Are you interested in beginning sewing? Keep reading for how I got my start, and how you can too!
How I started sewing
I tried sewing once. Not well, and very frustratingly. I took Home Ec in high school, made some boxers (light pink with purple music notes) that weren’t awful , but weren’t great. After that, in my sophomore year of college, I made a couple of a-line, elastic band skirts and some Mickey Ears, but never went beyond! I really never had the patience, or willingness to learn.
With us being in lockdown during COVID-19, I was furloughed from my role for a couple of months and was obviously spending a lot of time at home, which forced me to slow down.
And then, my grandmother’s old sewing machine ended up in our living room. It smelled of smoke, didn’t work well and was yellowed with age, but it almost glimmered at me and whispered, “Hey, come give me a try!” So, I found someone who could tune it up. Then, I started looking online at Joann.com for fabrics to play with. At first, I made the mistake of buying a lot of quilting cotton, not the best for garment construction, but got some good stuff to work with.
I’ve always been interested in fashion and style, so I’d followed some indie sewists and pattern companies and had an idea of what I’d love to make, but starting a sewing project seemed SO DAUNTING.
Luckily, we were sheltering in Arizona and my mom was there to show me the ropes again. I hope I had more grace than when she tried to teach me so many years ago! Together, we sewed up the Turner Dress from Cashmerette and I loved it.
My makes so far as a curvy sewist
Since then, I’ve gone sew crazy for sewing (pun absolutely intended). A few of my sewing makes have been:
- Ashton top (x2) by Helen’s Closet
- Winslow Culottes (x2) by Helen’s Closet
- Nullarbor Cami (x2) by Muna and Broad
- Yanta Overalls by Helen’s Closet
- Gilbert Top by Helen’s Closet
- Luna Tank by Helen’s Closet
- Self-drafted skirts and tops
I even signed up for a sewing course at Orange Coast College (our local community college), where I’m learning and applying new sewing techniques!
I think something that always stopped me from sewing was the lack of patterns available for curvy women. Going into a store like Jo Ann or Michael’s and only seeing your size at the top of the spectrum in those packet patterns can be so defeating. I honestly thought there was just nothing for me, so had given up any time I’d considered sewing.
Then, I discovered Indie Patterns, which I’ll go into in my next blog post, but they completely transformed my relationship with sewing a me-made wardrobe.
So, if you’re looking for a sign to try out sewing– this is it! Here’s the sign! Break out your sewing machine, borrow one from a friend… just get sewing! Your first project doesn’t have to be perfect, just take the first stitch and your heart will do the rest.