When I talk with friends or people I know about the fact I make my own dresses, I realise that sewing is frequently considered as a weird, fascinating and a bit out of the norm hobby. Someone would be curious or wishful to start, but they are stuck because of a series of motivations that don’t let them launch into it and say: “Ok, I’m gonna give it a try!”
This post is dedicated to those who would like to get started but don’t gather up the courage to do it! Here are some of the most common fears and the related myths about sewing that I feel like debunking:
- It’s too hard
Sewing is not hard! Of course some projects are more complex, for instance sewing a jacket or a shirt up, however there are a lot of very simple and fast projects that everyone can do right from the start. Everything you don’t know seems complex in the beginning , but I can assure you that once you get the hang of it everything will seem much easier and you’ll wonder why you hadn’t given it a try before. I always wonder the same!
All you need is to have a sewing machine (our moms or grannies will be very happy to let us train with theirs; alternatively you can turn to a specialised shop), a basic kit (Ikea’s is perfect! I’ve used it for a long time and it contains all you need to start), a project (easy if possible, at least in the beginning!) and a lot of will to learn.
On the net you can find every kind of tutorial, even to understand how to turn on and use your sewing machine (have a look at Tilly and the Buttons blog, I used her tutorials to get started too). If you don’t want to learn on your own, you can instead attend sewing classes.
Anyway, if you have managed to use your electrical household appliances, a camera, a smartphone, you can easily learn to use a sewing machine too!
- I’m not cut out for it
A lot of friends of mine tell me that they are not cut out to working with their hands. Actually it’s only a matter of how fast you manage to get handy without getting discouraged.
Who is more used to doing small jobs with theirs hands, surely will take less to reach a certain familiarity, but everyone can do it (remember that all our grannies knew how to sew)! It’s a matter of practice and training…it only depends on how much you want to learn and how much time you are willing to dedicate to it.
- I’ve no time
And here it goes the main problem: I’ve no time! By now organising our lives in order to fit our engagements together is a mess, let alone finding the time for a new hobby. For me it’s the same!
However I can assure you it’s not an activity that necessarily takes too much time, only a bit of organization. You don’t have to churn out dresses every week, you can sew only one or two hourishs in the evening (same time of watching a movie for instance) from time to time and learn little by little. I took two months to make my first dress, carving out time late in the evening. Just don’t have to rush it! Nothing can be learned overnight.
- Clothes bought in stores are more beautiful/I wouldn’t be able to make beautiful dresses
If you think that garments in shops are more beautiful than those you can make yourself, you’re making a big mistake! Once you learn to sew you’ll pay more attention to fabrics, fitting and seams of garments in shops and you’ll realise that all that glitters is not gold. You’ll learn to recognize well done garments from those that are not worth buying.
Furthermore, with a bit of practice and the right tools, you’ll start to make dresses that are in no way inferior to many of the ones you find in the windows. You can choose the one that fits you better on you and, above all, the fabric you like most.
Not to mention the satisfaction of wearing a dress made by yourself. In short it’s worth thinking about it, even only to train ourselves to go shopping more selectively and recognize the beauty.
- Sewing is an out of date hobby
If you think about sewing, a granny that sews unfashionable dresses, curtains and tablecloths comes to mind. Actually sewing is very far from this stereotype by now and it’s become a trendy hobby.
A lot of girls from all over the world have embraced the DIY (Do it Yourself) philosophy even in fashion. There is a huge online community of bloggers and sewing lovers that post their creations, support each other and strike up a friendship.
You can draw inspirations from the style of girls who’ve learned to sew and have a hole wardrobe full of garments made by themselves.
Not to mention websites that offer indie patterns and fabrics with amazing graphics.
In conclusion, you can also find a lot of inspirations in the sewing and DIY world, not only on fashion blogs (if you don’t believe me, have a look to some of the inspiring sewing blog I follow. Find the list on the right column).
So if you want to try it, give it a go! In my opinion the secret to learn to sew your own dresses is simply be curious, be willing to experiment and, above all, have fun!
Ph. Filippo Sironi