Do you have a blog, maybe numerous blogs, bookmarked on your computer that you visit very very regularly? Despite all the other blogs bookmarked, your mouse somehow scrolls to this particular blog and clicks on it? A year ago, this blog for me was A Cup of Jo. I say this with all nicety but it wasn’t even a good blog. Joanna, the writer behind A Cup Of Jo, wrote nothing profound or earth shattering but what she wrote was personal. I didn’t read her words, I listened to them as if she was speaking them to me over a cup of coffee or tea. Now, that blog for me, although for different reasons is A Good Wardrobe. Lizz, the lovely lady behind A Good Wardrobe, was the first blogger to ask me to guest post. “Me?” I thought when I read her email. She wanted ME to write on HER blog? I’m nobody special; I’m a simple lady who has an unusual liking for sewing and pattern making. Needless to say, I accepted her offer to guest post and had so much fun writing a tutorial on slashing and opening. It was such a hit that it was featured on Craftsy’s website. To show how lovely a lady she is, Lizz wrote a thank you email a couple of days after my post was published just to thank me. This is why time and again, even today, I continue to read and follow her and her blog.
So today, I introduce Lizz of A Good Wardrobe as she give tips on how to create and sew garments you will actual wear. After reading her tips, be sure to check out her and her blog. Just like the last two guest posters, I know you will love her as much as I.
There’s something magical about a hand sewn wardrobe! For the past year, I’ve been on a quest to sew a wearable wardrobe and have learned quite a lot along the way. While there’s no way to ensure that your creations will get used, the following tips have helped me sew garments that I actually wear.
Take a hint from your
closet laundry basket
A great way to find out what you’ll wear, is to look at what you’re wearing. No, I’m not talking about your sweatpants and t-shirts but I am talking about those pieces that you constantly grab. While you can certainly recreate pieces that are wearing out, you’ll also want to pay attention to the style lines, fabric, and colors of these garments as these can give you indications of what new items you should be creating.
Try to keep things simple and choose a palette under five colors. While this may seem restricting, there’s actually a lot of freedom that comes with working with a color palette. Pick colors that complement and expand your existing wardrobe. If you have a lot of basics in navy blue, why not try adding hot pinks, minty blues, and bright greens into the mix.
Plan outfits for your new garments
Planning outfits is a great way to see if your creations will get a lot of use. Sometimes I go out on a limb and try combinations I’ve never seen before. Other times, I pull inspiration from fashion blogs, magazines, tv/movies and people on the street. By paying close attention to what is being paired with the garment, I can look to see if I have similar items in my own closet. If I don’t, there’s a good chance that this garment won’t go well with my existing clothes.
Knowing what clothes fit into your lifestyle can mean the difference between sewing something that gets worn and something that languishes in the back of my closet. While I love to create dresses, in reality, I’m much more likely to throw on some pants and a blouse. This doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped making dresses but now I put a limit on the number I create. Knowing your lifestyle doesn’t just pertain to the type of clothes. It’s important to think about caring for the fabric you’ve chosen. If you don’t want to spend the time hand washing or the money dry cleaning, choose fabrics that can be easily thrown into the washing machine.
Choose the right fabric for the design
Just last week I finished a darling blouse only to realize the fabric hung like a potato sack on me. We’ve all been there! Your fabric choice can make or break a project so it’s important to consider how the weave and weight will affect the design.
It’s all about fit
There’s nothing better than a perfectly fit garment. While it can be frustrating to learn how to fit patterns as a beginner, taking an effort can go a long way. Make a muslin, get a buddy, and give it a go. In time, fitting a garment will feel like second nature… at least I keep telling myself this!
Over and over, I hear sewists say that they love a garment more when they’ve taken their time to make it. Although it’s easy to get carried away and rush towards the finish, taking your time can prevent mistakes. Train yourself to put the garment down before you get too tired! Taking your time can also mean not cutting corners. I’ve certainly been guilty of taking the easy way out only to be disappointed with the results. When you’re proud of your garment, you are far more likely to pull it from the closet to show the world!
I hope these tips were helpful! If you’ve had success in creating garments that you actually wear, please share your secrets below. Happy sewing!