Monday, November 19, 2012

Sewing Disasters

About 5 years ago I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew clothes.  I bought a cheap sewing machine on clearance and asked my Gramma to teach me how to sew.  She and I sewed two skirts, but the truth was she sewed them and I watched her do it.  I decided that I needed to go to a class.  Luckily I lived in St. Paul and Treadle Yard Goods offers amazing classes.  I took a beginning sewing class, a winter coat class, and an advanced beginner class.  From there I started sewing when I could and I used their sewing salons for help when I got stuck.  I didn't have a ton of time to dedicate to sewing and found that the clothes that I made just turned out "ok." 

One of the reasons that I wanted to learn how to sew is that I have kind of weird proportions and it's sometimes hard to find clothes that fit well.  I am fairly little on top.  I have wide hips and fat thighs.  I hoped that sewing would allow me to create clothing that fit me better.  The problem is, I don't know how to adjust patterns to make them fit me better.  And now I live in a place where there aren't any sewing classes or salons to help teach me these skills.

I now feel fairly confident on a sewing machine and following patterns.  Where I fall flat is in choosing the right fabric for a pattern and choosing the right pattern for a flattering look on my body type.  Take my sewing project of last week.  I decided to create Simplicity 2690, view A (that's the one the model is wearing in the picture).  It is a mini dress.  I thought that the V-neck would help me look taller and I liked the ribbon detail.  I thought the flared bottom would help hide my fatter bottom.

Thought this would be a great pattern!

I chose a silky fabric from Joann's because I thought a cotton fabric wouldn't drape as nicely.  It turned out to be a tough fabric to work with.  It was really slippery and I needed to use lots of pins to keep the seams together and it unraveled quickly so I had to finish each seam with a serger-type stitch which made taking it apart and making adjustments next to impossible.  Here is my finished look.  The bodice turned out too big, the bottom turned out too tight, and I feel like it makes me look like a fat box.

Whale of a dress!
Does anyone know of any good resources for learning how to choose patterns based on body type?  Adjusting patterns for a better fit?  And choosing the right fabric for a project?  I have a closet full of clothes that I won't wear in public (well 3 shirts and a dress-but that's a lot of wasted effort!).

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