Monday 23 April 2012

I Will Wear It in Public...

Garment Sewing Challenge: May 2012

Rikka, from Ricochet and Away, is hosting the I Will Wear it in Public Garment Sewing Challenge. Here are the guidelines.

  1. The theme of this challenge is to sew any garment that YOU will be proud enough to wear in public. 
  2. This is a sewing challenge so machine or hand sewing is a required element in your entry. 
  3. You must make a new garment for this challenge. 
  4. Upcycling and refashioning of existing garments is acceptable as long as you follow the second guideline. 
  5. Don't confuse garments with accessories like hats, scarves, belts, etc. 
  6. You must try something new when creating your garment. That's where the "challenge" part comes into play, right? Maybe you've never used a pattern, or sewn with knits, or installed a zipper. Here's your chance!

Of course I'm joining in!!! A couple of weeks ago, I said that I would make three tops for myself before the end of the year. This challenge is just the motivation I need.

In my teens and twenties, I sewed a lot of my own clothes. There has, however been a big break of almost 30 years with no sewing for me, until last month when I made myself  the Rose t-shirt

The guidelines say I must try something new when creating my garment. Hmmm...

I made my first garment (a skirt sewn by hand) when I was eleven years of age. The next year I made my first garment with a sewing machine: a dress which was called a muumuu. During my years at school, I made a few garments, the most complicated being a fully lined woollen slack suit. Actually, I think my Mum helped me with this one. Even so, I was very proud of my pink slack suit. 

During my teens, I started sewing clothes for myself at home and continued to do so for many years. I've had a lovely time tonight, going through old photo albums, trying to find pictures of garments I've sewn. Unfortunately, there's not many. You'll see how the fashion has changed since then.

I've shown you this photo of my wedding dress before. The veil was much harder than the dress, probably because I didn't use a pattern.

These are three bridesmaids outfits I sewed back in the 70s. The one on the left was made from satin, with a sweetheart neckline and little gathers on the sleeves. The middle one was the hardest to sew. It's made from a sheer fabric and is fully lined. The green one is made from crêpe fabric. I still like the two blue ones, but I'm not so sure about the green one. I don't know that I even liked it at the time.

The outfit on the left is what I wore to Mr TMW's graduation. I loved that woollen skirt! I knitted the jumper as well. Yes, it was the same colour as my kitchen... 70's orange. The middle photo shows another suit I made, this time without Mum's help. Again, the jacket is fully lined. The outfit on the right is a maternity dress.

I couldn't find any photos, but I've done a lot of sewing with stretch fabrics as well: skirts, t-shirts, sweaters, trackpants.

Back to the challenge... something that is new to me. I haven't sewn jeans or underwear, but I have no intention of sewing either. Jeans are the only item I am now fussy about. I tend to stick to the one brand that fits me well. And underwear... no way am I going to go there... LOL!!!

I have never attempted smocking. Yes, I'd like to learn how. I have never made a button loop... the little loop you make when you don't want to do a buttonhole or when the material doesn't overlap.

I have also never altered a pattern, other than to take it up or in. Now that would be quite a daunting challenge, as I do rely on patterns. I'm learning that it's good to think outside the square and am enjoying refashioning clothes without using a pattern. I don't know if I'm game enough to try altering a pattern when using new fabric.

I admire the sewing done by so many women in blogland, who sew for themselves. Four in particular who inspire me:
These four talented ladies modify existing patterns and/or draft their own patterns. Maybe it's time I started heading down that path... not to draft my own pattern, but maybe to modify an existing pattern. Stay tuned...

Entries for the I Will Wear it in Public Garment Sewing Challenge, can be submitted anytime up until 31st May. Remember, as long as it's new to you, it can be submitted. The aim is to teach yourself something. So, if you have never sewn clothing, that means you can sew anything for the challenge.

This will be my fifth challenge with Rikka. Rikka and Keren, from Ricochet and Away and Sew la Vie! have hosted four challenges. Here's my entries for the previous challenges:
Would you like to join me in the challenge to teach yourself something new while sewing for yourself? Head on over to the challenge home page to find out more details. Or have a look at the Garment Sewing Inspiration board over on Pinterest.

... Pam


  1. Oooh, I think I am going to do this. I just bought a pattern and fabric to make a tank top. The pattern also works for a camisole which would also be good. I guess I'm lucky in that my inexperience leaves it all wide open for me, lol. Good luck deciding what you're going to do.

  2. Ah, thanks so much for the mention. I'm glad my blog inspires you to modify patterns and sew more for yourself! I'm so impressed by all the garments you've made in the past, using all those tricky fabrics, too. I can't wait to see what you make for this challenge. Good luck!

  3. This sounds like a fun challenge! I want to sew some things for myself this summer, and this would be the perfect opportunity to start on that. Maybe I will make a dress, since I have never made one before.

  4. I love seeing your pictures from different times, Pam :) And I can't wait to see what you will make for this challenge. I am still not sure if I will join in. I have never made any clothes before and due to time commitment I am not confident that I would be able to participate this time. :(

  5. Oh I am in the middle of modifying the Kate's dress pattern to a ladies size 8 so I can make one for myself.. Maybe I'll enter and it will give me more incentive to finish it! Maybe I'll have to use real button holes insted of cheating with loops like I normally do!
    And p.s I love that orange sweater.. It's one of my favourite colours much to the disgust of practically everyone I know!

    1. I like the incentive that the challenges give me, Kate... motivation without pressure.

  6. Sounds like this challenge was made for you Pam, good luck!

  7. I signed up for this one!! I am so excited! I have wanted to make myself a skirt forever, but never found the time or courage. I hope I can pull this one off!:)

  8. Well I cannot wait to see what challenge you are going to set yourself Pam.
    I loved looking at the photos of your older garments, you are gorgeous in every outfit!! I'm so impressed with your bridesmaid dresses.

  9. Oh, I'm excited to see what you're making for yourself! I keep toying with the idea of sewing something for me, but I keep saying I want to lose 10 pounds first.

  10. I love seeing these old photos, Pam! I also am joining in and will be completing this challenge this week, hopefully. :)

  11. Hi Pam! Thank you so much for the sweet compliment! Im doing a sewing challenge too this month. Me Made May. Maybe you can work on more pieces and join in next year! Im excited to see what you make for the challenge!


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