing and drafting patterns, it is easy enough to draw out and make your own maxi skirt pattern! If not, you will often find them included as part of a set in many of the ‘old school’ patterns such as this one by NEW LOOK. It also includes patterns for a tank top, tee shirt, pull on pants and maxi dress with side slits which could also be makes for your ‘me-made’ capsule wardrobe!


Want to have a go at making a skirt or another item of clothing but unsure where to start? Why not book on to one of our pattern classes at either our GLASGOW or DUNDEE studios to get a helping hand from one of our amazing tutors!

PS. As always, remember to tag @sewconfident in any photos of your creations AND use the hashtag #scCapsuleWardrobe as at the end of April we will be picking one lucky winner to win a fantastic mystery prize!

Capsule Wardrobe: The Top (Free pattern included!)

After covering all things coats and jackets in the last capsule wardrobe blog post, it is time to move on to one of the essentials: Tops. Whether its’s shirts, vest tops, blouses, bralets or off the shoulder - you can’t leave the house without one. (Well you could, but it isn’t exactly seen as socially acceptable).

In my opinion a top can make or break and outfit…I’d even go as far to say it is the most seen item of clothing you will wear, if you think about it. Sitting at a desk/restaurant or in photos, it is normally the next thing people will notice after your face.

That is why when planning your ‘me-made’ capsule wardrobe it is important to not only pick something versatile but something that will also show off your style at a glance.

In this quick blog post I am going to tell you about one of the tops I am going to create, and which some of you might already have made; the hemlock tee! This is the beauty that we cover in our overlocker class and it is just a great dress-up or dress-down item. The pattern is by Grainline Studio and best of all, it is FREE! You can download it for yourself >> here <<

What I love about this pattern (along with the fact is is free), is that by simply changing the fabric you make it in, it almost looks like a totally different design! So don’t be scared to experiment with various weights of jersey or bold/fun prints. You can also mess around with the size/length of this top making it go from off the shoulder crop top to front knot tied cami !

Wanting to try one for yourself but unsure about where to start when it comes to stretch fabrics or the overlocker? Just give us a shout!

Sew Confident Founder Jenny modelling some of her lovely hemlock tee makes!

Taking part in this months capsule wardrobe theme? Remember to tag us @sewconfident and use the hashtag #SCcapsulewardrobe to win some prizes and be shared on our social media pages and mailing list. Not yet on our mailing list? Sign up here to be the first to hear about all things Sew Confident and receive some mailing list only deals.