When I first got pregnant with Pippa people asked me if I planned on sewing her clothes. At the time sewing was my main hobby. To be honest I didn’t get the point of sewing children’s clothes as they grow too fast and fabric is expensive. In hindsight this was a bizarre opinion to have as I was very quick to knit lots of baby things. Knitting is more expensive in terms of money but also time. In reality, I could/can make 3+ sewn garments a day whereas it could take me a month or more to make 3 knitted children’s garments.
Around May last year, I got the urge to get my sewing machine out again and fancied giving some clothes a go. I was a little daunted to begin with as I’ve not really successfully worked with stretch fabrics before and had quite limited success with any sort of dressmaking to be completely truthful I found some simple pdf patterns and brought some fabric and started to play…
I also had some super cheap stretch fabric I brought years ago and put in the loft which I got back down to practice on. It turned out that this wasn’t very helpful as it was WAY more stretchy than standard dressmaking jersey so wasn’t a like for like test. This was also true of the first, purpose brought fabric I tried. It made a garment but the neckline was stretched out of proportion it didn’t really work at all. She wore it a few times but I quickly gave up on it.
After a slow start I did get the hand of it though. I found some better patterns by Brindlle and Twig and tried again. I found these patterns much better and with more suitable fabric I was soon flying through clothes!
At one point she pretty much had a full homemade wardrobe with only a few shop brought bits to finish off. It has absolutely been more expensive than just buying clothes but it’s made me happy seeing her in handmade things and also fed my sewing ambitions!
It wasn’t all plain sailing as my sewing machine had its ups and downs. I have the Pfaff Ambition 1.5 IDT. Essentially, it is an excellent machine but at times has been known to be a little temperamental. This time round probably not helped by the fact that it hasn’t been used for a few years. It is mainly designed to be a quilting machine which it does very well but also has an array of utility stitches, including a stretch knit overlock. This is the stitch I predominantly used for all of the clothes. I had to be careful not to sew too quickly as it had a habit of jamming and throwing the tension completely off. This was very frustrating as it took forever fiddling with it to get it working again. This was really frustrating as sewing between entertaining a toddler wasn’t always easy so to waste time messing about was irritating. However, I got so into sewing clothes I seriously considered investing in a serger/overlocker. Although long term I’m sure I would have made it worth it, with another baby on the way it probably wasn’t the best idea so I am glad I refrained… Though watch this space, you never know what the future holds!!