surprisingly sewn

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I wouldn’t consider myself a seamstress by any stretch, readers, but I do like to sew. I decided it was high time to try and mesh my love of sewing with my love of fashion- the outcome? My first-ever handmade grown-up skirt. Admittedly, it has what I would call some “structural issues” mostly because I had to sew it on myself (patterns? eh. that seemed complicated) and then hem it while half way on (again, this is what happens when you don’t use a pattern), but nonetheless, this bad boy is my first creation! I think my pride in having done something I hadn’t done before outweighs any structural issues there may be. Belts really help make a lot of things work, right? Anywho, my point is that it’s really fun to surprise yourself sometimes and do something different. You never know ’til you try…

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Skirt: made it! (fabric $6 at Joann’s, had a coupon, of course!)
Top: Forever 21 ($20)
Tights: Hue via Nordstrom Rack ($3 marked down from $15)
Belt: Urban Outfitters (approx $5 marked down from approx $60)
Shoes: Express ($20 marked down from $70)
Necklace: Vintage via resale ($6)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Clothing DIY is a great way to use creative energy and try new things. However, I’ve noticed that fabric can really add up, so I like to remember that it’s not always the most cost effective way to obtain new clothes. On the other hand, I always use coupons at places like Joann fabrics. Their app has daily coupons for 40-50% off any cut of fabric. Additionally, the creative part of it is well worth the cost of the fabric. I’m guessing skirts must be the easiest thing to make and take minimal fabric, though shout-out to any of the sewers that read the blog. I’d love your feedback and tips!
2) Denim is a big staple for me. I would pretty much wear denim daily if I could. With all the patterns that are popular right now, denim is an easy way to wear bold patterns in a more casual way. Because I cannot wear denim pants at work, I tend to collect denim tops instead. I recommend having one light version and one dark. Gap is known for their denim, and tend to have great sales on all of their denim (pants, jackets, tops). I also like Forever 21 and Old Navy for denim- they both have denim that is surprisingly very durable!
Anyone have denim tips? Sewing tips for a novice like me?
Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it an all of your tips and feedback!
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49 thoughts on “surprisingly sewn

  1. Not a super tailor myself, but I find that having a (manageable) hoard of random fabric can help a lot. If I get ahold of something that’s too beat up for Goodwill, I’ll cut out the usable parts and hold on to them, and then use it to repair or add to something else. Mainly works for patches… I’ve also made a few pillows out of tee shirts that were getting waaaaay too old to wear anymore.

    I imagine you could do a cool bohemian look with something crazy-patchwork.

  2. Love it!! The fabric is too cute and of course looks lovely with the denim shirt! I’ve tried my hand at sewing a bit too (and I am also of the “who needs patterns” mentality). Sadly nothing I’ve made really is fit for blogging…but you’ve inspired me to keep trying. 🙂 A friend of mine is quite the seamstress and she sews to instructions vs patterns. She gets most of these off of Etsy and says its much easier than sewing with a pattern. Maybe somthing to try? Can’t wait to see your future pieces! 🙂 Xx…Cortneybre…
    http://cortneybre.com

    • Thank you for the encouragement!! I hadn’t thought of Etsy vs patterns, but that sounds like a great idea. I had to talk myself through whether my skirt was okay/blog worthy too. We are always our toughest critics, right? But, you have to start somewhere-! Keep us posted on your future creations- I would love to see them!

      On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, The Fashion Huntress wrote:

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  3. yay for DIYs! 🙂

    depending on the body shape, a top could also be as cheap & easy to make as a skirt. since i’m practically flat-chested, if i want to make a quick top i would only need around 60 – 70 cm of fabric, depending on how long i want it to be. then all i have to do is cut the fabric in the middle (between the selvages), sew the neck holes (front and back separately), sew the shoulder seams, sew the side seams up to where the arm holes are supposed to be, and sew the arms holes and hem. DONE! 🙂 this works best with lightweight jersey/knit fabrics, very light cotton (lighter than the regular quilting/JoAnn fabrics), or viscose (my fave kind of fabric!).

    i usually get the cheapest fabrics at the kilo department where they sell fabrics according to their weights (i don’t know if you have anything like that there…). of course you can’t expect to get any branded fabrics, but if you like unique and personalized items then that’s the best place to get them. also, next time you hit a thrift store, if you find branded clothes for cheap prices but the sizes are too big, you can still get them and remake them to something new. i don’t usually do that though, since i’m too lazy to rip the seams. :p

    • YAY! Great tips!! I really need to look into thrifty fabric stores and I think looking at places like resale shops makes perfect sense!! I am definitely going to try that!! Thanks so much!

      On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 4:16 PM, The Fashion Huntress wrote:

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  4. Beautiful skirt! Well done and great job! Don’t worry if from first time it’s not like you expected, I’ve been sewing for around 10 years, I just stopped it and do only occasionally for last 4 years since my Mum passed away ( I lost inspiration) I used to sew even coats and jackets. You can upload patterns online or buy them and believe hem line is pain in the… even with patterns:))) For first time try to buy simple fabric I mean not sleepy or stretchy fabrics like silk, chiffon – they are highly difficult to make pattern, to sew them it needs to have special needles special stitch and special paper to put under fabric, but if you love doing this with time it will be only better and better! Good luck!

    • Thanks for sharing, Oxana. For a long time, I stopped sewing. I think I just lost that part of me that likes to create things, so I could definitely see how a loss would contribute to that feeling. I would love to see some of your creations and love your feedback and tips 🙂 thanks again for sharing- you inspire me everytime you post!

      On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 5:31 PM, The Fashion Huntress wrote:

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  5. I so respect you for sewing the skirt yourself!!! That takes patience and skill, for sure. It turned out so lovely, too!

  6. Ok, I knew there was a reason you were this good..you are a seamstess as well!! Woohoo..you nailed it. From afar the structral issues if any are not noticable atall. I have thought so many times to sew some clothes, but I am best at hand embroidery, the old woman kind, that my mom taught me as kid. But I digress, love the print, and with the belt, this skirt looks amazing!! So proud of you..and thank you for the inspiration. More reasons why the shoutout to you on my blog is pertinent! woot woot.

  7. Reading your post reminded me of your grandmother Ann laying her patterns on the floor and pinning the material to them. She made a lot of her own clothes. Nice memories.

    • I thought of her when I was making it! I hope she knows I’m channeling her sewing skills- I remember all of the nightgowns she used to make for us. Lots of good memories 🙂

      On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, The Fashion Huntress wrote:

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  8. The fabric is beautiful. Great job on the skirt. I’m excited for you and all your future projects. Love your fearlessness and the fact that you just go for it and make it happen.

  9. Love this and would totally but it in a heartbeat if I passed it in store! You sound like me, patterns…directions… meh technicalities that are just a hassle;).

    xx Cara

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