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  • Camilla

My First Year (and a bit!) of Sewing by Laura (@lauras.sewing.story)

I've thought about starting to sew on and off for a number of years now, having been inspired by the fact that it has run in my family for generations (I was hoping I was going to be a natural and it was in my blood….!) My Grandparents owned an upholstery shop in the next village and my Mum reminisces of fond memories of me and my sister as toddlers running round with pins and tacks from the floor!

I’ve wanted to make a dress for myself for so long, so I decided the beginning of lockdown was a good idea to start practicing, what else was there to do! One evening I picked up my Mum’s old sewing machine and within 5 minutes of getting home I was trying to thread it over Facetime with her – talk about a challenge!

From then on, I start tackling the basics such as straight(ish) lines before moving onto scrunchies, a cushion and a mask or two. When I’d developed a bit more confidence, I made some accessories for my dog Sally, such as a couple of collars, bandanas and a raincoat. I then took the plunge and made my first dress with my Mum in August. Since then I have tallied up 6 dresses, 4 tops and 1 jumper! My most recent dress was a Viki Sews pattern, all in Russian. With some help from Mum, I managed to piece together the dress from just the guidance photos, which, to me, shows how far I have come! I also fancied trying my hand at knitting, so over winter I started to learn and have managed to knit up a very thick winter jumper!

I’m not going to lie, I get super stressed sometimes when I am sewing but I love the end result and am proud that I made a garment that I love and no one else will have. Sewing has given me an appreciation for the sheer amount of work and hours that must go into fast fashion and how corrupt this really is with the money the garment workers are paid. My sense of style has also slightly changed, I would say that before I start making for myself, I would always buy quite plain clothes. However, when buying fabric now I am more tempted by slightly brighter colours, prints and florals.

I’m so glad I started up an Instagram page dedicated to the things I make. Firstly, it was to make sure I didn’t burden everyone on my personal page, but also it was to get inspiration by following other Sewists and what they are making. I often prefer scrolling through this Instagram page as its much less toxic and everyone is so lovely and supportive.

All in all, I’m so glad I started dressmaking, I just wish I started earlier. I wish I’d had the chance to show my Grandparents what I have learnt. However, I owe a lot of my skills to my talented Mum, who did learn her skills from my Grandparents. I really enjoy sewing and with the likes of Great British Sewing Bee on television, I really hope sewing comes back as a popular hobby again with the younger generation.

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