One of the first things that happens what people find out that I sew is that they ask “do you make your own clothes? Did you make what you’re wearing now?” I know people mean well, but I really hate that question.
The thing is, most of the sewing I’ve done hasn’t been for myself. As an undergraduate, none of my projects were sized to fit me. We were lucky enough to get to fit on professional models, so everything had to be sample size. After that, I did bridal alterations and theatrical costuming, so while I was doing a lot of sewing none of it was for me. Add in a few years where I stopped all-together and I just don’t have that many me-made pieces.
There have been a few exceptions. There’s a skirt I was particularly proud of making because I used it as a way to level up some of my techniques. There also is a blue silk dupioni dress I started sewing the night before a friends wedding because I didn’t want to wear the things already in my closet. I just barely finished in time. And by that I mean I totally just hand basted in the zipper before running out the door.
Lately, however, I’ve been wanting to start adding hand made things into my wardrobe. Of course, I also am working on two dresses for my dissertation, so it’s not the best time for me to start a new big project.
My solution has been to take up knitting! I’d tried it a decade ago, but I never got past the basic scarf phase. So, this time I marched myself over to my local yarn store and asked for help picking out yarn and a simple pattern. The result was the simple knit hat below.
Unsurprisingly, the second I finished it, my mother asked me to make her one to go with her new coat. Normally, I give people a hard time when they ask me to make something without offering to at least pay for materials. However, I’ve stolen no fewer than twelve hand made quilts from her (and I’m living in her house rent free right now), so I agreed.
(Also, I had kind of gotten bit by the knitting bug at that point and was going to start another project right away anyway.)
Having finished the second hat I’ve come to the conclusion that I definitely need to spend more time making things for myself. For now, I’m going with smaller, simpler projects. I just don’t have the time or headspace for anything more. But going forward I defiantly want more of my wardrobe to be me-made.