I like clothes. While it’s not with the passionate zeal I once did (remember back when NOTHING else mattered more than what you were wearing to your friend’s house party that weekend? Okay, you and I both know I was far too nerdy to go to house parties - after all, my favourite outfit was a Tokyo Ghetto Pussy t-shirt paired with a Pokémon backpack... but I think you get the sentiment). I’m delighted that my little sojourn into the sewing world is reigniting that little fashion fire within me.
In my obsessive research-phase ahead of launching myself into said sewing world, I stumbled across the adorable Sew Over It sewing café founded by Lisa Comfort. Lisa’s book is a pleasure to read and her advice on getting started has stuck with me for months.
Lisa suggested, as a first step, to go through every item in your wardrobe - in a sort of spring-clean-cum-project-plotting exercise - and sorting pieces into the following 3 categories (I may have paraphrased slightly):
1. It’s awesome, perfect and you want to be buried in it.
Every item in pile #1 is not only a keeper, it is essentially a vivid reminder of how brilliantly stylish you are for having had the insight to buy it in the first place.
2. It’s not quite right but you could/used to/want to love it.
Items in this pile are things you no longer wear (or have never worn) for various reasons. They no longer fit, they’re out-of-date, they’re damaged (but still fabulous in part) or for just some reason whenever you put one of these items on, you stare at yourself in the mirror for 30 minutes, tugging and adjusting it (and pairing it with every possible accessory combination) before whipping it off, shoving it back in your cupboard and pulling on something from pile #1.
3. It’s heinous and needs to go.
I’m not sure further clarification is required here. Okay, perhaps it’s not heinous, but these items are destined to delight some unknown op-shop forager (and raise much-needed funds for worthy charities in the process).
So, over-the-weekend, I started flicking through my duds and in seconds found my first project. Unfortunately in my excitement to start sewing I didn’t take a 'before' picture of the top... but, fear not as I had a scarily similar one as some form of back-up (seriously, why?) and have used this to model alongside my sad old felt trousers which also got the cut:
6 darts, some waist-cinching and 1 metre of black sheer ribbon for the top + some hemming and 6 old buttons for the trousers and... voila!
I’ve already cut up a couple of dresses to refresh as skirts and I can’t wait to get stuck into embellishments and a bit of tailoring to jazz up even some of my favourite pieces. As my mother always says: "Bloss, a change is as good as a holiday" (this maybe slightly overstating the net personal benefit of attaching a cute Peter Pan collar to an old jumper… but, I’m going with it).
So, go on, take a peek inside your cupboard and pick one piece, just one little piece, to set about making an improvement or two. Lengthen it, shorted it, take it in, let it out, add a bow, add a trim – just do something! Once you take a geezer in the mirror at your new favourite top/skirt/dress/scarf which cost you absolutely zilch, you’ll be hooked. I promise.
Please, upload a 'before' and 'after' pick on www.facebook.com/sewbootylicious - I’d love to check-out your snazzy handiwork and pass your amazing ideas off as my own!
A big dollop of love from my finger tips to your screen (I promise that's not as creepy as it sounds). xx