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#SewMuchProgress2021, by Sheryl (@sg_sews)

Presenting #SewMuchProgress2021 – the same pattern, one year on.

The idea of #SewMuchProgress2021 is to reflect on your sewing journey whether that be 5 years or 5 months. For me, I started sewing a year ago when I was furloughed, at the start of the global pandemic.

One of the first patterns I made was the Safiya Dungarees from the 'Make It Simple' book by Tilly and the Buttons. I made 2 in quite quick succession, the first one being in a heavy weight cotton (I think it may have been upholstery fabric), the second being a synthetic polyester fabric. Both fabrics I chose because I liked the colour and print, I didn’t check the fibres or composition, in fact I didn’t even know what I was looking for. I didn’t measure myself properly and didn’t look at the finished garment measurements so as you can expect, the fit wasn’t great. I didn’t finish the seams properly and the fabrics didn’t feel very nice against my skin. It’s safe to say, I got swept up in the hype of sewing, wanting to finish the garment as quickly as possible and both I have worn only a handful of times and in fact are now being used as stuffing in my Closet Core Pouf!

Thanks to the amazing sewing community I discovered mostly through Instagram, I persevered and continued to build my skills and knowledge (as well as my fabric and pattern stash!) Not being able to go to a fabric shops to see the fabrics in person or to go to sewing lessons to enhance my skills, I am incredibly grateful to all the wonderful sewists who I have got to know over the last 12 months who have shared advice, top tips and recommendations. It was wonderful to talk to people who had been sewing for years, whose wardrobe was full of me-made garments and to people that were in the same position as me, at the beginning of their sewing journey wondering what the difference was between all the beautiful fabrics we could see online and what an earth did full bust adjustment even mean!

One year on from my dungaree disaster, I have made the same pattern in a lightweight viscose challis that drapes beautifully and I know already that it will get a lot of wear. I measured myself and reviewed the finished garment measurements before deciding what size I was going to make. I chose the correct weight of interfacing and spent time transferring the pattern markings and notches onto the fabric. I tried the garment on during the process, to ensure I was happy with the fit and to finish the seams I used a mixture of French seams as well as using my overlocker.

Reflecting on my journey so far, I’m really proud of the garments I have made and my ability to make clothes in styles and patterns that suit me. I really enjoy scrolling through Pinterest and online fashion retailers looking at the clothes they are selling and then wondering how I could make that myself. Sewing my own clothes has also made me appreciate them a lot more, ensuring I make garments that I know I will want to keep for years to come.

I cannot wait to see those of you who take part in the #SewMuchProgress2021 challenge to compare how far you have come and improved during your sewing journey and would love to hear what your sewing journey highlight was. Mine was the first time I received a compliment on a dress that I had made myself. I would also love to hear about your plans for the next 12 months – 1 of my goals for this year is to improve on adjusting patterns to perfect the fit of garments as well as starting to learn how to hack patterns to get even more use and variations out of them.

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