In 1998, I began sewing. In 2011, my sewing productivity began to drop. I had a good run. I made hundreds of garments and a few curtains, pillows, and bags along the way. Some projects turned out, some didn’t (if I was lucky, I could tell the difference). I loved sewing so much I have a needle and thread tattoo. I’m also a former owner of a sewing blog and spender of thousands of dollars in fabric and other sewing supplies.
So, what happened?
First off, my body changed. It’s much easier to fit a flat piece of fabric onto a flat body. Why do you think models are that skinny? It’s not to taunt the rest of us; it’s to make the designers’ jobs easier. When I started sewing, I was maybe 100 pounds. Then I had my daughter in 2004 and decided to keep the weight because I’ve always wanted to be curvy. Clothes got much harder to fit.
Second, I got busier. This led to less sewing time and less energy. Spending 5 hours sewing a garment that may or may not fit and/or flatter became a costlier investment. I decided to spend my more limited leisure time on other hobbies.
And then I got more ready-to-wear shopping options. I live 10 minutes from an outlet mall. Then there’s Ebay and Thredup and 6pm.com and Amazon Prime. I find it easier to just go buy something instead of trying to sew it. And with sites like those I mentioned, I can usually buy a garment for the same cost as making it myself.
I’ve tried pattern alterations. I’ve even tried figuring out which alterations I’m supposed to make. Neither venture succeeded. My brain just doesn’t work that way. I’ve read Fit for Real People, Fast Fit, Pattern Fitting with Confidence, and I’ve bought Sure-Fit Systems. I’ve posted unflattering photos of myself on sewing forums wearing mock-up dresses hoping the advice I got would somehow make sense in my mind. It didn’t.
Aside from the occasional sweatpants, maxi skirt or loose-fitting tunic, I think I’m done making clothes for myself. I have a few pieces of fabric I plan to sew into a garment that may be presentable, and then that’s it. I’ll miss buying all those patterns on sale at the chain fabric stores, but then I’ll have money to buy clothes I can actually wear.