01 November 2009

Design-It-Yourself Clothes

I am currently obsessing over this book. I saw it at Borders a couple of weeks ago and was intrigued. Then I remembered that my mother-in-law had given me an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday, and I miraculously had not spent it yet. A quick trip to Amazon for the book and Amy Karol's killer gift labels, and I'm in business. Maybe.

I've hated sewing clothes ever since I HAD to in high school home economics classes that resulted in several hideously ill-fitted items. I hated the fabric choices available. I hated the patterns. And I hated spending so much time on a project only to have it turn out so very, very wrong.

The last couple of years I've been slowly turning the corner. With Fabric Depot, Mill End, Bolt, and Cool Cottons all within easy driving distance, I have thousands of great fabric options at my disposal (Yes, thousands, it can be a bit overwhelming). And I've come to like great fabric made from natural fibers. Give me cotton, silk and wool any day over the synthetic fabrics used in the mass-produced clothes in my price range.

But I still have a hard time with patterns. I can go into the store with an idea in my head and end up completely frustrated that I can't find a pattern to match the idea. Or I can find a pattern but it seems exorbitantly expensive for tissue paper on which is printed a pattern that may or may not fit my body.

Enter Do-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified by Cal Patch. I am so stoked about this book! If it works the way I think it will, I'll be able to think up a simple silhouette in my head, draft a pattern on my own, and sew a garment that is uniquely fitted to my body. So far, I read most of the book which was pleasant and easy-to-understand. I sweet-talked the Wise and Bearded One into measuring me 18 different ways, and I've drawn up my first simple skirt pattern.

I'd be in my studio sewing up my prototype skirt this very minute if it weren't next door to my lightly-sleeping daughter. Hopefully I'll get to tackle it tomorrow.

So if you're a latent fashionista, a Project Runway devotee, or simply tired of crappy cheap clothes, this might be the answer. I'll let you know how it works out for me. I have high hopes, friends. High hopes.

P.S. You can get a taste of the book over on this tutorial on Etsy.


picknstitch said...

Oh, this book sounds good! Let us know how it works out. I've sewn clothes since I was 6 (elastic gathered skirt), have a textiles degree, and still I'm not happy with my pattern choices in the stores. I love the books that are coming out to help us create clothes as we see fit. And create clothes that fit!

Stephanie Breuner said...

Let me know how it goes. It sounds intriguing.

Jessica said...

I need to put this book on hold from the library---it is exactly what I need!

Erin said...

I'm 5'10" and I feel your pain. Fingers crossed that this works well.

Kelly said...

This book sounds like just the thing I need, I'm like you, much prefer to wear natural fibres, but most ready made clothes in my price range are synthetic, and not my style! Would love an update on how your skirt turns out, and thanks for the link too!