All posts filed under: Make

Question time: Me-Made, Wardrobe Percentages, and Wardrobe Philosophies

Since I sew all.the.time, and teach sewing, and blog about sewing, people often ask me how much of my wardrobe is me-made, or how much of the clothes I wear are me-made.  And where do I get the stuff that isn’t me-made? It’s a really interesting question, because it makes people think about how much of their own wardrobe they could aim to sew, and how much of your own wardrobe you can realistically sew.  It also has a bearing on my overall philosophy of sewing and clothing. It’s also interesting, because being me, I over-think this question.  How exactly do I calculate it? Percentage of items in my overall wardrobe?  Meters of fabric sewn by me vs. not?  Days of the week I wear me-made stuff?   Percentage of garments that I wear on a daily basis that are made by me?  Percentage of the fabric that I am wearing on a daily basis that has been sewn by me? And how do I count vintage or commercially made items that I have mended and …

Corded gathering tutorial thedreamstress.com

Tutorial: How to sew gathers & ruffles with cord gathering (aka the easiest way to gather, ever)

There are certain things in sewing that you just hate doing. Some people hate setting zips (if you do, use the zip method in this tutorial and they will come out perfect every time), some people hate setting sleeves, and some people hate gathering.  I was one of the latter. My very first proper sewing project, made well over half a lifetime ago, was an 8-gore double-circle skirt, with HUGE amounts of fabric gathered into the waistband.  I did not mind learning how to do a tiny rolled hem and hemming the meters of fabric, but I did NOT enjoy gathering in the gores at all.  A decade of sewing did not improve my dislike of gathering one bit, and I just tried to avoid garments that involved it.  I would do anything but gathering: tiny cartridge pleating, tiny knife pleats, little box pleats… Then I figured out how to do cord gathering, and the skies parted, and angels sang.  Cord gathering is AMAZING.  It allows you to quickly and easily gather in huge amounts of fabric, …

A trio of Medieval accessories

You’ve already seen my medieval dress, and a costume-y medieval belt, but I’ve been working on much more historically accurate accessories. My first belt was fun and sparkly, but I wanted a proper belt: (shown, with complete lack of properness, with my Miramar Gothic dress) I made the belt from two strips of soft leather in mid-brown.  I couldn’t find a leather scrap within my budget that was long enough for a single strip (a $200 hide is out of the question at the moment), so I joined the two strips with a bit of stitching.  I have no idea if a leather join like that is accurate, but I suspect it’s plausible.  And it reminds me of the mended sashes of the sword-wearers of Damar, so, win! I used a vintage English-made brass buckle I found at an op shop: it’s not quite right for the 14th century, but isn’t too bad.  I had a stroke of luck the day after I cut my belt, but before I’d finished it.  I found a crappy pleather …