Fun fact: When you’re a professional costumer, making things for yourself is not something you do.
When you sew all day, you don’t necessarily want to go home and do it in your off time. And when I did, it was usually a costume to wear to the local Renaissance Festival or a re-creation of a vintage pattern that wasn’t work-appropriate.
One of the great things about working at Sew News now is that sewing is adjacent to my job as editor, rather than being the main element, so it hovers in a not-quite-professional, not-quite-hobby limbo where I get to do it a lot but not so much that I get sick of it. And also, due to the nature of the work we do here, sewing everyday clothes has become something I do.
I spent most of my sewing life making things for other people — in many cases, people I had never even met. In addition, because of the relative cost of fabric and labor, in the theater you almost never make modern casual garments. There may be exceptions for something very specific or unique, but generally it’s more cost-efficient to just purchase basic garments. So when I started here, I felt a little strange as I realized I was surrounded by people who were wearing clothing they made themselves. At the time, all the projects I had planned were costumes, because that was what I sewed.
It was the American Sewing Guild conference that started me on a new sewing path. I attended last year’s conference to represent our magazines, and as I examined the agenda I noticed they had a Wear Your ASG Pattern Day. I thought it might be fun to participate, so I chose a cute knit top pattern, bought some fabric and made myself a nice, casual summer top that was appropriate for the office and that I loved to wear. It didn’t take nearly as long as a period costume, and when it was done, I actually got to wear it. Making garments for myself was fun!
I was hooked. I’ve been making everyday garments for myself fairly regularly since then. My time is limited, of course, and I don’t have the time to sew all the patterns I want to. But when #MeMadeMay came around this year, I was surprised to realize that I should be able to wear something that I made just about every day this month, albeit with a lot of repeats. I’m pretty excited about that.
So far, I’ve mostly sewn summer tops (and leggings — I love the Sew News Dot to Dot Leggings pattern), but I’m looking forward to branching out into other seasons and trying out a few pants patterns before May 2018. Maybe I’ll even be able to wear complete MeMade outfits!