Saturday, January 19, 2013

Two and a half years...I've come a long way...

I was just thinking...this month I've been sewing for two and a half years. And I've come quite a long ways since then. I'm in a niche that I never would have thought I would like, let alone be in.

Actually, since I'm talking about a sewingversary, I guess I could talk about how I got into sewing in the first place. Back in 2008 when I graduated from undergrad, I told myself I wanted to learn two things: I wanted to learn how to decorate cakes and I wanted to learn how to sew. The former I got into right away that summer and I loved it. The latter...took a while. Sewing was something I was still a little iffy about. I didn't know much about it, certainly didn't know how to use a sewing machine. The only thing I could do was sew by hand.  I've had a needle in my hand since I was eight or nine, so transitioning from cross stitching to hand sewing wasn't difficult. I finally decided to get into it when I wanted to make my own kimono. So starting in July of 2010, I got around to taking classes. Sewing...was a lot more complicated than I thought. And like all of our projects that we start out with, it was imperfect. The stitching wasn't all that great. You probably didn't wear what you first made. But after I learned the basics I went on to make my kimono:

The thing about kimono is that it's not a complicated garment. Isn't meant to be.  It's a garment of rectangles. So once you've made one a couple of times, there's not...much else.  So I wanted to branch out after a couple of months.

Then my friend Meghann started getting into steampunk, and I was interested to a certain point.  I was interested in the Victorian aspect of it. So I did research. By September I was dabbling in Victorian clothing.  What you ask?  A skirt?  A blouse or bodice maybe?  No.  A corset.  I went from not knowing how to use a sewing machine to kimono to corsets (a perfect example of my very odd ways).  It was from a commercial pattern and I used plastic boning and it didn't fit well (I don't really count this one) but it was finished. I completed it by Halloween (no pictures of it though). Soon after I discovered Truly Victorian and, not really feeling the bustle at the time, decided to go with a plain 1890s walking skirt. That was the first skirt I made, of any kind.

There were other crafts I was messing around with at the time. Kanzashi, kumihimo. So while I worked on that type of stuff, my interest in Victorian clothing grew until I decided I wanted to tackle a full Victorian dress instead of just a skirt for my first year sewing anniversary. So by May 2011 (on my grandmother's birthday, actually, which consequently was the first time I went to the Ren Faire here and the first End of the World date) I started on my first Victorian project with stripping a pair of boots to repaint them. I finished it just in time to wear it to Archon in September, followed by Rural Heritage Day soon after.

And the truncated Project Runway project was at the end of 2011.  I never did take a picture of the vest and jacket (they're still in my sewing room, don't worry) but I had a quick picture of when I finished the pants and blouse (it's taken in a mirror tile wall, hints the weird lines).  Proof that I've made normal clothing!

Which pretty much brings us up to when I started this blog.  So yes, now you see the (very odd) evolution of how I got to where I am today.  Who makes a corset after a few months of learning how to sew?  This weirdo.  But if hadn't tried, I wouldn't be doing what I love doing now.  I always strive to push myself, strive to try something new for each project and learn as much as I can from both research and the sewing process itself.  It may not be perfect...but it's what I want to do.  It's what I love.  And you can't ask for more than that.

I love hearing about how people got to where they are, sewing wise.  Feel free to share.  I sure have jabbered on enough.