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Sew Up

by Daniel Soliven 7 months ago in designers

The glow-up of an amateur sewer to a less-amateur sewer.

The photo you see for the thumbnail was taken at 6 am on the top of the old garage found in my backyard in Vancouver using my iPhone propped next to a dead branch. This was because I couldn't sleep due to having just finished a project that I had been working on for about a month: A floral vest I made out of an old curtain.

Disclaimer: I am not a tailor, sewing guru, or influencer nor do I plan to be.

Sewing is more of a hobby I picked up from my mum after watching her fix her own clothes. She made it look easy and pretty fun so I tried taking it up. She would alter old clothes, take the scrap as recycled fabric, and making new things out of them. It was like a glow up but for about-to-be-thrown-out-clothes, or a 'Sew up' (if you will). She inspired me to find a use for old clothes so that you don't have to throw them out and save money. (As a broke Uni Student, saving money where you can really adds up.)

When I started I didn't even know how to thread a sewing machine and my stitching was very patchy and uneven. Fast forward a couple of years and I think I can probably thread a sewing machine but my stitching is still pretty patchy, better, but could still take some more practice.

Stressed Jeans and Half-Half T-Shirt

My first projects were usually taking old jeans and turning them into shorts by hemming the bottom. Then I graduated by hemming T-shirts. Then I tried altering my jeans for the first time to make them fit better. Next, I tried making clothes inspired by things on the internet like a half-half T-Shirt and blouse from the Youtuber withwendy. Next was a DIY vid of 'How to distressed jean,' and one about a cropped hoodie. Then I tried drafting and pattern making which was when I started making the Floral Vest.

Progress Picture...

Before that stage, I had never drafted anything for my old projects. It was more of a 'this looks about right...' and *snip* *snip*. Drafting and making patterns was something that seemed intimidating and tedious so I avoided it. That was until I found an old curtain that we were going to toss away. The thing had holes in it, the stitching was frayed and it wasn't even that big to be a curtain. However, the floral pattern was stunning and it would have been such a shame to throw it out so I decided to make something out of it.

The Template Vest

I used an existing vest that I had to make the pattern and I can confirm that it was in fact intimidating and tedious. In short, some things I learned along the way were to always map where you want to cut the fabric, don't make your seam allowance too short, and I hate pockets, I hate pockets so much. Nevertheless, I was still very happy with the outcome, and making the pattern spared me a lot of visits to my seam ripper.

~ The Floral Vest ~

After I finished the vest I was so excited I couldn't sleep hence why I woke up at 6 am to take photos on top of the garage in my backyard during sunrise. Looking back, it was really cool thinking about how I never imagined myself making something so complicated a couple of years ago like 'hey...I actually did that,' but I digress.

Since I started, sewing for me has been a great way to destress especially since quarantine started. It has helped me reuse the old clothes that I would have otherwise thrown out. Additionally, it's a great way of making gifts for friends and family. Needless to say, I hope to sew up some more old clothes in the future. I have recently taken up embroidery, so that should be fun.

In all, if you were to take away anything from the story of this novice sewer I hope that you know that you don't have to be good, you just have to try and let the things that inspire you drive you. Also, I hope that this reassures you that you can start anywhere and still make something pretty cool.



Daniel Soliven

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Daniel Soliven
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