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All Sewed Up


This may seem random, but the more I think about it, this totally makes sense.

I want to relearn how to sew.

Among business classes and classes about Flash and HTML I want to take, I want to add sewing to the mix.

We all took the home economics class in middle school that gave us the basics. But I want to step it up a notch. I want to make pencil skirts and cute shorts, or a blouse.

I’ve always had respect for people who knew how to sew and make their own clothes. There’s one particular blog/website that I dig called http://www.newdressaday.com/ where homegirl goes thrifting, and finds the most hideous of moo moos and other garish garments, and transforms them into pure hotness.

She’s become so successful at this, her faithful readers even send in monstrosities they’ve found and she transforms them. Oh, and did I mention, she does this everyday with a garment she purchased for $1?

The girl has skills. She’s making stuff that could easily sell out at H&M from products that were rejects from Dress Barn.

In today’s times of recession, this girl has got the right idea. She’s got the heart and style and innovation of Anna Wintour, but with the logic of Suzie Orman.

It always made me feel sexy when I’d fix buttons on my ex’s coat, or shirt or whatever. I think he thought it was hot too. Sometimes I hem my own pants when I step on them by accident (which shouldn’t happen if I went to get them tailored).

It also doesn’t help that my latest reality obsession is the show Fashion Star. Where talented wanna be designers compete each week to get their designs into Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue or H&M, and after the show you can go online and into the stores and purchase the winning designs! Swoon. Even if the designers don’t win the whole shebang, they still have opportunities to sell their designs to these powerhouse retailers and have their products in the stores. That’s a win-win for everyone.

When I was a kid, I knew women from church and the neighborhood who knew how to sew. They took it seriously and informally competed with one another. For previous generations, sewing was a given and it was a mandatory discipline every girl had to know.

I often like to shout out grandmothers and great grands who survived the Great Depression. They were resourceful as hell with so little. They knew how to cook, keep a clean house and they knew how to sew.

Folks could not afford to drop money on new clothes, so they had to tailor what they had, or buy fabric and make their own. I won’t be arrogant or delusional. I’m quite sure there are women all over the world who have to make their own clothes, and to them I also give them many props.

Our generation has been fortunate. We usually only sew as a hobby or because we aspire to be fashion designers and not out of necessity.

But like our foremothers, I think it’s just a good skill set to have in the arsenal.

To me there was something about family members and loved ones making baby clothes, or prom and even wedding dresses for people they cared about. It made that piece of clothing even more special and sentimental. You felt the love that went into making it and the person who wore the clothes wore them with pride, giving the person who made it the highest compliment by wearing it well.

There have been times folks made stuff for me that wasn’t so flattering, but my mother made me wear it at least once to show appreciation for the time, energy and love that went into it. It was a sobering, yet good lesson to learn. Maybe it wasn’t stylish, but someone cared enough to make it with their own hands, just for me.

Maybe that’s why I go nuts when people make things for me. It just means so much. I had a roommate in Detroit who knitted me the warmest most awesome wool scarf of all time. I was so touched by her gift, that to this day, it is hands down one of my faves.

So in addition to all of the other ambitious things I want to learn how to do in my 30’s, I want to make my own outfit from scratch.

We shall see…

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6 thoughts on “All Sewed Up

  1. I am SO with you on this one. I’ve always wanted to sew. A long time ago I found out my mom use to make her own clothes. Growing up we had actual Singer sewing machine sitting on a shelf in our garage. I asked my mom to show me how to use it and she never got around to doing it. I never took a sewing class in school but that doesn’t mean I can’t now! **added this to the things I must do this year**

  2. It’s so nice to see people getting interested in sewing again! It’s always been a bit frustrating to me when my non-sewing friends mention that they have a machine but don’t know how to use it (and don’t take me up on my offers to teach them!). There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of knowing you have created something with your own hands. =)

    And I completely agree – the gifts people give you that were handmade just for you are always my favorite items!

    Good luck with your new goal!

    • Brooke, if you are in DC, MD or Va, I will take lessons from you if your friends won’t! LOL. I do think shows like Fashion Star and Project Runway are exposing a new generation to design and constructing clothing. I can’t wait to start. There is a fabric store near my job that offers classes. I’m thinking of going there! I swear I’m going to learn how to make a houndstooth print skirt, or jacket or pair of shorts!!! Thanks for reading!!

      • Unfortunately, I’m in Texas (Dallas area) but if you ever have any sewing questions, email me anytime! =) (There’s a contact tab on my blog.)

  3. Thanks!!!!! I just followed your blog not too long ago! Your resume is impressive! My questions would be totally remedial!! I had no clue a pro was reading my post. Thanks again!!! 🙂

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