Friday, November 25, 2011


I love the whole idea of sewing, being able to make something that you can wear or use just by cutting some material and stitching it together.  A few years ago I taught myself how to sew with a needle and thread, it was out of necessity as I kept loosing buttons and just wanted to be able to replace them. Once I had accomplished that I knew my next step was the sewing machine!

While I lived in Toronto I came across The Sewing Studio which looked like a cool place to learn. So I enrolled in classes which I really enjoyed and I got results! The first thing I made was a pencil case, which I gave to my lil sis who was in college at the time. Then a drawstring bag which I thought turned out fab so I sent that home to my Mam. Then the final project was a skirt which I also thought was fabulous and I gave that to my older sister Emer.  She said she loved it but I never actually saw her wear it. That was until this past Summer, when she rocked up in it at a BBQ and it looked amazing! And she wore it all throughout the Summer.  I was so proud and instantly thought I should probably become a fabulous fashion designer! 

This is that first skirt!

Then I recalled my last set of sewing classes which quickly brought me back to reality. You see the one in Toronto was good, but I was kinda hand held through it by the teacher and I didn't have a machine to practice on at home. But when I was back on Irish soil I saw a Singer machine on sale, in Lidl of all places, and bought it straight away - knowing it would be an investment in my future fashion design empire. So I brought it home and read the manual and re-read my sewing studio notes but all I managed to do was tangle up a load of thread. And so I came to the conclusion: I needed more lessons!

I enrolled in an evening class in a (localish) school and our project was another skirt, so I got a nice pattern for a pencil skirt from Hickeys and set about making it. But I got very frustrated very quickly. The class was really big and with just one teacher most of us spent the whole class chatting while we waited for her to come around to help with whatever problem we ran into. The one time I decided to just move on to the next step, I ended sewing up what was meant to be the slit in the skirt! And I ended up having to rip all the stitches out - so disheartening! That was a whole year ago now and by the time the term was over I had the main part of my skirt done but still had bits of a waistband and other parts that needed to be attached. I left the whole experience feeling like my future as the owner a fashion empire was in major jeopardy! I was also beginning to think my sewing lessons and skills were starting to resemble those of my swimming skills.

I'll quickly explain:  I started my first swimming lessons when I was about three and hated the fact that someone with a whistle at the side of the pool just shouted orders at me. And I didn't like having to wear those horrible hats either. So I quite happily left. But as I got older I came to the realisation I needed to know how to swim, especially after being thrown into a pool on holiday by some teenage boys who didn't believe my yelps of "Ah don't throw me in I can't swim!" They soon realised I was telling the truth. Anywho I went for lessons a few years ago, in the beginners group initially. I was delighted with my progress and  then headed into improvers the next term. But that's where I stayed. Yep I have never gotten past improvers and I fear I never will. I just couldn't get passed the whole breathing under water bit. I was very good at holding my breath and doing a width of the pool but my teacher soon realised I was cheating and told me I would  die if I did that out at sea. Not very encouraging!  I haven't swam since.

But I am not going to give up on my sewing so easily! I have dusted off my sewing machine and taken the random bits of that pencil skirt out of the sewing box. I am now officially on a mission to finish it & actually make it into something lovely! My sister Emer who owns my only other fashion creation is also gonna be the owner of this when its finished! I'm using her birthday at the end of November as my deadline. She doesn't really read the blog (never remembers the address!) so it should be a surprise. Although when I start to discretely measure her with tape she may get a bit suspicious!

Here are some pics of what I've done so far. Don't look too closely, I need to fix bits. I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

Anyone with any sewing tips feel free to add a comment and help! Swimming tips would also be very much appreciated!


  1. The first skirt looks fabulous! Making your own clothes is something I'd love to do. Best of luck with skirt number 2!

  2. Hey thanks Mizz IC! Hopefully skirt no.2 will turn out ok. You should try and make your own clothes! And let me know how they turn out!