Friday, 20 September 2013

Sewing...clothes?

Uh oh.  People, I'm thinking about sewing clothes.  I have a history with garment sewing - through my teenage years I sewed clothes for myself somewhat regularly - usually with much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and help from my mum).  Believe it or not, I find piecing quilts much easier than I found sewing garments.
Recently I've been thinking more about trying to make my own clothes again.  My sewing skills have definitely improved so I'm hoping I might be a bit more successful than previously.  It would also be nice to have a spring/summer dress that's actually the right length.  At 5'8" I'm not exactly super tall, but I'm tall enough that dresses which are meant to sit just above the knee end up sitting quite a lot higher on me.

Ruby Dress - lined yoke
Ruby Dress by Made by Rae.

Anyway, the other day I saw that Rae of Made by Rae has just released a new dress (and top) pattern - the Ruby Dress and Top.  It's described as a pattern for a beginner sewist, which sounds right up my alley.  Unlike some of the other patterns out there which I can tell will not suit me, I think the shape of the Ruby Dress will work for my body (fingers crossed!).

Even though I'm a huge fan of using quilting fabrics in my quilts, I'm not planning to use them for this dress.  Instead, I think I'll take the opportunity to visit The Fabric Store, a local shop which stocks a great range of amazing garment fabrics.  I've been there before and lusted after all the gorgeous fabrics, but couldn't see how I would use them.  Haha - now I have a plan!

So - any other quilters out there trying their hand at garment sewing?  Anyone specifically planning to make this dress?  I'd love any tips you might have.  Mum, I might be calling you bringing my debacle of a dress round for you to fix...

18 comments:

DeborahGun said...

I have never sewn any clothes but this dress caught my eye too. I might wait to see how you find it before I give it a go!

Patchwork and Play said...

I am a garment sewer from way back too! I wish I still had the dresses I made for my College balls, back in the late 70's!! If you need advice, just shout! We have a Fabric Store here too- I love it!

Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts said...

I braved my first garment since Year 8 Home Ec a couple of months ago (Wiksten Tank) with relative success. It's wearable, but just don't look too close at the neckline! Darn bias... I'd love to make a dress or tunic too, but I just can't decide on what would suit both my skills and my body shape! I will be following along with great interest!

Maggie said...

I sewed clothes for myself years ago, but then stopped when I had kids. I recently started sewing clothes for myself again, and I feel like a beginner.

Leanne said...

Yup, quilts re so much easier than garments but I bet you will find garments easier now.

Rachel said...

Ooh, I wish I had a Fabric Store nearby! I get their newsletters and, like you, lust after their fabrics! I have only sewn one skirt since college, a Barcelona skirt that I made a few years ago. I love it and am planning on making two more for summer. That dress pattern looks great, look forward to hearing how you find it!

Little Island Quilting said...

Random comment: I'm 5ft 8 too!

Annabella said...

I too used to make my own clothes as a teenager and keep wanting to return to garment sewing but haven't so far. Perhaps you will inspire me :)

craftykat said...

I think I am going to give this one a go as well. I have just done two Staple Dresses and am determined to have a more handmade focus for my wardrobe.

Lou said...

I've just started sewing clothes and love it! If you're after something that's not too challenging and with lots of advice/pictures, then I'd recommend Tilly's Miette skirt - http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/p/miette.html

Wraparound A line, with no buttons or zips to worry about, and no concerns about size/fit!

Flying Blind... said...

Oooh that looks like a great pattern to start with - I have made a couple of Staple dresses, but you really need drapey (?) fabric and a stick-like figure not to look like you are off to have an operation (I am not so lucky!) xxx

Susan Owenby said...

I pretty much only make halloween costumes for my daughter. I'm usually most impressed with myself when I finish up. Maybe I should try more often. :)

Sheryl said...

In my teenage years I sewed one garment, a costume for a Latin club event. It was a rather forgiving pattern, so I didn't have many problems there.

In theory I like the idea of making clothes. Having more ability to choose patterns based on style elements that I enjoy but aren't readily on the market, and choosing my own fabrics. Actually stepping off the cliff terrifies me - what if I spend weeks working on a dress and it turns out garbage? It's on my one day list.

If you do decide to tackle the Ruby you'll have to keep us updated. I'd be excited to see your progress.

Chelsie C said...

I'd say pick a silhouette that you would normally wear. One of my first dresses I made was the staple dress, but wasn't in love because it didn't fit me like I wanted it too. I've started picking out more "me" dresses and have been much more happy in my results!

Nat at Made in Home said...

I do! It is another language... But it is ally warding. Have you been on BurdaStyle that ravelry for sewist... May help. I don't use quilting fabric either, it is too expensive most of the time - and I tend to go for plain fabric. I would say make a muslin first so that yu know what fits and what to alter...

Laura C @ littleandlots said...

You can do it. I started out as a die-hard quilts-only fanatic, and then I made a Tova about a year ago. It was a terrible choice for a first garment pattern (I am thinking about trying it again) but just LOOKING at the Ruby Dress I know it will be very beginner-appropriate. I think it looks very practical too, a good year-round garment (I'll pair it with leggings and a cardi for winter, here!) I can't wait to see it!

(I also adore everything Colette patterns does. They are a touch more garment-sew-y; Rae's strength is that she can really make a pattern a quilter can follow. When you get ready for a step up, check out Colette!)

Quilter in the Gap said...

I can't wait to see this - I started with her Washi Dress. She is a great pattern writer. I am going to make one of these as well.

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

I've been experimenting on small garments for my girls and I'm enjoying it ... I would like to make something for myself this summer, but I might need your mum's help too! :)