Sew Much Better


Are you fed up with disposable apparel? Over the repetitive styles and trends? Daunted by improper or insufficient sizing? Aggravated by unnecessarily exorbitant price tags? If so, then maybe it’s time you learned to sew. Thanks to the domineering omnipresence of commercially manufactured clothing, sewing your own clothes has become somewhat of an archaic skill. Why bother with the time-consuming effort of making your own clothes, when someone else has already done it for you? Because the person who made those pants you bought at H&M most likely got paid less than the cost of the thread. Because you’re own creativity can yield something uniquely one-of-a-kind. Because you’ll save significantly more money which could be spent on something more substantial. Because you’ll never have to worry about “if they have my size”. And, because you allow yourself to acquire a reputable, lifelong skill.

I can clearly remember the constant whirring of my mother’s Singer growing up, as she regularly churned out coordinated short sets and matching easter dresses for my sister and I. It’s a noise that’s as nostalgic as it is familiar as I, myself have recently turned to the sewing machine for inspiration and coverage, something that’s becoming harder to find in many mainstream clothiers. When it comes to fashion, at least for me, I want a garment that is expressive of my distinct sensibilities, not some corporation’s regurgitation of the most prevalent and hackneyed trends. You may think that overrated logo means something, but all it really says is that you’re willing to turn yourself into a walking billboard AND you grossly overpaid for an item you though was actually worth something. In addition, consumers are forced to submit to the commonly sexualized thematics mired within the context of something that’s meant to cover you up…oh, the irony.

Being in control of what you wear doesn’t’ have to end at the racks. Taking a more organic (and ethical) approach to how you dress can be a rewarding, if not fun experience. How cool is it when someone compliments you on your top and asks where you got it from, that you can say “I made it myself”? It may seem intimidating and impossible at first, but if you’ve got hands and a working brain, you can sew. These are some excellent resources to get you started:

S.E.W: Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp

Complete with step-by-step how-to’s and easy to follow instructions, this book is the first step for the eager novice. Also comes with 10 free patterns.

JoAnne Fabrics

It’s the Wal-Mart of fabric stores and you can get your hands on just about any type of fabric imaginable…for cheap!


The website for people who sew. Participate in forums and discussions, find patterns, and get inspired by D.I.Y projects from users.

– Princess Glover

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