Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Guest Post by Karen: Do You Remember the First Time?


Guys, Tilly’s away. Someone crank the stereo up and – hey! – she must have some vodka in this joint. Let’s partttyyyyyy!

Alright, alright, let’s all calm down. I'm Karen from Did You Make That? This is the first time I’ve ever been invited to contribute a guest post to someone else’s sewing blog. Thinking of firsts, I glanced down at the top I was wearing. It’s the very first thing I made, back in August 2009, when I decided to try my hand at this sewing lark. (Ooh, it’s nearly my second birthday!)

The fabric was bought off Chesterfield market with my mother in tow. Chesterfield market is the place I bought fabric as a university student and as a child when I dabbled in sewing all those years ago. It feels appropriate that my foray back into this craft took me to the same cobbled square.

I still think this is such pretty cotton. The pattern is V8495 – perfect for beginners. Though there’s not a flattering photo in the world that could be taken of me wearing this top. It’s definitely a top for slouching around at home on the weekend. But we all need those, right? It’s the type of pattern that you often see discussed on sewing pattern forums along the line of: Do I look like I’m wearing a maternity top?

V8495

The top was made on a Toshiba sewing machine I procured through Freecycle. I really recommend this way of exploring your newly-born interest in sewing. After all, sewing machines cost hundreds of pounds. I didn’t want to spend all that money to find that I hated this new pursuit. But a year into my sewing career I’d been sewing virtually every day and treated myself to a brand new Bernina. But I still have that Toshiba – it’s come in useful for friends and I would be reluctant to cast it aside now. Call me sentimental.

When I inspect the work on my very first top, I’m really impressed. Nice neat lines of sewing, carefully pinked seams. It just goes to show what anyone can do if they follow instructions. I even indulged in some top stitching and I inserted sleeves! This top is my sewing talisman, there to remind me that creativity is only a snip away and available to everyone. All you have to do is buy some fabric and a pattern.

Can you remember your first make? Do you still have it and are you still proud of the work? Thanks, Tilly, for letting me stop by. The red wine stain on the carpet? That was the others.

21 comments:

  1. My first make was not a dress. It was a comforter for my university room. I actually put wadding in it, put ruffled at the side and made matching pillows. Now i'm not talking about a single bed here, I had the biggest bee I'd ever seen, a mega king-size bed inherited from my mother. I don't know what motivated me to sew it, but I was so proud of it, especially as I made matching curtains, table cloth, and used the remnants to make wallpaper for my room. Gross? U betcha, but I was a star amongst my friends for even attempting to sew.
    My first piece of clothing was a skirt and top African ensemble. I have no clue where that is. Need I say more? Lol

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  2. Oh dear, that really puts my recent first home-made top to shame! Although I was very chuffed with my neat side darts! The fabric you've used is gorgeous and I love the pleats in the front of the top - maybe I should add that pattern to my list for next item to make!

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  3. I love that top, the maternity look is de rigueur with me thanks to the 3 very large baby destruction of tummy muscles. I could do 7 of them in 7 different fabrics and I'd be sorted for the week.

    I got my mum's old sewing machine about a year ago and have been utterly hooked. It's my best discovery ever.

    My first ever make were hand sewn tree decorations. I called them "rock stars" - tartan and black satin with diamonds sewn on. I couldn't believe the pleasure I got from the stuffing of them.

    My mum then gave me her old sewing machine. I spent an afternoon getting to know it by cutting everything up and sewing it together and the utter joy of the cutting and the sewing was quite a surprise.

    My first wearable make was for my daughter's party. I still love it but the workmanship ain't so hot. (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-W9yU2AwGXGg/TcmpIOQznvI/AAAAAAAAAC0/RM1YhdchuJA/s1600/New+Pictures+061.jpg)

    Loved your post.

    I've started blogging recently as an attempt to motivate and record my creative journey at www.magicanddrudgery.blogspot.com

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  4. My first proper make was a blue skirt in a cotton sateen. My grandma helped. It was a line but Tea length, no zip and I spend a few summer days sewing blue and green sequin strip along the bottom. I have to say I got my wear out of it. I have cut it to make a more modern skirt recently but I fear I may have cut a bit too small. It was getting a bit raggy, the sequins were falling off and my immaculate stitching was coming away.
    Still. You always remember your first!
    x

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  5. My first proper make was a blue skirt in a cotton sateen. My grandma helped. It was a line but Tea length, no zip and I spend a few summer days sewing blue and green sequin strip along the bottom. I have to say I got my wear out of it. I have cut it to make a more modern skirt recently but I fear I may have cut a bit too small. It was getting a bit raggy, the sequins were falling off and my immaculate stitching was coming away.
    Still. You always remember your first!
    x

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  6. Oh gosh, all my makes feel like first ones at this stage. (I only took up sewing again this year, after a, oh, 22 year break.) But the very first thing I made was a duvet cover for my daughter, out of an antique linen sheet. The first pattern I ever sewed from was Simplicity 2599 and while it didn't turn out perfectly, I'm still thrilled to wear it. And still using the pattern. I love your top, BTW, and I think I'll look out for that pattern too.

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  7. The first thing I remember sewing was a pair of green corduroy jeans for my Daisy doll. I know I sewed a bit before this but this is the first item I really remember, probably because it was beyond my capabilities! Topstitching was like: 2 stitches this way, 2 stitches that way - an exercise on how to use the handwheel!

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  8. YAY! Karen! Love the intro to this post ;) I DEFINITELY remember my first...first FO was a 1940's Du Barry blouse pattern...first pattern I actually started sewing (though finished later) was a late 40's simplicity dress. I ended up having to go back and do MAJOR alterations once I had been sewing for awhile!

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  9. That was a great 'first', very cute,- no wonder you have taken to this sewing lark!

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  10. That print is lovely! My first make when I started sewing clothes could well make an appearance in your ugly amnesty - it was a McCall's super speedy 2 hour pattern - yeah right! - basically a really loose short sleeved dress. I made it in a really flimsy shifty silk - obviously having no clue about what a challenge that would present! - it was silk that should probably have been used for lining.
    Not only that but I used my actual measurements and faithfully followed the recommended size on the pattern which ended up with about a size 20/22 dress. As you can imagine, it's rather large and is now called the purple silk sack. I did actually wear it a few times - belted - but no more!

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  11. Oh my, the first time I learned to sew was in home economics class in 8th grade. My project was a sweatshirt. I didn't understand about sewing the right sides of the fabric together, so my whole garment was sewn with the fuzzy size of the fleece on the outside. It was pretty well constructed except for the fact that the whole thing was inside out! :) Also I horrified my mom by later cutting out the neckline (this was when the Flashdance look was popular). She couldn't believe I would purposely "ruin" something I had worked so hard on. :)

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  12. Well, possibly my first make is what I'm doing at the moment as part of the sewalong being run over at http://www.afashionablestitch.com/2011/categories/fun-stuff-for-you/ginger-sewalong-party-invite/

    for the beginner Colette pattern called Ginger.

    The link is the 'invite' to the final 'party' and hopefully I just might finish in time!!

    Mind you, I was talking to my Mum about trying to get into sewing and (bless her!) she found a skirt I made in school when I was about 12 I would think and I have found that totally amazing to look at!

    Unfortunately, because of how we were expected to make it, by the time I'd finished, it was too small so it never got worn!! It is VERY short and a very tiny English size 10 (at a guess) .... and now (gulp) 40 years old! Must do a blog post on that once I've finished the Ginger skirt :)

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  13. I learned sewing in school so the first garment I made was pj shorts which, I happen to be wearing right now.

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  14. my first sewing projects were quick'n'dirty alterations (tshirts, skinny pants, etc) and i cycled through them so fast that i don't have any of them anymore. i do, however, have my first dress i made from a pattern - i used some horrid hawaiian-print quilting cotton from walmart & a simplicity pattern. the dress in it's pure form - aka my first attempt - doesn't exist anymore because the bodice did not fit AT ALL. i didn't understand the concept of gathering underneath the boob cups and, well, kinda need those gathers LOL. i ended up ripping off the offending bodice & making a new one... which is still pretty early-LT, probably my 3rd or 4th pattern project.

    i do wear the dress; the wonky seams & crooked hem are endearing to me. the bodice is still a little small, though! haha!

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  15. My first sewing project was a skirt.
    It was made with a champagne satin and ruffled hem.
    Really cute! I was very proud of that ^_^


    My first sewing tutorial on my blog:
    http://alicecloset-sewing.blogspot.com/

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  16. lovely 'first', I think mine was a simple A-line skirt but I'm sure I've thrown it out :(

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  17. dragonzflame1 June 2011 22:43

    My first project was a bag from CraftApple, I think it was. What a fantastic thing to start on - it meant I could use quilting cotton (nice and easy and not slippery), learned about interfacing, lining, putting in pleats, and yet it was forgiving enough that you can't see any of my dodgy seams :-) And I made an apron out of an old op-shop sheet, and one of those fabric cylinders for plastic bags.

    I still really have yet to tackle clothing properly, I've made a 70s skirt that I still need to finish (slight disaster with the waistband when I edited the pattern after making a perfect toile because the waist was too high, didn't do the maths properly, and had to cut the waistband on the wrong grainline)and I bit off a bit more than I could chew with a 1943 DuBarry pattern with head-scratching instructions. I'm planning to make the scallop skirt and the Swing dress at some stage. Right now I'm doing a toddler dress so I can learn about putting a dress together, but on a smaller scale with cheaper fabric ;-)

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  18. super cute top, great job for your first make!!

    my first make was a dress (this dress). it was self-drafted, made from a thrifted bedsheet. it's still my favorite summer sundress when it's super hot and cold weather dress (with tights and a cardi). i made it last may and have been sewing ever since :)

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  19. My very first project was a lined pencil skirt...I bought the fabric before even getting the pattern from Burda online (that was before burdastyle got big). At the time I didn't know how to make a low waist and I had assumed I could just make the waist a bit wider and it would fit... big mistake. I still wear the skirt from time to time and cover up the waistline. I am impressed I got to put in the zipper correctly and all.

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  20. After not touching a sewing machine for some 20 years, I bought a cheap sewing machine to make some window curtains for our new house. Since the sewing machine was sitting there ready to roll, I decided to try a skirt and blazer. The blazer, made from an old bed sheet for practice, went into the rag bin. I was pleased with the skirt and got compliments on it when I wore it to work. Somehow, I got hooked on sewing, and in the space of two months have acquired enough patterns and fabric (all on sale) to keep me busy for many months to come. Who'd've thought ...?

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  21. My first normal garment was a little rayon summer dress - which I still have, and is still adorable. XD
    My first-first was my dress for my Princess Merida cosplay this last winter. That was a hell of a project.

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