October 14, 2013

Sew Much Ado...

If you have read my previous posts you might have an idea that I came from a family who's very much affiliated with clothes and very well-versed when it comes to apparel.My grandmother used to be dress-maker and used to own a business that sub-contracted in producing clothes for companies and clothing  stores.

Both my parents used to work for trading companies that mediates between garment factories here in the Philippines and international clothing brand owners. They were either Quality Assurance or Quality Control officers and Merchandisers for those companies. When the garment manufacturing industry in the Philippines had gone stale, they both left their jobs and decided to buy and sell overrun apparels so that they can work from home. My sister Hazel, on the other hand, is a self-made fashion designer and wedding  couturier.

When we were little girls, my sister and I would use our grandma's sewing machines to sew clothes for our dolls. Our grandma taught us the basics of sewing; my mom on the other hand taught us how to do patterns and how to check for quality.

My sister would often make her own clothes sewing by hand and sometimes she would sew costumes for classmates and friends for school events. After college, she took a short course in dress making, pattern making and fashion designing. And later on joined Philippines' franchise of Project Runway season 2.

Though I know the basics of sewing, I didn't know how to make a pattern and make a clothing that is complicated to put together and how to perfectly sew them. My sister is the one who taught me how to sew properly but I am still way way behind her skills. Most often than not the clothes that I sew are not done properly. I always have hard time doing sleeves. I always end up cutting the textile bigger than my usual body size and as I go along that's when I make adjustments. Up until now my sewing skills are still not at par. It has been always a trial and error for me. I usually buy more cloths than I usually should.use because I always make mistakes and have to re-do something, so having extra, helps a lot. Also, when you turn over the clothes that I sew, you will see how badly sewn and unfinished they are. I either sew from scratch and use the basic pattern that my sister made for me or alter the clothes that I already have and make it into a new piece.

What I like most about sewing my own clothes is that, most likely, I am the only one who have them. I would never have any instance where I will walk in the mall and see someone wearing the same apparel like mine. Plus doing DIY clothes gives the best fit and length.

I still always find time to sew despite a busy schedule. It's somehow therapeutic especially when I get to wear the finished product and feel good and proud that I made what I'm wearing. It's also cheaper and I get to wear the exact style and design that I like.

I usually copy the ones that I see online of from catalogs. Sometimes I tweak it a bit to make it more unique and to the style of my liking. I often have a design in mind but can't find it in any ready-to-wear shops.

Here are the the clothes that I altered into a new piece of clothing. I was inspired by this blogger whom, I've been following for years now --> Marissa of New Dress A Day. (www.newdressaday.com)

an old dress that doesn't fit me anymore turn into a pencil skirt

pleated maxi skirt turned into a high-low skirt

fitted dress turned into a bodycon skirt

I also get inspirations from catalogs, like this top and dress from Mango Summer 2007 collection. I made one in blue and black back in 2008.


From the MANGO Spring 2012 Collection. 
I admit that this dress was constructed so poorly, especially the armhole/sleeves part.  

This was the inspiration for the Lace Top I made; which I paired with the Hi-Low Skirt above for a 25th Wedding Anniversary.

The inspirations for the Kimono Swimsuit Cover-up that I have sewn just a couple of weeks back.

Other items that I have sewn from scratch:
Maxi Beach cover up

magenta top with cut out back design
magenta chiffon 3/4 sleeves top
I also tried making an Aztec swimsuit top

I also follow bloggers that DIY their own clothes. Like Phuong of classypeach.blogspot.com. I was searching for tutorials for shift dresses online but can't find one that's easy to follow, so I commented in one of her blog posts, requesting for a long sleeves shift dress tutorial. I was ecstatic that she happily obliged to my request. I totally dig and adore her DIY clothes, they're so girly, dreamy and stylish! That being said, I became a huge fan instantly! See her tutorial here: Long Sleeves Shift Dress Tutorial by Classy Peach

Here is classypeach's output:
photo c/o www.facebook.com/theclassypeach

Though I didn't make a long sleeves shift dress because the material I used for this is not suitable in this country's humid weather. I'll probably make another one using chiffon cloth and in a different color.

Instagram-ing while sewing:

Here is my output:

I still have a lot of sewing and alteration projects lined-up. I just need to find time to start doing them. despite my somewhat "busy" schedule ;-)

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