Sewing on a machine never came naturally to me, even though I have crafted since I was a wee girl. My mum sewed most of my clothes for me growing up, and all the way through university. I had no desire to use a sewing machine when mum did such a splendid job of clothing me, but eventually I moved 2500 km from home with a machine inherited from my Oma, and I knew it was time. I bought a McCalls pattern and some madras cotton, and made a pair of summer pyjamas. Then all my friends got a pair of madras pyjamas too and I started making skirts, shirts and jackets to wear to work, and before I knew it I discovered that I was hooked on sewing and had been for quite some time without noticing it.
Almost twenty years and three sewing machines later, I find myself here, constantly inspired by others, and always searching for that next great idea or sewing tip. Here's some I thought I would share with you.
Add pockets to your skirts. I have a problem with forgetting about the pockets on skirts and dresses. The patterns I use don't have them, and I always get to the last stitch on the skirt realise I've forgotten. Come spring and hayfever season, I'll be cursing my lack of pockets as I'll have nowhere to put my handkerchief except inside my bra strap, and that's never a good look. This tutorial teaches you how to insert an inseam (internal) pocket into your skirt, and includes the template as well. But this pocket is more my style - a pleated, rounded pocket. Perfect.
The 20 minute skirt tutorial. This is great for thinner girls (for plus sized use two lengths of fabric), but what I got most out of this tutorial is that the fabric you use really is important. The 20 minute skirt used two rectangles of fabric, a casing and some elastic. So simple, but the effect of using excellent fabric makes the skirt, not the design of the skirt itself.
The scrap wrap skirt. Leonie from Raglan Guld has given us a how-to for a simple wrap skirt made from scraps. The best bit is that her tutorial guides you through how to draft the pattern for your skirt, based on your measurements. Bewdy.
Easy pleated skirt. A free tutorial from Threads magazine which walks you through the process for drafting your own pattern for a pleated skirt. I can't wait to try this out.
Photo from Naturemomm. Photo not related to any of the links above - it's just another really pretty skirt.
Skirt on a wide elastic band. I've seen these handmade skirts around the blogs and they always make a feature of great fabrics. Now I've found a step by step tutorial. And it has pockets.
Another pleated skirt. But this one is more casual. But very pretty. I really want to try this out.
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There are so many inspiring websites to check out, including Youtube. So what about you? Which sites have you found lately that make you want to drag your sewing machine out and make yourself something beautiful?