Hi sewers/sewists/seamstresses/people who read the KCW blog, this week we thought it would be fun to have a look back at some of our earliest sewing projects. I’m going to show you the first two patterns I sewed for my daughter.
My earliest projects are not that old, I’ve only been sewing seriously for about 2 years – but they are pre-blogging. There are no photo shoot shots, just candid real life ones and mostly from my iPhone, so apologies for that. I’ll show you some of these and then talk about a few things I’ve learned between then and now.
Rae’s Big Butt Baby Pants –
I didn’t even appreciate back then what a great learning pattern this is. It’s a really simple sew. I’m sure you’re all familiar with this pattern, but just in case, there is a really cute separate panel at the behind to give extra room for the nappy/diaper. It introduces sewing curves which is helpful as these curves are less intimidating than setting sleeves. For a simple pattern they still look pretty professional IMO. And apparently babies can get away with some pretty crazy fabric combinations (see below – not sure what I was thinking)!!
Abby’s Polly Peasant Dress
Also a great beginner pattern – there are only two pattern pieces, the front/back piece and the sleeve. The elasticated neckline slips over the head so there are no zips or buttons to worry about. The other great thing about this pattern is that my little girl could wear this as a dress at 15 months old and now she can still wear it, but as a tunic at 2 and a half!
So my first garments didn’t turn out too badly – it was when I first started sewing with knit, not too long after this that I really produced some disasters!!
What have I learned from these first sewing adventures?
1. Quilting cotton is not the best choice for clothing. Do you agree? I find it a bit stiff and scratchy – especially the fabrics I chose here which were just bought from a chain fabric store. I know some of the designer quilting cottons are of a much higher quality and nicer to wear, but generally dress fabrics are the way to go.
2. Indie patterns are the best – when you’re starting out, I’ve found that indie pattern designers really go out of their way to create easy to follow patterns with great instructions and diagrams (Obviously this is a generalisation as I haven’t tried them all). In addition to the pattern instructions you can often find further help on the designers blog in the form of further tutorials, sew-alongs and pattern tours.
3. Mistakes are ok – not every project turns out and that’s cool. While it can be really disheartening at the time, we all learn something from these argh moments and become better sewers. The key is not to let these fails erode your confidence – they happen to all of us.
So tell me, what was the first pattern you ever made for your kids? Was it an indie pattern? What is your stance on quilting cottons? Do share!