I’m a self taught sewer.
I remember one of the first things I made was a heart pillow. We were in the basement of our old house and I would have been in early grade school. There wasn’t a pattern. I just drew a heart, cut it out of fabric, and my mom let me sew and stuff it.
It was far from perfect but I remember something clicked. I could create one finished thing out of many little things. It wasn’t necessarily the realization that multiple materials could make one item, it was that I could be the one to do it.
When I was in highschool, I’d alter or make some of my clothes. I’d have an idea in my head of what I wanted but I could never find it in a store, so I’d just play around with fabric or cut up clothing to try to create something similar. Looking back, I realize how supportive my parents were of my creativity, because I don’t think I ever got in trouble for cutting up things.
I remember my prized possession was a jean skirt I made. I saw a female VJ on TRL (if you know you know) wearing a jean skirt that was made up of small strips and squares of denim sewn together. I NEEDED a skirt like that. This was before people shopped much online so I searched all the regular places a mid-west high school girl in the late 90’s early 2000’s shopped- American Eagle, The Buckle, Abercrombie, etc. but a skirt like this was nowhere to be found.
So I got to work.
I already had a jean skirt I liked that served as my template. I cut up a couple of older jeans to sort of ‘Frankenstein’ this new masterpiece of a skirt together. I used the top part of one pair so I already had the waist, button, and zipper. I slowly pieced together squares, long strips, scraps of denim for the lower part of the skirt.
I have to be honest with you guys…
This was my favorite piece of clothing for a couple of years. I think I may have taken it to college with me. Eventually, my beginner level sewing skills at the time, started to show through and the skirt started to wear out.
I held onto it for a long time though. I moved it from Kansas to Washington, even though I had retired it from my rotation long before our move.
I finally cleared it out from the bottom of my drawer but I still think about it every now and then. I’m sure from the outside, it just looked like a diy project gone bad, but I was so proud of it.
And really, that’s all that matters.