a few weeks ago, upon seeing me wearing yet another sweatshirt that i sewed myself, asked me, “do you even have any clothes that is NOT made by yourself?”.
the answer to this question is, unfortunately, yes i do. but before i go any further, let’s step back in time first.
i have always loved clothes. i never really follow the trend, i wear what i like, but of course i still like to know what’s going on in the world of fashion (and promise myself not to wear the same thing as what’s on trend). when i was little, and when i could, i would always choose… erm, let’s just say, clothes that weren’t usually popular among little kids. one of my faves was this cool jersey dress with the world map printed on it. oh, how i wish i still have it with me now!
when i was old enough to do my own shopping, i discovered a new fashion world in thrift shops and flea markets. there’s just something about unique items that used to belong to someone else (and probably loved them so, for a while). there’s also the fact that it’s far cheaper than brand new clothes. sometimes i wore them as they were, and some other times i would do small alterations (note: i wasn’t yet a seamstress back then, so small alterations were done by hand, not sewing machine).
then i grew older and owned a business with my two friends. we had our own tailor, and our job was to make clothes for other people. i got to go on weekly fabric shoppings, and after a while i finally got the fabric fever: i started buying more fabrics than ready-made clothes. wearing second-hand clothes is one thing, but choosing your own fabric and model of the clothes you are going to wear was like… wow! personalized style was what i was aiming for, and that was the best way i could achieve it.
moving to Finland forced me to do everything on my own, start everything (well, almost!) from the beginning again. now, especially, where the prices of clothes aren’t exactly cheap and if they are then you’ll just be wearing the same clothes as a million other people, personalized style for a cheaper price matters to me more than ever. and the day i finally bought my own sewing machine was my point of no return to the land of homemade clothes.
i started small, sewing dresses and other things i couldn’t really wear (because i was only interested in experimenting & buying the fabrics). but over time, i learned to “edit” my purchases, and also alter the ready-made patterns so that i can actually wear the clothes i made. before i realized it, i have been sewing for 7 years now. 🙂
i can honestly say that about 70% of my closet is full of clothes i sewed on my own. the rest are clothes that are either bought at flea markets/thrift shops, very cheap/standard t-shirts bought at hypermarkets (or H&M and the likes), cheap pants/jackets that i knew i would never have the energy to sew, and 1 or 2 high quality & pricey items. so yes, i admit, i’m not a total eco-friendly person (yet) since i do still once or twice buy things from those fast fashion brands. but i’m getting there!
another friend of mine asked me yet another question a few days ago, “did you make that blouse you’re wearing?” when i was actually wearing a blouse from & Other Stories. i took it as a compliment, because to me it means that my sewing is actually so good that people can’t tell the difference anymore if i am wearing a homemade blouse or a ready-made one from some store. 😀 (okay, i guess it’s also possible that it’s the opposite, that the ready-made blouse i was wearing looked so terrible that it could have been a homemade one, but let’s think positive!)
sewing becomes my Dr. Feelgood, because wearing clothes that i made on my own literally makes me feel good. i don’t have to feel guilty about making other people work 12 hours a day just to sew my clothes. if i could, i would probably go all the way one day and completely stop buying ready-made clothes. also, be even more eco-friendly by using only fabrics made of natural fibres or organic ones. but i’m doing it bit by bit and while i’m at it, i of course want to enjoy myself as well.
now i know some of my blog readers are actually interested in sewing. some might already have sewing machines, but just couldn’t find the guts/time/will to start sewing. some might be waiting for just the perfect sewing pattern.
well, while i have to say that it’s no use waiting around and you’ll do much better if you just jump into the water and start sewing already, right now i actually have a better & more interesting way to encourage you to start making use of your dusty sewing machine.
Indiesew.com is currently holding a contest where you can win a year of free patterns! as the name of the site suggests, the patterns in question are from independent brands (so not Burda, Vogue, or those other big brand names). this is good, because i find that indie brands actually pay more attention to details and unique styles, plus this means that by entering this contest you will be supporting the people behind the indie brands. for example, they sell patterns from Named Clothing, the Finnish company who made the Wyome jeans pattern (i used it to make these jeans).
entering this contest is so easy, and you don’t even need to make any purchase. click here to start, and then just sign up at their website (free), and enter the contest… and voila! your entry is in! 🙂 click here to find out more about it.
you might want to hurry as the contest ends Monday, April 20th at 10pm MDT. if you’re entering, good luck for the contest! and when you win, don’t forget to show me what you make with all those lovely free patterns!