I was going to post about the May Mini Swap, but sitting at my computer with a cup of tea after an afternoon of non planned sewing, I read Ann of Gorgeous Things post for yesterday.Gorgeous Things' Blog: What I Would Not Sew I hope it is OK to link to this. I found it quite funny, because see what I have been sewing today.
I have made most of these from technical wicking polyester. Adult size travel garments of this type run at about AUS$20-35 each item from Paddy Pallin and Kathmandu (last time I looked, about 12 months ago). The reason for this high price is allegedly the technical fabric, and supposedly quick drying nature of the garments. I made these in child size 12, which I have not seen available commercially, from scraps and fold over elastic. They are for my daughter's travel wardrobe. The remainder of the garments are also from scraps, including some of Ann's beautiful silk jersey. I may be stingy, but I could not see buying silk jersey smalls for a 10 year old, but I am happy to make her such a luxurious treat from my left overs!
This is the fold over elastic I would like to use on all this sort of garment, but it is rather tricky to find. I bought this from an Australian seller on ebay, not a shop, and when I was running out, I went looking for more locally - there was no fold over elastic at all
Last week, I made my approximately 3 monthly visit of penance to Spotlight as an adjunct to my daughter's orthodontist visit on the Sunshine Coast. There was no pretty fold over elastic, however, I had read on Belinda's blog Sew 4 Fun that Spotlight carries this item, so was quite persistent with the sales assistant when she disclaimed all knowledge of such an item (Thanks Belinda). She managed to track some down, there was 1 metre of white on the roll. Fortunately, a lady from the upholstery department was within earshot. She found me a bulk packet of sheet edging elastic, it looked identical to the sad remaining metre (white only) on the haberdashery roll, and it was less than half the price per metre. I think it has made quite cute sporty smalls.
I was trying to think of why I have made these uninteresting garments, and have worked out that there are several reasons
1. I cannot obtain the commercial version in the particular size, fit or a price range that I consider reasonable.
2. I like using up scraps, and making a more luxurious garment than I would purchase for "free". This displays my stingy side, but I am working on this by buying plenty of fabric to keep balanced :)
3. I do not have much mojo after finishing the May mini wardrobe, and can use this as a quick,fill in project whilst other ideas are perculating.
4. I have not sewn with knits very much, and every time I make a knit item, I feel that I am improving my skills. These hidden items are great for practice.
It was interesting to read Ann's other items. I would like to make all of them, but I think the same reasons as above apply to most of the items she would rather buy than make.
Jeans: The only pair of jeans I have ever owned that fit were purchased in the USA. The range of sizes and styles is amazingly large, and the price was much lower than here. If I lived in the USA, I would not attempt jeans either. I recently made my first ever pair of jeans (for my daughter) and I enjoyed sewing them, particularly the embellishment. I would like to make some well fitting, flattering jeans for me. I know these are not available in Australia in RTW!
Swimwear: One of my goals is to make RTW quality swimwear, and I mean Speedo quality. My family swims 9 months a year, one of my daughters is in swim squad, and we go through hundreds of dollars worth of swimwear each season. Most of this seems to be very boring Navy Blue, and I have bought a lot of interesting colours from the technical manufacturer Stretchtex (Mostly I have been making rashie tops with this). Personally, I find swimwear does not often fit me terribly well and I would like to improve this situation.
Bras: I bought a book about this, not that I cannot buy excellent garments of this type, but I am very interested in this as a technical challenge. I am sure it would improve my sewing, but I do think this is a longer term plan.
So what wouldn't I sew.
Sails. I tried to get out of this by telling my husband that I did not think my machine would cope, so he bought a cheap machine and sewed his own. Success!
Tents. I have repaired them under strong duress. There is nothing fun about sewing a tent in my opinion.
Bed Linen - too many flat pieces of fabric, which as Alexandra describes, remain flat pieces of fabric. This also applies to most Home Dec, so
If I can justify the expense of ready made - Home Dec. I sew far too much Home Dec, and never enjoy it
Costumes for other people's children, particularly teenagers - burnt once too often with last minute requests, demands and general low grade behaviour, and it is always ghastly fabric. I feel like a horrible person writing this, but I am determined to sew more fun things than not fun things, and my family comes first. It is surprisingly hard to stick to this.
Cheap fabric, if I can avoid it.
What will I sew? Lots of things, one day I will write a list of all my plans. It will be very, very long.