Thrifty fashion – S.I.Y (sew it yourself)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that we have gone back in time to our grandmother’s era, when shops didn’t sell off-the-peg clothes, and make-do-and-mend was a way of life rather than a quaint Pinterest board. But no, this trend is happening right now in the 21st century and tons of people are choosing to S.I.Y (sew it yourself). It’s a time-consuming option compared to nipping down the high street to choose an outfit and it’s certainly not about getting the look for less when some fabrics cost more than an entire outfit. But it IS about creating something unique, being creative, making something with your own hands and wearing it with pride. It’s also about getting the perfect fit and not settling for high-street pieces that are not quite right.

simplicity skirt pattern retro dressmaking sewing diy kit charity shop

You only have to look at the success of the Great British Sewing Bee series last year to see how popular Sew-It-Yourself has become. A new generation of women are learning to sew and putting their skills into practice, making outfits for themselves and their children – just as their grandparents would have done. I’m always so in awe of my sewing blogger pals Lucy Loves Ya and Hannah and Rosie from The New Craft Society who can whip up practically anything you want in their sewing rooms.

I’m one of these very aspiring S.I.Y-ers , an aspiring seamstress, a make-do-and-mender. I already adjust my off-the-peg clothes when they don’t fit properly – there’s often a little to be taken off sides and the shoulder straps always need to be shortened. If something fits around the waist, it’s too big on the hips, and vice versa, and I’m not the tallest person so often hems need taking up. There’s always an adjustment to be made with a high-street clothing item and wouldn’t I actually be saving time by making it myself from scratch?

SIY sew your own dress using vogue pattern and fabric from minerva

This is precisely why I have set to work on making my own dress, and I’m now thinking that it might actually end up being be my Christmas dress! I’ve cut out the patter, which was a job in itself, making sure that I was cutting the right pattern pieces for the style of dress the I wanted to make. The Vogue pattern from Minerva Crafts was easy to follow once I’d figured out that I was working on pattern “F”. So have all my pieces ready and have started cutting the fabric, which I’ve found very nerve-wracking. You know the rule of ‘measure twice, cut once’, well I’ve been pinning and smoothing the pattern paper and repinning and flattening my fabric over and over again before I felt like I was ready to make a cut into the fabric. I’m going to have to pick up the pace a little, otherwise I might not get this dress finished in time for Christmas!


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

4 thoughts on “Thrifty fashion – S.I.Y (sew it yourself)

  1. This is quite true, I remember my mother buying a pattern for a dress she liked she then spent time sewing it ready for a special occasion!

  2. Well done for taking the plunge – I too have pattern, fabric, scissors, 4 young girls to dress & S-I-Y nerves – maybe next Christmas for me 🙂

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