Friday, January 01, 2016

What won't you sew?

Fabrikated asked, "what won't you sew?"

As I got dressed on this particular morning, I thought that this outfit is fairly representative of my active wardrobe.  I made the cardigan, thrifted the turtleneck* and bought the pants RTW.

In 8th grade home ec, I tackled a pair of fly-front trousers in cotton resembling Osnaburg. I learned to make darts and set in a zipper. My skinny teen self needed only minor pattern adjustments, which my teacher helped me with. The color was awful on me and didn't go with any of my other clothes so I didn't wear them much.

Nevertheless, I was pretty fired up and made several more pairs of pants in high school.

In college, I met the son of a tailor. I eventually married him. (The son, not the tailor.)

My FIL expertly took in the back waists of RTW clothing for me. Score! I could buy and wear RTW while spending my sewing time making frosting instead of cake!

My FIL is firmly retired. My middle-aged waist to hip ratio is no longer so atypical. Also, RTW manufacturers have wised up and make several different fits. I can buy perfectly reasonable pants labeled "curvy fit", "contour waist" and "fit 2".

Life got crazy-busy and I squeeze time in to sew for relaxation. Sewing fly fronts is not relaxing for me. YMMV.

T-shirts, on the other hand, are worth my time. My me-made t-shirts provide me with thicker fabric, better fit and softer fabric and seams.  I even shave time by remaking thrifted L/XL t-shirts into my size.

I also like to make skirts, dresses and tops.  Since I purchased a serger, I sew a lot of knit casual wear.  I don't think I have purchased a pair of pajama bottoms in the last 20 years.  I did buy a PJ set in my breast-feeding days because I couldn't buy the snap-front PJ top separately.  New mother, time-pressed, sleep-deprived = no sewing time.

The top is very ratty now (my baby is 15 yo), but the pants are in good enough shape to stay in rotation.

* I thrifted the cashmere turtleneck.  Read why I don't buy new cashmere.


  1. I like making tee shirts, either out of new fabric or thrifted shirts. I got that idea from you! I buy pants, but make pajamas, & tops.
    I like making throws and lap quilts.I'll make pillows and pillow covers. Like making potholders but I will buy tablecloths. I will make aprons and cloth napkins out of thrifted linen

    1. Thanks for the reminder. I need to make a new apron and some potholders ASAP. Oh, and the A+B pillows.

      I'm happy that you are also remaking t-shirts.

      I keep a Google Doc of my projects and reorder them as needs come up. Oddly, I don't miss the stuff further down my to-sew list that I never get around to sewing.

  2. I'm still working on what I am making vs buying, but I know I'm not making things I don't enjoy making if I can purchase something that fits and is comfortable. I'd rather make minor alterations to pants than put in a fly front.

  3. Thank you for an interesting and thoughtful post. It's like some people are vegetarian due to their support for animal rights, and some avoid meat because they prefer vegetables, or for heath or economy reasons. I guess with cloth making I am fairly pragmatic myself - some and some.


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