Tag Archives: sewing

8 Reasons You Should Start Sewing Your Own Clothes

sewing

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Sewing is a thing of the past. The demand for fabric, patterns, and notions for sewing has seemed to decrease in availability in modern times. Giant department stores that once dedicated entire departments to such items would now look you would a dumb founded smirk and say “what exactly is it that you’re looking for?” if you were to ask now. I often hear my friends tell me how much they admire my sewing skills and the garments that I make, my reply is always the same thing; you can do it yourself too.

In order to justify my love and commitment to sewing and why I think that you should do it to, I created a list of some things that I find to be an incredibly important element to sewing for yourself.

1. You get to make a garment that only you have- Often when I am inspired to sew something, it’s because I see something at one of the many stores I enjoy shopping at. If I see something that outweighs the cost of sewing it, I’ll typically buy it, but aside from that, I don’t have many other excuses. I browse runway shows when available and admire from afar, but sewing our own clothes allows us to make a piece that no one else will likely ever have. For instance, my Banana Bustier Crop Top is inspired by Jason Wu’s Spring 2013 RTW collection, I just made it my own. Fabrics and patterns can all be customized to suit YOU.

2. You get to customize sizes to your size- If you go to the shopping and purchase something that a.) fits you every time and b.) you don’t need to pay to have tailored, you are a lucky gal or guy. We all have something that just doesn’t fit us when we purchase it. Mine happens to be pants, so in the end, I simply avoid buying them and make them instead.

3. Sewing is incredibly affordable in the long run- Fast fashion is fast. You wash it two or three times and it no longer has its shape. That means that it’s also cheaply made, but we do get what we pay for. While the initial costs of sewing can be pricey and some good quality fabric might make your jaw drop in cost, making a pair of wool gabardine pants, instead of purchasing 10 million pairs of cheap pants (I might be exaggerating) over 5 years outweighs the initial costs.

4. Your supporting smaller business- I love this about sewing; when you shop at the right places, you are a part of a chain that it directly supporting one another and helping each other learn and grow.

5. Sewing teaches patience- I’m not that patient of a person, but what I have learned through years of sewing is that sewing is a labor of love. Making one mistake requires that undoing of such mistake. Taking a partially sewing garment apart can often feel like pulling teeth, but it requires you to go the extra mile in order to get the job done right.

6. Sewing is a community- If you have a question, there’s always an answer. Communities such as BurdaStyle allow for you to engage other users and share your creations with other users. It is a source of inspiration and support, something we could all use a little bit of.

7. Sewing increases your observation skills- in order to do something right the first time, sewing requires that you pay attention in detail to what you are doing.

8. You get to wear something that you made- sewing is a product of yourself. Just wait until you get your first compliment and then you’ll want to keep going at it!

Ready to start now? Grab a sewing machine, getting a basic sewing pattern, buy some fabric, and share with me what you are making!

Happy sewing!

Cheers,

Jillian Ouellette

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Funny Feelings: Vintage Swimsuits

swim 11950’s Swimsuit

swim 2

1950’s Bikini

swim 3

1970’s Bikini

swim 4Inside of 1950’s Swimsuit

I know that the majority of men in my life will disagree with what I’m about to talk to you about. The scantily clad bathing suits that the line the beaches, swimming pools, and wherever the hell else you wear one are not doing women justice. *Gasp*. Of course, modern swimsuits are now made with as little fabric as possible and sold, in many cases, for the highest profit possible. For such a minimal functioning clothing item, we sure do spend a lot of time and money on them, when in the majority of cases, they are not very flattering and we only spend 3 or 4 months a year wearing them (that depends on where you live… I guess). Anyways, here’s a few reasons I think that vintage swimsuits are the jam.

1. Fabric- Modern bikinis are composed of spandex and Lycra. Know, I find these fabrics to be incredibly useful at times, but I do have some qualms with them. They are meant to stretch in large proportions, this means that the garments made with them have a lot of leeway when it comes to structure. Sizing is no longer taken into great account because of the freedom given by the fabric. A majority of vintage swimwear is made out of cotton, taking sizing into greater account. Like in picture one, 1950’s Swimsuit, holy moly.

2. Structure- Anyone who purchase, wears, or admires vintage clothes understands that clothes from different time periods are made to fit women in those time periods.  The baggy silouhette of the 1920’s and the nipped waist of the 50’s are all indicative to this gesture. A large portion of vintage swimwear is sewn like an exoskeleton, it keeps everything in place and emphasizes all the good stuff. This is seen in the last photo on Inside of 1950’s Swimsuit on Etsy.

3. Design- I feel that I don’t need to explain myself. The glamour that comes from these suits is enough to make anyone feel about themselves when wearing one of these.

These are some of the things I try to take into account when I sew for myself and I sew for Showboat Clothing.

Feel free to comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Cheers,

Jillian Ouellette

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Organized Messes

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_MG_2323 Edit

Aside from being incredibly average in height, I find that I am still constantly wearing skirts that are really not built for a frame such as mine. The skirt above is a testament to such clothing- the Virgin de Guadalupe skirt. I made this skirt in order to acquire more of said unflattering-on-my-frame clothing and will probably continue doing so until I am publicly shamed into wearing only miniskirts and short-shorts to much my physical proportion (because that totally happens, right?).

I love this fabric.  I love this fabric so much that a made a matching bustier to go along with it: Virgin de Guadelupe Bustier Bra Top. The fabric used on this can be deemed as a bit “much,” but a bit much has never really hurt anyone. Yeah, right. Upon trying to envision what I could actually make with this fabric, I immediately thought that it would be almost impossible to pair it with anything other than a solid color. LIES! This fabric kills it with some cheetah print. You probably don’t believe, so I’ll just have to show you at a later time.

I actually was inspired to make this after seeing the Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012 RTW collection (seriously, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since laying eyes on it). I mean, chili pepper repeats on a bustier top and a midi skirt? It’s all so tropical, and I’m not a tropical girl. I’m a “busy city” vacation girl. But when I saw this collection, I thought to myself- Oh the places I would go in that- dive bars, class, or perhaps to a garage sale. After truly putting that into perspective, I decided just to make something somewhat close to it.

On a serious note, did you get the same feeling as me when you saw that? It’s beautiful.

A little more about the making of this skirt, I made this skirt with a pattern made by yours truly.  You can find similar ones by any pattern maker: Simplicity, Vogue etc. If you’re a beginner or new to this whole sewing thing, it’s probably one of the easiest things you could make for yourself. Another tip is to find a bottom of a dress pattern with a gathered skirt, and cut a long rectangle for the waist, add an extra inch to the total waist length for the zipper and there you have it, a skirt.

Last thing- I feel like I really hit the Japanese Purikura photo booth nail on the head with these photos. Black and white polka dots can really make a girl feel like a cartoon, along with a bun that is pretty much the size of my head.

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Fabric Close-Up

Crop top & sandals – Topshop, Skirt – Showboat Clothing

Cheers,

Jillian Ouellette

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Filed under Outfits, Sewing, Showboat Clothing

Sewing with a Sense of Humor

I don’t want to use the term “as of late,” because this problem has been going on for quite some time now… I can’t stop purchasing food fabric and I can’t imagine it stopping anytime soon.

If you’ve looked at my Etsy store, Showboat Clothing, you might have seen this: Les Frites Bustier Bra Top. It’s gotten it’s fair share of recognition on Tumblr, and girls all over the world are wearing one with a “yeah, I’m wearing French fry attitude,” (because that is a totally normal attitude, right?). But aside from the bustier, I keep managing to take it a step further. Evidence A: French fry shorts.

Fry

Now, this might all seem a little silly to you, that’s because it is. In the best way possible, of course.  Why did I decide to make a pair of high-waisted tap shorts? Aside from a killer fabric pattern, they have a sense of humor, and most importantly, they have character.  Every time I wear something as interesting as these bad boys, people can’t help but talk about them with me. Even the ice cream sandwich bandeau I made for my friend can come off as silly, but incredibly original.

Ice Cream Sandwich

The responses towards the use of such fabrics for garments has been up and down, especially on the internet where people tend to be a little more critical and have an opinion about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  When people say “is it weird that I want to wear this?”, the automatic response I think to myself is “why the hell would that be weird?” That’s the beauty of clothes, you get to identify with whatever you feel suits you best. Whether it be a polka dot skirt or an ice cream sandwich bandeau, it is uniquely you and uniquely a reflection of your personality. The clothes I choose to make stems from the fact that the world can be a harsh place and that people have a tendency to be a bit cynical, French fry shorts are just an opportunity to make yourself smile in an outrageous fashion. Besides, where else are you going to find something as wild unless you sew it yourself?

How do your clothes reflect your personality?

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