Falling in love with sewing again

I've been sewing for myself for a long time. I grew up around sewing machines but finally got the sewing bug one summer, I think right before I started college. I made myself a halter sundress from this pattern and a light bulb went off in my head and I was hooked. Oh, so THIS is how garments are put together!


Fast forward a few years. I asked for sewing machine as a graduation present from grad school and when now-husband and I got our first apartment together, I set it up in our office. I had a lot of time on my hands for a while there, and I played around with mending, refashioning, sewing from scratch, making slipcovers, many Anthro-inspired embellished tees (very hot in 2009), and learning new DIYs. I started this blog (then called Adventures in Dressmaking) and found the online world of seamstresses like me!

I've made a LOT of garments since then. Two years ago I counted 119 dresses, including my wedding dress and my 5 bridesmaids' dresses. Plus tops, a few costumes, lots of home dec items for so many color schemes and room styles... a lot of sewing.

I really enjoyed and got good at refashioning and making store-bought clothes fit and look better! So I wrote my book, DIY Wardrobe Makeovers, on that topic. (Please check it out here!)

In summary... you could say I'm into sewing. And yet, not long ago, I found myself really in a sewing rut. Not sewing much at all. In all of 2015 I only made 13 dresses or tops, most of them in the summer (so for months I wasn't sewing anything for myself). I know it's seriously seasonal, since in the winter and spring here in Oregon I really hunker down and wear the a really basic jeans/riding boots/sweater uniform most days. No room for full-skirted cotton dresses or lightweight halter tops, some of my favorite things to make. But still, I could definitely be sewing some things, and recently I haven't been.

But it all changed this summer. You'll notice a much more populated dress/garment gallery for 2016. I made some pretty fabulous dresses even in winter (see this and this) and I think it kicked me off for the year. That and, when it comes to sewing for yourself, body image has a lot to do with what you want to wear and if you feel like wearing fun, pretty things--and this year I've been feeling really good about myself. (Win!)

I realized I've fallen in love with sewing, again! This year not only have I made a lot of clothing, I've made a lot of favorite new pieces that I really love wearing!! It's such a good feeling to have a closet of options for dressing up on weekends, trips, or date nights and knowing each opportunity is a chance to wear something I put a lot of love and time into!

I think another thing that's helped is my sewing resolutions back from January 2015... I realized I really need to slow down, "read the manual," and do things right if I want to love my projects. (Another recommended reading is my post about getting into a sewing groove.) 

Here are a few of my favorite projects from this year! But honestly, I love them all! (Check out my dress/garment gallery to see the clothing projects I've done in chronological order, most recent first.)

I really messed with and made up this pattern and this FABULOUS fabric made this dress even more special. I got out of my comfort zone on the bright color and short length and it paid off! I love it!
Buffalo check gingham is just the best. I LOVE this dress and it's so comfy and easy to wear!!
I've since shortened this dress, making it more wearable for everyday and with flats. I love the off-the-shoulder look and soft stripe!
I've made... well, several off-the-shoulder projects lately. This denim one and this gauze top (which I shortened after blogging about) are SO fun to wear.
MORE gingham. I told you, it is the greatest. Look how happy I look in this ridiculously simple top!!

It's honestly hard to pick, though, because I love so many of my recent creations in my garment gallery... a chic LWD, a super comfy knit romper cover-up... hard to choose. 

I'm feeling really happy with my sewing skills, motivation, and practical/wearable creations this year. I wanted to share in case any of you are in a sewing rut, and if you're not, hear what motivates you! Have you had phases with your sewing journey? I'd love to hear about it!

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