July 30th, 2008 | Isabel

Trend Watch: Sew Your Own!

Just Another Day at the Machine…

Sewing has had a bit of an image problem in recent years – you’d be forgiven for thinking the only people left in the country still doing it were GCSE students and grannies. But banish that thought – today’s the perfect time to rediscover a lost art (or a conveniently forgotten one, if your textiles classes at school were as disastrous as mine). Home sewing is undergoing a huge revival at the moment, as fashionistas find themselves with less money to burn and a greater awareness of the ethical concerns surrounding mass production. And it can work for anyone – it may seem like a lot to drop £50 or more on a sewing machine, but they last a lifetime and can be used to create limitless one-off wonders. So, why not put your fashion radar to work looking for a pattern and fabric you really love, rather than settling for what everyone else is wearing?

The benefits of creating your own clothes are huge – aside from the money saved and the environmental brownie points, when people ask you where you got that fabulous new dress/shirt/scarf from you get to do a little laugh and say ‘oh, I made it myself’. With all this in mind, I set myself the challenge of making my own skirt for summer. I chose a skirt because I thought it would be less fiddly than trousers, but not as much of a cop-out as a scarf. Well, it was still ridiculously frustrating in parts – but you just have to grit your teeth, accept you’re going to make a few mistakes along the way, and carry on. If you do this, I promise you’ll be left with something totally unique you’ll be proud to wear – it’s just a matter of trial and error until you get it right. To make things more fun, team up with a few friends and make things together to wear to a specific event. Then you’ve got a deadline, and there’s someone to laugh with if it goes wrong, and someone to look impressed when it all comes together.

Like anything involving a challenge, sewing takes more time, effort and small-scale frustration than your average grab-and-dash in Primark. But the reward is greater than all of that – I’m already planning my next creation!

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