Thursday, September 24, 2015

Why you should create and/or design your own projects (To be followed by Why you should NOT create and/or design your own projects)

Previous (related) post: Why you should NOT hire a dressmaker

Why should you make your own projects?  Well, I assume you are reading this blog because you already know why.  But I'll gladly give you my opinion, too.

If you are starting from the very basics of sewing/designing/creating, you can take classes or find a tutor, although they are few and far-between these days.  And the beauty of the garment district is that it is full of resources and services that can get you to your finished product without investing in machinery or tools yourself!


Grommets installed in my "cradle bag" by Star Snaps

Top zipper cut to size by Botani

Have you ever thought about what it means to be unique?  How about "ladylike"?  Well, if that is important to you, you may find it difficult to find in stores without being dowdy, or weird, given today's fashion offerings.  If you want the freedom not to be ladylike or standard, you can find that too, but are you finding what you want?  I am a huge advocate of buying what you love when you find it, but so much of what I've seen is positively yawn-worthy, lately.

Speaking of freedom, how about freedom from wallet-busting current trends?  I am not getting much of what's going on in the fashion landscape right now, but, thank God I can continue to make my own stuff and ignore the rest entirely.

And, well, because HALLOWEEN will come again.

Let's say you haven't been making your own stuff, or you haven't been as productive as you planned to be when you bought all of your supplies, or your poor, neglected stash is screaming your name lately...  Where do you start?

Well, many people start with profoundly ambitious goals, and stop when they feel they have fallen short or failed.  To avoid this cycle, I recommend a very unambitious, unconventional start.

Go to the garment district, WITHOUT planning to spend any money (Yes, ON PURPOSE!).  Treat the stores like a museum visit, and gather ideas.  While in the district, visit the exhibits, idea inspiring spots, and bookstores for images and new inspiration. You will have ideas for embellishing things, ideas for making things, ideas for having things made for you... just ideas.  Buy only what you cannot live without, and, for the rest of it...  sleep on it.  Yes, leave it right there. For a night, a week, or whatever amount of time you need.  The things that really stick with you will still be in your head, and you will need to go back and get them.

The last step of the above detailed plan is dangerous, though.  I'll tell you why...

There are a few stores, and sections of other stores, where you'd really better buy what you fall in love with, because it seriously may be gone later, and I'll tell you which stores those are (based on my own experiences), to save you some heartache:

Here's the good GREAT thing: Fabric has no expiration date!  So, if you buy it, and practice good storage methods, you are not limited to any short timeframe at all.  Ask me know I know... (smile)

Next post: Why you should NOT Create and/or design your own projects 


  1. I had to smile at your expiration date remark. Today, I am wearing a top I made about 3 years ago from a remnant I purchased in the mid-1980s.

    1. Twins! I might even have you beat (datewise) when I finish my next personal project!


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