The first thing I learned to sew was a simple box-pleated skirt. And thank goodness I did, because while I am loving the challenge of learning to sew, it is exactly that, a challenge. So I picked something easy to start with, but also something that I would want to wear.
My first attempt at this skirt failed miserably, it was about three sizes too small (stupid math). My second attempt was wearable (seen here), but I definitely made some mistakes. This, my third attempt, was my most successful and I am really happy with the results!
The best part about a box-pleated skirt is that you don’t need a pattern, just a couple Youtube videos and some math skills (I like this one). I made my pleats four inches wide with 1.5 inch under pleat. I started with a rectangular piece of fabric that was 60 by 20 inches. Here is where the math comes in, you have to figure out how big you want your pleats and how many you need. I did a bit of trial and error, but there are plenty of Youtube videos that will give you an equation if you want something more concrete. Once I pinned my pleats, I sewed them in place, made a waistband, and rolled hemmed to my desired length. The hardest part is mastering the invisible zipper, but again there are lots of great Youtube videos out there to reference.
It is such an amazing feeling to create something that you actually want to wear. I have always wanted to learn to sew and I am so thankful for my patient mentor Kelly who has been there for me through every mistake and panicked phone call. The biggest lesson I have taken away from the process is to allow myself to make mistakes. I don’t have to be perfect, because my mistakes are almost always fixable. Don’t be afraid to rip out a seem and try again. I guess this applies to life as well. Who knew sewing was so deep lol.
I love fashion, but learning to sew has made me realize just how much goes into making clothing. While I am certainly not going to start sewing all of my clothing, I definitely want to have an understanding of what it takes to make clothing, so I can appreciate the art and the skill. In doing so, I have come to realize just how exploitive fast-fashion has to be. Our desire for and dependence on cheap and disposable clothing isn’t ethical or sustainable (Emily’s blog post on this topic is really enlightening). I am certainly guilty of over-consuming and being a part of the problem. Hopefully learning to sew is one small step in the right direction.
Have a great weekend… I will be packing…