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Thread: Any garment sewers?

  1. #1
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Apr 2011

    Any garment sewers?

    I used to make a lot of clothes in the early years. There are tons of garment indy patterns in quilt shops theses days (not talking Simplicity, Vogue, etc). i guess as I look at my piles of quilty projects, etc, i am revisiting garment sewing as in simple jackets, etc. Not pants....too fussy to alter. So.....just curious if anyone else is a garment sewer or revisiting it?

    I have been working on a simple jacket this past weekend. Someone gave me a few yards of corduroy that she bought in 1998! Yes,the receipt was in the bag. She lost interest in sewing ....i thought that I would make a jacket for her along with rekindling my interest in garments. It has been fun, a little frustrating (not the best pattern instructions...it is missing some key construction details.). But getting it done.

    plus, i need to justify that serger I paid $900 for 3 years ago and have rarely used.


    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome 3160 QVC/ Janome 1100D serger, Juki 2020 Mini
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  2. #2
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    on the Texas Coast
    yes I got my start with garments (had 2 little girls) in first grade they decided that meant they were poor and wouldn't have any more! When the youngest got into high school and home ec, she made her own special dresses and continues as an adult. I could never satisfy myself so I don't have anyone to sew for. My favorite has always been fancy dresses, Holly Hobbie type, long, with pinafores and lots of ruffles .

  3. #3
    Super Member QuiltingVagabond's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    South Central Indiana
    I sewed my own clothes from jr high on except for jeans and underthings. Then most of the clothes my daughter wore, including her wedding dress. I switched to home decor sewing in the 80s and haven't made much at all since. My DGD has two outfits that I made, but she has so many clothes that I feel guilty making her more!
    QuiltingVagabond aka Kathy

  4. #4
    dd is offline
    Super Member dd's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    I started out garment sewing when I was a kid.Won awards when I was in high school. Couldn't figure out why people would spend money to buy perfectly good fabric and cut it up into little pieces just to sew it back together again to make a quilt that you could just buy in a store. Obviously that was a long time ago.lol Not as much garment sewing now but I still like to do it.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  5. #5
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    NE Ohio
    I sewed garments for years & transitioned to quilting about 15 years ago. I will still make the occasional piece of clothing. I need a few dresses & was just looking at patterns the other day. I made my husband a shirt a few years ago. He loves everything Christmas so I decided to make him a Christmas Hawaiian type shirt (we lived in CA at the time). I had put the sleeves in & was patting myself on the back about how well I did & how I still "had it". I held it up to admire it & I had cut a big hole in the sleeve when trimming the seam!!! After a trip for more fabric & some ripping it did turn out to be a great shirt!

  6. #6
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    I use my serger a lot and don't make garments. I use it for pillowcases and napkins and fleece throws for my family.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    I used to sew dresses for my girls and myself, sleeper slacks for my babies (had lots of babies), and occasionally something for the house like curtains. Oh, and dolls and stuffies for all the kids. But I have not sewn any garments in about ten years. I do not miss it. After sitting dormant for the first seven of those ten years, I started having an interest in quilting. My love affair with quilting went full speed ahead when I got a White treadle. Then sewing with a machine became a pleasure. I never have any adjustments to make to the machine and no quirks to deal with. Just pure, uninterrupted, hassle-free joy! Only problem now is, even with most of the kiddies grown and out of the house, I still don't have much time to sew the days aways! I sometimes see some fabric and think about making the grandkids something, whether clothes or stuffies, but then don't as they all have so much as it is and I don't think they will appreciate it. I have the little toddler GD thinking fabric is a toy and she comes over and dumps a big box of scraps on the floor and sorts and pretends she is making a blanket. The pieces end up all over the house but I smile as I pic them up, knowing I am addicting to the drug of sewing. This last time she sat on my lap while we made her doll a blanket at the treadle. When she is a bit older I think I will get a handcrank in the house for the grandkids. Then maybe I will get back into garment sewing----for their dolls and teddy bears!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    I have been sewing garments since I was 12-13 years old. Still making shirts and pants, jackets, etc. I help teach a group of women make quilts and now they want to make shirts. We are going to make camp shirts, very simple and the collar is a breeze. Get a good Vogue easy pattern and follow word by word or a Simplicty Pattern.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    hiding in my quilting studio
    Blog Entries
    i used to sew all my clothes and clothes for the girls. i love clothes that no one else has. now, it's too depressing to sew clothes for my shape LOL
    Cheryl, hiding away in my quilting studio

  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    I started sewing making garments, then quilted as a way to use the scraps generated. I have gone back to making some garments as the retail world has gotten very plain and limited in colors and fibers. My favorite fabric is batik rayon.... so comfortable to wear in warm weather, and drapes like no other.

  11. #11
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Reno, Nv
    I got back into sewing garments for myself after I could afford a dress form, say, five years ago. Mostly jackets because I just love them. Having a form to alter the pattern before making it is like night and day to trying to fit yourself blind.

    I also make clothes occasionally for my nine year old niece. It is very fun with the fabrics out today. Vogue and Mccalls are my favorite patterns.
    Last edited by RedGarnet222; 02-02-2015 at 10:49 AM.

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I sew all of my clothing, which is mainly linen jackets, tunics, and pants. I buy from a few independent pattern companies that have designs and drafting that work for me. I love quilting, too, but find that it is expensive in time and materials, so I only make about one or two quilts a year. I do have to switch my sewing machine and other equipment around to quilt or make clothing, so I don't do both at once.

  13. #13
    Super Member RugosaB's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Ohio, just east of Toledo
    I'm almost 57, and have been 'garment' sewing since I was 8-9,then 4-H

    I made most of my clothes jr high on. In 8th grade we had some goofy awards thing, I got '8th grade best dressed girl.' I made my wedding dress, and when my kids were little I worked in an alterations shop. The things I learned there are invaluable.

    Now, I probably sew garments 65% of the time, quilting and home decor the rest.
    For years I've thought I'd like to try to make jeans that actually look like jeans. I'm on my second pair now, refining the fit, and have decided I will ALWAYS wear jeans I made from now on.
    Who would've thought a contoured waistband, though undetectable to anyone else, would make such a difference in the fit. They are the MOST comfortable jeans I have ever owned!
    You know that feeling when you've finished all your quilting projects and your studio is perfectly clean???? Me neither.

    It's not how fast you sew, it's how well you sew fast! Wait, I think that's supposed to be MOW!

  14. #14
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    I started sewing when I was in grade school. Since we never had any money, I sewed clothing for myself, my daughter, and even a few things for my husband. It's been quite a while since I made any clothing though.


  15. #15
    Super Member jbj137's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Duncan, SC, 29334 USA
    Blog Entries
    *** Yep, I sew clothes & do alterations.
    *** I have been sewing since I was 10 and have
    *** had my own sewing machine since I was 12.
    J J (jbj137)

    I am a G.R.I.T.
    G = girl R =raised I = in T = the S = South

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    I started sewing clothes in high school home ec. I switched to quilting but am now doing some of both. I love switching back and forth. Hubby just surprised me with a serger for an early Valentines Day. Can't wait to make my next dress.

  17. #17
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Rural Oklahoma
    I started sewing garments. I used to sew all my dresses. I designed and sewed my wedding dress and my brides maids dresses. Have sewn a few prom dresses for the nieces. I don't sew very many garments anymore, I can buy them so much cheaper then making them. I never miss an episode of Project Runway (and all the offshoots) though.
    "Never cruel, nor cowardly, never give up, never give in."

    Let's take care of the Earth, it is the only planet that for sure has Chocolate.

    Sonic screwdrivers, fez, bow ties, and Stetsons are cool.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    I started with garment sewing at 12. Sewed most of my clothing until I had children. Then I sewed for them until they were in second or third grade. I still make clothing occasionally. I find that some of the garment making construction skills helps in understanding some of the quilt patterns.
    Singer 66 treadle, Singer 15-91, JC Penney 6923, Kenmore 50, White 2334, Brother 920D serger. RIP Singer 1036

  19. #19
    Senior Member donac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Jersey Shore
    I used to sew when I was younger. I sewed a little when my boys were small and made my niece her first communion dress. I got into quilting but still do some garment construction for a couple of local theater groups. So few people sew these days that any one with any talent is useful. It is also fun to see something you have made up on stage in front of hundreds of people.

  20. #20
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Round Rock,Texas
    I've been making garments since I was 12, still make a few for myself. I don't like most of the patterns available today as they don't fit right and are a pain to sew. I'm a plus size petite, so there are major alterations needed to make anything fit. For me its an exercise in frustration.
    Quilting is more fun.

  21. #21
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I sewed everything (awnings, car seat covers, men's suits, bedspreads, clothes, western shirts, personal suits for me and DH, but now only quilts. I mend a lot for grandgirls when they come around. It is too hard to fit myself now; I am so rotund and shapeless! I also made costumes for the local Little Theatre group.

  22. #22
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    St. Louis suburbs
    I started sewing when I was 11 years old. After that, I made most of my own clothing until I was about 30. Now I don't make anything but purses and scarves. Have a few patterns for some summer shifts and some rayon that I am flirting with for this summer, but haven't cut it out yet.

  23. #23
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Quilting, crocheting, sewing and crafting in my Sewing Room...Peaceful and wonderful !!
    I sewed alot of clothes for my daughters when they were growing up. Now I sew for the granddaughters-as they tell me they have a very unique item and there is no duplicate of it anywhere. I still crochet (afghan, quilts,hats, gloves etc..),and sew alot of clothes for them.
    When Life brings big winds of change that almost blows you over.Hang on tight and Believe.
    Words and hearts should be handled with care-for words when spoken and hearts when broken are the hardest things to repair. Author unknown to me
    Do what you feel in your heart to be right; for you'll be criticized anyway-Eleanor Roosevelt

  24. #24
    Senior Member Feather3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    I'm 57 & have been making my own clothes ever since & was 8. My Grandmother worked in the silk mills back in the early 1900's. She sewed her own clothes & taught me how. I'm small framed & back in the day you could not find clothes in my size. If they did fit they were too short. I wore a 6x all the way thru highschool! I had to alter everything or make my own. I sew/make everything except socks & underwear. I worked in a garment factory for 11 years. I make my own jeans just like factory, including the special rivets. I have a special rivet setter machine & found the factory rivets on line. I just finished a flannel shirt for myself. I never buy patterns. I use old clothes, rip them apart & make a pattern. I usually only take half the garment apart, make notes as I go & then make a pattern/with notes for future use. A seam ripper, a pencil & freezer wrap are my go to items. I have 5 machines - Bernina 830LE, Bernina 930, Sailrite 111, Bernina Serger 800DL & a BabyLock Coverstich machine.

    Aside from making quilts (those I do go by a pattern, usually from a book or photo & make my own pattern) - I've also made motorcycle coats, recovered motorcycle seats, leather chaps, leather vests, drapes, jean shirts for my husband, dog beds, winter covers for my Purple Martin(birds) houses. I do embroidery too. As long as I can get it under the needle I can make it. I love sewing & it gives me that feeling that I have accompolished something when it's all done .

    I also taught myself how to tool leather when I was a teenager. I did a lot of leather work back then & I still have all those tools. One day soon I will teach my husband, who recently retired, how to tool leather.

    I so hate store clothes today. Most jeans for women are STRETCH & I hate stretch jeans. The fabrics they use today are terrible. The fabrics are not woven straight anymore, they pill/fuzz and/or just don't wash or wear well. The store clothes also have horrible sewing, many with no hems or they have holes ripped in them. If I want holes in my clothes I'll wear them out myself!

    As long as my hands hold out I'll keep sewing anything & everything I can .

  25. #25
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    SW Washington USA
    trip down memory lane in those posts. I too used to sew all my own clothes. It was far more cost effective, and you never met yourself walking down the street... but once I hit my 30's my size has varied all over the place and I can buy clothes a lot cheaper than I can make them, sad fact of the world economy, as the clothes come from countries who pay little for labor.
    But I sure did have some beautiful and unique outfits. A serger would certainly add that professional finishing touch, show us some of your finished projects.

    Do any of you follow Ester http://estheraliu.blogspot.com/
    I love what she does to dress up t-shirts. She is wearing on in her sidebar photo. Too cool. I wish I had a pattern for that!

    thanks for the thread Sandy

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