Low Fabric Confidence

A few weeks ago Heather B wrote a post about a dress that wasn’t really her. She described her in post her inspiration and modifications for her dress. In the end she got a dress with many technical skills and it fitted her like a glove, but she wasn’t happy with it because she didn’t feel good in it. Somewhere along the line a cute dress had become too cutesy dress with too many distractions and a shape that wasn’t her.

I can relate.

Sewing has kind of become a cult, of which I am part. I no longer feel that sewing is my hobby, somewhere along the line it became a lifestyle. For me that has meant a much more conscious way of thinking about building a wardrobe in terms of colour and style, as well as a big turn-off towards the fast fashion industry and must-haves. I have turned to sewing and thrifting as my main resources of clothing. I have realised that I don’t look like anyone else, style wise, that I don’t know what’s in trend and I’ve come to accept this and embrace my own look.

So, why is it that I made a dress in colours that don’t look good on me and in a shape that is totally unflattering for me? I remember buying that fabric. It was in the home textile department, so I was a bit unsure of it, but it felt soft enough to use as a dress. I was just getting into using colours more and this seemed colourful enough without being too much. I liked the fabric, I still do, but it’s not suitable for adult apparel. As cushion or maybe even children’s clothes it would come to its best.

And the pattern? Ugh! Was I so eager to get a quick project in, joining a sew-along that I completely forgot what shapes I should wear. I was feeling optimistic, that by adding a belt all problems would go away, but in the end I feel as if I was delusional more than anything else. And it shows in the rushed sewing, for example the shoulder straps on the back pieces are wider than those of the front giving my shoulder seams a discrepancy. At the point of sewing the shoulder seams I was already over this project (subconsciously) and made no effort to fix it.

You know you don’t like a project when you don’t bother fixing issues like this

What does this tell me? I need to make things I like, I need to focus when fabric shopping, I need to not jump at any opportunity to join a sew-along, a contest, whatever, if it’s not something I would do anyway. There. If I didn’t already have plans to make a summer sundress, I shouldn’t join a summer sun dress sew-along. I didn’t join Sew Dolly Clackett or Oonapallooza as I wouldn’t get wearable pieces out of it. I should stick to my guns, which I usually do well. I need to see a pattern made up several times before I buy it, I stalk the fabric store website before visiting making sure I like the colours, in the store it’s all about texture. Also, I will be more devoted to The Monthly Stitch. That will allow me to join a community of sewers while still having guidelines to what to sew. Guidelines that are wide and not very restrictive, letting me do things that are me and still fit in with a theme.

When I went to the fabric store recently I was haunted by my past fabric mistakes. I saw plenty of pretty fabrics, including the infamous tape measure fabric, but I couldn’t see them made up as garments. In my mind they were all too boring, too much or not me. I need to get some fabric confidence back!

Now, I’m awaiting the release of fall fabrics, perhaps that can get me back in the saddle!

6 thoughts on “Low Fabric Confidence

  1. Hiya! I can’t remember – have you ever formally made yourself a colour palette? Here’s how I do them… http://craftingarainbow.wordpress.com/wardrobe-colour-palettes/ I really find the palette helpful when I’m shopping because it makes it really clear what fabric I’d end up wearing or not! Or maybe pick out some favourite garments from your closet, and go looking for similar colours/types of fabric? That way you’d definitely know you would like the finished product!
    (We’ve all got some dogs in our stash tho, I think… and sometimes sewing them up into something unwearable is the only way to get those fabrics out o our sewing rooms and out of our lives!🙂

    • Hi! I did make myself a style chart (https://eitchy.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/me-made-may-14/) in which I used input from your blog (the queen of colour) and Colette’s Wardrobe architect series. I also looked at what colours I liked of the clothing I already had to help me determine what I should go for. I always carry the chart with me when fabric shopping:)

      Still haven’t decided if my dress should get another chance next summer or be chopped up, I’m thinking the fabric cute be a pair of cute toddler pants (but then I need lining thus making it a much more difficult project).

  2. Well said, all of it! We all make those mistakes, surely. I’ve made plenty! I think especially at that stage of being able to sew proficiently enough and having already turned your back on rtw but not yet sewn a lot if your wardrobe, there’s a point where it’s difficult to work out how your style fits with what you want to make or how to make what fits your style, whatever that is – though I’ve always known rather what mine ISN’T, which I suspect also accounts for a high number of my failed garments!

    Longest sentence ever… anyway, good thought-provoking read! 😊

    • Yes it is easier to know what ISN’T your style rather than what IS. It is so easy to be distracted and lured in by all those prints and colours in the fabric store to stay true to yourself. Must focus.

  3. I am trying to remember to do this do too. I always end up getting distracted by cute prints in fabric shops only to bring them home and realise that they really won’t turn into clothes I like.

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