31 Days of Sewing

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It’s finally October. I say that because I have been anticipating cool days, leaves changing color and taking on a new 31 Day Blogging Series.

I have done a several of these series in the past, inspired by the Nester linkup.

Last year there were more than 1200 bloggers participating! Wow!

The 31 Day Series now has their own Facebook page, and website!

Be sure to follow my inspiration board on Pintrest and instant daily updates on Instagram!

This time around I have decided on 31 Days of Sewing.

I was going to name my series Sew 31 Garments in 31 Days, but I decided I was backing myself into a corner by committing to this number.

I am confident that I can do it, but sometimes life has other plans, but 31 garments is my optimal goal for this month.

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Today was the perfect day to begin, we cranked up the fireplace for the first time this year. Something about having a fire always inspires me.

I spent the afternoon in front of the toasty flames whipping up my first garment in this series.

This outdoor porch is currently my design “studio”. It’s rather drafty. Actually it’s VERY drafty.  That means that come winter, I won’t be able to be out here at all, it will be too cold.

Time is of the essence.

I must create all I can before the snow flies. 31 Days and counting…..

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My rules for this 31 Day Series:

1. I plan to only use easy patterns, almost exclusively Very Easy Vogue. I plan on using a total of about 8 patterns to make 31 garments. A complete wardrobe is in my future, and in yours too, if you choose to follow along!

2. With these simple designs, and my designer short cuts, it’s not hard to sew a complete garment in about an hour (not counting time for cutting). 

3. Each week will focus on a different “designer” collection. Collections will include: Intimates, Blouses, Sportswear (includes jackets, pants, skirts and dresses), Weekend Wear, and Outerwear/Special Occasion. Your closet will be brimming with beautiful, custom clothing perfect for any occasion.

4. I plan on keeping costs to a bare minimum, with an average price of $5.00 per yard for fabric and supplies. This is an estimate, I have been shopping for SUPER sale fabrics and they are definitely out there. Some are $2.00 per yard, some are $7.00 or more. The fabric stores seem to have a great selection of apparel fabrics this year, much more so than in the past. Be sure to take advantage of the weekly coupon deals that are offered by the fabric stores. Sign up for the emails and texts to save every dollar possible!

The Story Behind the Series

I grew up in a small Wisconsin town without a department store. There wasn’t even a Walmart back then. We had a local fabric shop and a talented seamstress who would sew all of our clothes.

Mom wasn’t much of a seamstress, but she would take my sister and I to the fabric store and we would pick out our own fabric and patterns. You could say I started designing things way back then, little did I know it would become my future career. When we went to visit Mrs. Klaus the seamstress, she would take our measurements and a few days later we would have our new custom clothing.

It was wonderful, she was truly an amazing lady. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t sew.

She made swimsuits, prom dresses, jumpers, jackets, pants, and skirts. They always fit great, wore like iron and looked fantastic.

Lots of people knew how to sew in the past, but many of those skills have been lost in recent generations. Perhaps you are one of those who wishes they knew how to sew.

Sewing is not that complicated if you know some basic techniques and skills. 

And a few designer short cuts.

Anyone can do it, I promise!

I have seen a huge increase in the number of people sewing lately, the fabric store always has a line at the cutting counter. Perhaps it’s partly due to the down turn in the economy.

People are going back to basics, and sewing is a basic home keeping skill. Sewing your own clothes can be far less expensive than retail, and custom fit to suit your figure.

I have estimated that I can sew just about anything for at least a 50% discount compared to purchasing a similar garment. That’s a pretty big discount!

This is especially true if you have designer taste and a Walmart budget.

I am guilty of this sin.

I have also seen lots of men at the fabric store lately. Just so you know, sewing has never been just for women. Some of the best designers in the world are men, and there are lots of great patterns now available for sewing menswear.

It’s going to be a great journey!

FYI, this is not a sponsored endeavor. I am doing this because I love to sew and think that everyone else should too. If you are interested in sponsoring this 31 Day series, contact me at designermom4@gmail.com.

You can design and sew an entire new wardrobe in 31 Days.

It won’t cost a fortune.

It will fit great. 

You will look fantastic for any occasion.

You can say, “I made it myself!”

What sort of supplies do I need?

A sewing machine, sharp scissors, pins, needles, a washable fabric pen and a measuring tape are basic essentials. An iron and an ironing board are a definite plus, but not necessarily required. My machine is a vintage style black Singer that has all the bells and whistles (I rarely use all the fancy stuff). I also occasionally use a serger for finishing seams, but this is definitely an optional item. If you don’t have a machine, you can borrow one from a friend or I occasionally find them at thrift stores. Make sure your machine is in good working condition.

Where can I do my sewing?

My workspace is a hodgepodge of things, I use my grandfather’s giant coffee table to layout and cut my fabrics and an old kitchen table to sew on. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be functional. You can even use the bottom of a dresser drawer covered with a towel to iron on if you don’t own any ironing board. Get creative!

When do I start?

Tomorrow, Oct.1st! Linkups will be available on the Nester website and I will be posting my daily updates and tutorials here:

1: How to Sew a Satin Robe

2: Sewing PJ Pants

3: Sewing Camisoles

4: Sewing a Dog Bed

5: Sewing a Fleece Robe

6: Sewing a Fitted Blouse: Part 1

7. Sewing a Fitted Blouse: Part 2

8: Sewing a Cowl Blouse

9: Sewing with Peach Skin

Be sure to stop back for Week 1: Sewing Intimates!

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