Sewing Circle: What can you make yourself?
This time's a little more open... let's talk about where you draw the line between "I can make that!" and "Uh, no, totally worth the however-much-$ to pay for the storebought."
I got a great question from Lauren of Ren Was Here, wondering if there were ways to DIY some fave shirts from American Eagle. Read on...
Q: I love your segments on finding patterns to make something you saw in retail. I hate shelling out bucks to wear clothes that just don't fit great. Here are a couple of the shirts I like--are there any good patterns I could use to make my own? Also, I'm a very novice sewer! Thanks a heap!
A: Hi Lauren,
Thanks for your email, and thanks for reading! Wow, I haven’t checked out AE in quite a while… cute stuff! Those are both adorable. And good examples of what can and can’t be replicated at home:
- The lace tank top could easily be done yourself, although you won’t find such nice cotton lace at JoAnn or most craft stores. You’d have to use polyester lace. Although, one easy project you could do would be buying a plain tank top (not a ribbed one) at Old Navy or somewhere super cheap, then cutting out lace of the exact same size as the front… although you also could buy some lightweight cotton and matching color lace, and make the whole thing at home with a simple top pattern or by tracing a tank top you have and like (but add plenty of seam allowance around all sides). McCall’s may have one, or use something like this from BurdaStyle:
- The denim shirt. Nope, can’t make that at home. I mean, you could, but it’d be a relatively complicated pattern, and I think a big reason those are cute is the faded soft wash, which they do in big sandblaster machines or something. I love my denim shirt—got lucky and got it brand new donated by Target at Goodwill for $5. But I wear it all the time, so if you really want it I’d say treat yourself to the AE one!
I love seeing trendy pieces at the stores and making versions at home (remember all my J.Crew-ey ruffled tees from a couple years ago?). It's so FUN to make it yourself, and of course if you're on a tight budget like many of us are, it's much easier to pay a fraction of the cost for the materials.
And, as you sew more, your skills improve--but there are still some things I'd never want to make myself at home, because they'd be hard and wouldn't turn out the same.
My "storebought, please!" list includes:
- Bras. I know I could make one, but it'd be more trouble than it's worth for me!
- Jeans. I could make them, but all the wash and stitching and fit... I'll leave it to the pros.
- Socks. Even when I could knit, I wasn't patient enough to use fine enough yarn to make anything that would fit in normal shoes or slippers.
- This one goes either way--outerwear. Unless I have some great wool, or really want to try a pattern, I buy my coats. I'm pretty sure they can do better with the warm linings and make cozier coats than I can!
How do you decide what to DIY?