Friday, February 1, 2013
Made By Me - It's Curtains
Some sewists disdain home dec sewing because it's boring. Not me. I like home dec sewing, because unlike dressmaking, home dec sewing has a much higher likelihood of success. Most of the seams are straight and there aren't the kind of fitting issues you get with making clothes. Also, the behaviour of home dec fabric is much more predictable. And I like making things for the home. The only downside, at least with making curtains, is the metres and metres of fabric you have to deal with. Most of the time you spend making curtains is fabric wrangling, I swear.
I started out sewing by taking a course in Soft Furnishing at TAFE. We moved into this house ten years ago, and there wasn't a single window covering in the place. The recent fashion has been to have no window covering on lots of glass. That's not me - I like drawing curtains in summer against the sun, and in winter against the cold. I also like keeping the heat in during winter. And to me there is something snug about drawing curtains. It makes the home feel cosy.
Anyway, I took the course and made all the curtains in this place - that's ten sets of curtains. Yep, it saved a LOT of money. More importantly, though, the course also gave me practice in lots of skills that you use when sewing clothing - inserting zips, making buttonholes, gathering, inserting piping, measuring, sewing straight seams, seam finishing, pleating, making pintucks etc etc. (We even made and upholstered a lounge chair, which was enough to convince me I never wanted to do that again).
When I came to the conclusion a few years later that the only way I was going to get good quality clothing that fit me, in natural fibres that I could afford was to sew for myself, it wasn't daunting to make the leap to dressmaking. Fitting the figure is the big challenge when dressmaking, but it's far less onerous when you already know your way around a sewing machine, and have a few successful home dec projects to show for it.
My advice to anyone who wants to make their own clothes then is, start with home dec. Make a few cushion covers, pillowcases, quilt covers or even a set of curtains. Measure carefully, and take your time. Then when you have a few projects under your belt start with a skirt then...the sky's the limit.