An Estonian girl who has found a home in Sweden.

Friday, March 6

Sew More, Plans and Musings

March 06, 2015 Posted by Vaire , , ,

One of my goals for this year is to sew more. I am growing out of my clothes again and this time the usual stores do not have trousers in my size any more. I've officially reached the "plus size" of ready-to-wear and the selection is depressing. Skinny stretch jeans and loose tops... I still have a waist, thank you very much!

Not my style, colour, or material preference to be found in stores if they carry the size at all. So, time to pick up the needle and thread again. I've made modern clothes for myself before, besides making medieval/Renaissance clothes for both genders and various body shapes. How hard can it be to knock out a pair of trousers? Not that hard, actually, but as always I started with research first.

I've been interested in modern bespoke tailoring for good many years and this time when I went looking there was stuff on the Internet to be found. First of all, a goldmine of knowledge: The Cutter and Tailor. There is so much information there that I've been very slowly absorbing the contents. Luckily for me, trousers is what they recommend to take on after skirts, which is exactly what I am interested in learning how to make to a satisfactory standard.

Second, there are videos on YouTube about how to begin practising bespoke hand sewing. This is what I've been wanting to learn for a decade or more. After reading the C&T forums and watching this, I've been trying to source a proper tailor's thimble, but I haven't been entirely successful. The closest one I've found in my size is sold by Lacis, but the postage for this tiny object is enormous. I'll keep on looking. Ideally, I'd like to get a replica of this kind of medieval thimble, but sized for my finger.

This is a quick demonstration on how it works. I've been hand sewing for decades, but not quite like this. All the thimbles I've tried so far have been horrible, so I did without them and damaged my middle finger. Then, I also didn't hold my needle as close to the point as they do, thus having less control over stitch length and having uneven stitches as a result. I am determined to unlearn my old ways and learn the bespoke way, I'll cut off the top of a modern thimble if I must!

I also know myself and if I were to just poke holes in a square of fabric, I'll give up out of boredom. While I was trying to find out what a tailor's ham is called in Swedish, so that I could buy one, I stumbled on instructions how to make some. An idea struck me — sew my own by hand to practise the new (to me) way of hand sewing. Brilliant, right?

I can practise on something that doesn't have to be perfectly stitched, and in the end I get something I need anyway. This is where I am at right now. Looking for a thimble, planning the fabrics for a tailor's ham and seam roll. I'm sure I'll find something suitable in my scrap pile for both the inner lining and outer shell, I already have the needles, thread and the wood shavings for the stuffing.