I used to be obsessed with fashion back in the day. I’m talking back when I was young, and slim, and trendy, and under 25. I used to subscribe to Vogue and Fashion Quarterly and pore over the pages getting ideas. Then I used to spend my lunch hours in the city and Barker and Pollock or Centrepoint Fabrics buying fabrics to make the designs that were constantly in my head. I would buy patterns and change them to what I wanted and come up with amazing and original clothes that fit me like a glove because I adjusted the patterns to be the right length and size.
I’m really grateful that Mum passed on the skill of sewing to me…..
Backing it up a bit – my mother was a great seamstress and taught me to sew and helped me make my first dress at 9 years old. I wore it to school and no one believed me when I said I had made it. I was lucky that Mum trusted me with her sewing machine whenever I wanted and I used to spend hours making clothes for my Sindy doll when I wasn’t making clothes for myself. I found school sewing classes at age 11 and 12 really frustrating because I was miles ahead of the basic lessons we were taught. When I was a teenager I used to work at my Dad’s work and spend all my earnings on fabric to make my next lot of clothes. I absolutely loved clothes and fashion and was constantly dreaming up new ideas. When I was about 14 Mum declared that I was now a better sewer than her. I think she was proud that she had passed a skill onto me and I’m really grateful that she did. It wasn’t just basic sewing it was tailored stuff – I made coats and suits with lapels and shoulder pads and all the works, and later on I made my sister’s wedding dress.
I dreamed of being a fashion designer…
I wanted to be a fashion designer so Mum took me to talk to a dressmaker we knew who told me she started off working as a machinist in a factory. I didn’t want to work in a factory so decided I didn’t want to be a fashion designer! How stupid was I. I didn’t know there was such a thing as fashion design school and there was no internet back to get any information so I just moved on. Fast forward a few years when I was in my 20’s I tried to start my own dressmaking business but didn’t really make any money so I flagged it. In my 30’s I had a go at making kids clothes with my own label but once again, didn’t really make any money so flagged that too.
I stopped sewing….
With life moving on and putting on lots of weight I pretty much lost my desire to sew and my love for fashion. I still loved clothes but it was more about dressing for my body shape and finding clothes in the plus section that looked ok and sewing no longer excited me. It became like a chore, a job and something to avoid. I managed to get 2 girls right through school without letting on to anyone that I could sew because I didn’t want to be asked to sew for school productions or suchlike ha ha. I only very occasionally get my sewing machine out now and it would be more likely to make a quilt or cushions or curtains – it’s very rare that I make clothes. I think doing it as a job and losing my figure killed my love for sewing.
And….. I’m back….
Fast forward to this year and losing a lot of weight and I have rediscovered my love for fashion. I love putting outfits and looks together and getting dressed every morning is fun. I love trying on clothes in shops and looking at fashion online. I have been clearing out my wardrobe all this year and adding pieces to it and I love what is in there right now. I know what I like and what works and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The outfit in this photo is my attempt at the wrap/tuck by @tashsefton with my op shop cardigan 🙂 So here’s me, at age 53, back in love with fashion. Maybe I might even get the urge to sew back….. or maybe not. Clothes are so much cheaper to buy than they were 30 years ago and they also seem to be longer (getting the length was a major reason why I sewed). I don’t feel any desire to sew right now, but watch this space….