I learned to sew, crochet, cook, bake and (sorta) knit when I was really young. Grade school. Then came Home Ec in Junior High and High School, where I learned to really sew, and never looked back.
Funds were limited growing up, so discovering how to sew my own clothes was everything to me. I could sew the latest styles for next to nothing, compared to the prices in our small town stores.
I was SO desperate to learn to really knit well after high school. I was wavering between art and biology / chemistry in our local community college (this has always been a struggle for me!), and relaxing with a good crochet project really helped with the stress of learning the quadratic formula or Avogadro's number or moles.
But, knitting was a big challenge. "M1." What does that mean???* We were JUST accessing apple computers in community college. There was no internet. Certainly no youtube.
I checked out every possible knitting book from the local libraries, didn't really help. Each book had a different M1 / increase technique. Yarn in front vs. yarn in back was all the more confusing.
So, I stuck with sewing and just dreamed of hand knit sweaters.
The internet truly has been invaluable to reviving the hand arts. Once I realized I could watch just about any technique via youtube, I was smitten.
I stopped sewing when I started working fulltime, many years ago, but periodically fondled the fabrics at a local shop, chose a few, and sewed up some skirts for work.
And, I have a small stack of fabrics that are ready to pin and cut, in order to make some cute Summer skirts. As soon as I have time (ha).
AND, I'm knitting the tops and sweaters to wear with them. Huzzah!
What about you?
What about your own handmade wardrobe? Do you sew in addition to your fiber art of choice? I'd love to know - leave a comment below!
There are SO many new options for sewing your own clothes and accessories. Used to be sitting at the fabric store with a pile of pattern catalogs, writing down your list of pattern numbers and brands, then combing through the pattern drawers and narrowing down your choices (your size was sold out, or you didn't realize the notions required weren't something you had access too, etc.).
Now you can search for dirndl skirt digital download sewing patterns, and voila, you have a sizable mountain of search results. Download the PDF or send for the hard copy. Done.
Or search for any kind of knitting or crochet pattern! Ravelry is a good place to start, but so is Google. Or your favorite indie designer or hand dyer's website.
I'd love to hear about your handmade wardrobe experience - please share below!
*BTW, the one concept that I've truly embraced when it comes to knitting? Most techniques will work for a particular increase, etc. As long as you achieve the desired result, most people will not care if your increase is a YO, picking up the bar, working the stitch below, etc. It's just what works for you and for your project. Heresy, I know!