Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jean Pool 2014 - A Back Story of a Practicing Sewists

Good morning everyone,

Thank you for commenting on the previous Jean Pool post. Lately, I haven't been able to sew much, but wanted to keep posting about upcoming projects and overdue reviews.

Today I wanted to post a short back story about a refashion project that I did 40 years ago. The thought occurred to me that this may be a good post for a number of reasons:

  • To encourage a new sewists.  Often new sewists have challenges with very basic sewing processes and sometimes give up on sewing far too soon.
  • To document my thoughts one of the first projects I made when I was  about 11 years old. I keep this jacket/over shirt because I was proud of myself.  Proud that I completed it.  And I'm glad I continue to sew.
  • Patch work denim is on trend now.  It's everywhere and there are patterns you can use to make your very own trendy denim shirt.

Now my little back story -

I had been sewing about two years when I tried to make a patch work denim over shirt using old jeans that would have ordinarily been tossed in the can.  But the little creative me decided to use them to make a shirt.  I can't remember the pattern I used back then, back I can almost guarantee it was a McCall pattern.  Those were my favorite patterns at that time.

Truth be told, I had no idea how to make the shirt or how it would turn out.  But I was excited about the project and, in my mind, this would be a special project once it was completed.  Although my execution of simple sewing processes and techniques were less the stellar, I was proud to say I made:

  • Button holes
  • Attached a collar
  • Patched pockets
  • Made tabs for the sleeves and shoulder
  • Installed in-set sleeves










Did I wear it?  Oh hell yeah, I did.  I was proud and felt I accomplished a lot with my refashion project.  Was it polished?  No way.  It looked homemade.  Because it was a first of many things, I thought I should keep it to remind me of the project.  Every five or so years, I pull it out to look at it again.  Which each survey I compare were I was then and where I am now with perfecting my sewing skills.  Needless to say, I've come a long way from the 11 year old girl who wanted to make all of her clothes.  I happy that I stayed the course and didn't let anyone detour me from that goal.

Did people (peers) comment about the flaws?  All the time.  That did not stop me.  I was determined and knew that someday I would be much better at sewing.  So I pressed on.  Now today, I am able to make a variety of shirts and jackets.  I'm still learning new skills and techniques.  Sewing is still a huge source of enjoyment for me.

Jean Jacket of 2012 M5860



Now, for part two:

If you are interested in creating your own patch work shirt, try McCall's 6649.  This pattern gives many style options for a button down shirt.


27 comments:

  1. I get the feeling you're trying to tell me something. You are, aren't you, mom?

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  2. Eleven years old and you made that shirt? Impressive! I wish I still had the first shirt I ever made. I was 14 and in a home ec class. It was black floral, with a collar stand, button-up front, and buttoned long sleeves. Far from perfect -- the sleeves were at least two inches too short, but it got me started:)

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    1. Thanks, Angela for sharing a bit of your back story.

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  3. Oh that is wonderful! I have some of my earlier creations and also feel like "wow, I'm glad I stuck with it!"

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    1. Jenny, It's great to look back over the years to see how you've progress in skill and taste for clothing. Sewing has been very rewarding.

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  5. Such an encouragement this post is not only to "new sewists" but us old 'ns, too, Cennetta. Every truth comes from the voice of experience. I'm certain I wasn't the only one who needed to read this today!

    Hugs and happy highways,
    Kelley~

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    1. Thanks, Kelley. We all need a little encouragement from time to time. But I know newbie tend to get discouraged so quickly. Especially, young people. So I'm very glad it's helpful.

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  6. How fun! I'm so glad you kept this!!!

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    1. Thanks, Ginger. I wish I had kept a few more :-)

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  7. Great back story!!! It is wonderful to see how far you have come over the years.

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  8. Wow, I can't believe that you made this at 11. Even if some of the sewing itself is a little wonky in places, this shirt shows that you had an excellent eye for design at an early age.

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  9. Thanks, Michelle. I come from a long line of sewists. At 11 I was not afraid to try things even if I had no experience with them in the past.

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  10. I'm a guy, 61 yrs, a freelance designer in the Seattle area. What you did at eleven is what got me started way back in the hippie days of the 70's. Denim as high fashion, and customizing your Levi jeans into bell-bottoms, was the order of the day. One of my first projects was also a shirt jacket from recycled jeans. Like you, my sewing skills still needed more maturing, but my desire to create was unbounded. A rough sewing result, but I wore that jacket proudly, and it propelled me into a future where I still love creating denim stuff 40 years later. John Yingling

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  11. Great back story, but it's hard for me to believe that you were EVER a beginner. I can only picture you where you are now when it comes to sewing. Wish I had pictures of some of my early, early makes, I don't but they are all still very vivid in my head. Great story Cennetta.

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  12. What a wonderful post! So helpful to the new sewists, the experienced and the second-time-arounders. I love all the detailed photos, with the wonky topstitching and all the rest. So much determination is in evidence!

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    1. Thanks, Elle. That was the idea. To encourage and inspired other sewists. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  13. I wish I had kept some of my early works. I too have been sewing a long time. You certainly don't look like you have been sewing for . . . twenty years;)! It has been a lot longer for me. I made my first dress when I was eight. A simple a lins dress with square neck and armholes

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    1. I wish I had kept more to. This was not the first garment that I made. It was the first refashion garment made and the first with the most sewing techniques involved in the process. Thanks.

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  14. I enjoyed this story and the pictures of your shirt. It's admirable that you made that at age 11, and inspiring to see how far you have progressed. You are very talented!
    I wish I still had some of the clothes I sewed as a teenager. I wore them very proudly, but there was definitely room for improvement.

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    1. Thanks Bernie. I'm sure many of us have similar story.

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  15. That's impressive for a tween! I still have the very first garment I made in the early '90s. It was a vintage tennis dress pattern that I made in deep red cotton. I was soooooo proud of it, though now I look at it and wonder what on earth I was thinking - it is so poorly made! I remember my Mum insisting that I had to unpick two intersection seam lines and resew them since they weren't matching. She taught me well! I am a very fastidious sewer now.

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  16. Great back story and you have made great progress with your sewing skills!!

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  17. Well I certainly am glad you stayed the course and continued sewing. You always make such beautiful things!

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