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My First Ever…

I came across the first garment I ever sewed while I was home in Florida. It was no apron and it was definitely no pencil skirt. The first thing I sewed was a fully lined and strapless dress that had a bubble hem, boning, and a bow and was made with peach taffeta (talk about overachiever). When I found it burried in a box, I held it up and laughed. This thing was and still is hideous! So tacky, so eighties, so Betsey Johnson, so never to be worn again. Did I think I was going to prom?

When I look back on things I have made, most of the time, I have mixed feelings towards each piece. Some were successes and some were failures but all have stories and memories attached to them that I remember and reminisce on months and years later. For this particular dress, I remember my dad being so excited about it and promising to take me to dinner when I finished. When that day came – when I finished the dress – my dad and I did indeed celebrate with dinner but I didn’t have the guts to wear the dress.

Do you have the first garment you sewed? If so, what is it? Does it have an interesting story attached to it. Whatever it is, I would love to hear about it.

33 Comments

  1. Reply

    Sherry

    I’m sure it was adorable in it’s time! I don’t remember the first thing I made, but I made a strapless boned dress for my school ball too, mine was in emerald taffeta. The boning cut through the lining and scratched me in six evenly spaced places around my waist!

    • Reply

      maddie

      Sounds so amazing and horrible at the same time!

  2. Reply

    Paul

    You were verty proud of that dress
    But not as much as I was and am.
    We tranformed my office into your sewing studio
    And I watched your trials and tribulations daily
    It was
    And
    Remains a great first dress; the Original Madalynne.
    Love you

    • Reply

      maddie

      I forgot that we transformed the front room into my sewing room. Great memories. It was when I first got my Juki machine (which I built myself thank you very much). Love you too Brain, love you too.

  3. Reply

    theperfectnose

    heheheh chop it into something else – you’ll end up using it more. XD.

    • Reply

      maddie

      The fabric is great. It has a lovely color and a great moire texture. Maybe I’ll cut it up and use the fabric for another, and better project.

  4. Reply

    Marty

    When I grow up, I want to be you. 🙂

    • Reply

      maddie

      You are too too sweet 🙂

  5. Reply

    sallie

    Hehe! Thats such a sweet memory – and such a nice story about your Dad. My first thing ever sewn was just a few years ago – so I remember quite clearly! It was a vintage wiggle dress that I made with a mint green cotton. I had never even turned on a sewing machine before and all the seams were so wiggly and goofy! And oh my god the invisible zipper…I didn’t know anything about fitting and instead of the dress looking like a sexy wiggle dress, it looked like a vintage nurse’s uniform! I think I banished it to the goodwill (where they probably trashed it) when we moved…. so much for sentimentality!!

    • Reply

      maddie

      Oh I wish you at least had a picture of it. We could have had some good laughs!

  6. Reply

    blytheponytailparades

    Woah, I LOVE IT! The bow at the top is the best part 🙂 Your dad sounds like a sweetheart!

    • Reply

      maddie

      He truly is. He is and always has been my biggest fan.

  7. Reply

    Ginger

    I can’t BELIEVE that’s the first thing you ever made! You’re amazing! I love that color, and I feel like girls are totally wearing things like that out on Friday nights!

    Hmm, the first thing I ever sewed was an elastic-waisted, knee-length chambray skirt. I was 9 and was sewing it for 4-H for the county fair. It was basically the most awful project ever… I hated sewing it, cried buckets while my mom helped me finish it, hated wearing it (we had to model our skirts! On a runway! At an Aladdin-themed “fashion show” complete with escorts, some poor sad older brothers who would walk us out. Oh, and did I mention those boys were wearing HAMMER PANTS?!).

    The funny part is that a year ago when I decided to start sewing again, I went straight to the chambray and sewed a boxy tunic. I had no idea that it was going to look like the uniform at a women’s prison! Whoops.

    • Reply

      maddie

      That is so funny that the first thing you ever sewed you hated sewing! I wish someone would have recorded you walking down the runway. That would have made my Thursday.

  8. Reply

    Claudia

    I think the first thing I sewed for myself was an apron. And true, it was completely hideous! Luckily it was big enough, though, that I could fix it several years later. For some reason I was obsessed with trying to keep these teeny tiny seam allowances, so my fabric would end up pulling out over time. Since then I’ve learned that big(ger) seam allowances are a good thing! 🙂

    • Reply

      maddie

      Isn’t it funny how we think we figure out a trick (I.e. small seam allowances) but in the end, they turn out to only be not so great tricks.

  9. Reply

    Amy

    What a great “first” story. I am so impressed! You must have been very driven. Your dad sounds like a sweetheart.

  10. Reply

    Amy

    What an awesome concoction! I think the first thing I sewed was a doll. That’s what you did in home ec class! But my mom sewed so she started showing me at home; I think with her I made a dress as my first garment. I so wish I would’ve kept that stuff!

  11. Reply

    Qui

    I was in a sewing class in middle school when I made my first garment–they were boxer shorts with an elastic waist (or lengthen for pajama bottoms). I honestly don’t remember what the first pair looked like, but I used that pattern to make many pairs of pajama bottoms. I also remember making my mom a dress at some point, and she was kind enough to wear it out in public, hehe. I just remember that it was lavender, and I used a brighter purple fabric for the facings (what was I thinking?!)

  12. Reply

    Kasey M.

    Learning to sew is on my bucket list! I’m a big time crocheter and you’re first project is completely inspiring.

    Does everyone end up hating their first project? That seems to be the trend in these comments, and that seems so sad.

  13. Reply

    T

    I can’t really pinpoint a first thing I sewed. There were the doll clothes when I was a kid—I still have a bunch of them, they don’t impress me nearly as much as they did when I was nine. 🙂 There are some costume pieces I made in high school that I still have, I guess those would be the first garments I made. I remember my first time using a pattern, a 70s peasant blouse. It didn’t occur to me to lengthen the sleeves, so they were annoyingly short. I don’t think I have that any more, but it might be kicking around in the kids’ dressup or something. The first “regular clothes” I made myself was a blouse, but that was only two years ago—I still have it and wear it from time to time. The jeans that were the second piece of regular clothes I made myself are starting to wear out, though…

    • Reply

      maddie

      It’s great that you started out sewing at such a young age. I only started when I was eighteen. And I’m super impressed that your second garment was a pair of jeans. I have yet to sew jeans, I always end up making dresses, as you can see.

      • Reply

        Tanit-Isis

        Well, the stuff I made when I was 18 was definitely not as intricate as your dress!

        Technically jeans are not hard to sew (certainly not harder than a fancy dress)—the trick is the fitting, which I was pretty lucky on, and just getting your machine to handle the heavy fabric. Oh, and actually *wanting* to sew them. 🙂

        • Reply

          maddie

          I guess you’re right. Because they are simply pants that fit really tight, they should be easy to sew. I heard there was a course on Crafsy about sewing jeans as well. I might have to take a peek at the course.

  14. Reply

    Miss Crayola Creepy

    My first project was a pillow for my cats. They still use it and get grumpy when it is being washed, so I know better than to get rid of it 🙂

    • Reply

      maddie

      Now that’s an adorable story…

  15. Reply

    Stephanie

    Ohhhh my goodness! I am so impressed. That dress is amazing.

    For years I sewed really awful things using quilting cotton. I don’t think I knew any better until I started reading sewing blogs. In fact, I’m just now creating things that I’ll wear out of the house. It’s been a long, drawn out process.

  16. Reply

    Antoinette

    I sewed a couple of amazing garments that didn’t fit! Because I didn’t know a thing about fitting when I first started sewing. I did find my senior prom dress, made for me by a local sewist, years before I learned to sew. My parents gave me the dress some 15 years or so later, and I absolutely cut it up and updated it into a cocktail dress, which I wore to a party with other sewing people who could appreciate the before and after! BTW I think your peach dress is cute! 😉

    • Reply

      maddie

      I like that you redid the first thing that you made, to update it. So so cool!

  17. Reply

    Jeanie

    Creating a clothing label is quite different from starting a clothing line. The two are not interchangeable, but a clothing line needs a clothing label to go to market.

  18. Reply

    Julius Villafranca

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  19. Reply

    Sophia Sews

    Wow!  You’re pretty brave to attempt this dress as your first!  I made a simple circle skirt with… wait for it…… quilting cotton *shutter*.  I wore it quite a bit actually, but after about a year or so my style started changing (because of sewing) and it just wasn’t something I liked anymore.  Oddly, I don’t usually have too much of an emotional attachment to getting rid of things I make.. maybe it’s because I take pictures of everything and try to save fabric scraps when I remember.

  20. Reply

    Anto

    Wow. Yes, overachiever indeed. I can’t recall what my first garment was because I started really young (probably 10-11 -ish) sewing your typical Barbie clothes and such. But around 12-13 I started try out human clothes and I remember sewing some bermuda shorts, which I haven’t seen in years. That might be one of my first real garments.

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