I came down the stairs wearing this shirt and Paul said, "that's nice, where'd you get it?". Nice one. The knit fabric came from Stephanie, and the pattern came from Check and Stripe-- but honestly it could have come from Sew U Homestretch (using the sleeves from the dress pattern and attaching them to the t shirt bodice). There are two great things about this shirt: the boat neck and the puffy sleeves. Also, that the fabric was free and it's striped. OH! And that it was done without a serger in a very short amount of time. That is four things which means that it was very worthwhile sewing.
There is this conversation that I have quite often with myself and other people (and that The Chicken has discussed a good amount, too) that goes something like this:
"I could make that."
"Well, yeah, you could, but would it be worth it?"
"Maybe. Okay. Probably not."
I think that most sewers get to a place where they realize that sewing clothes for yourself can be expensive and time consuming especially when you end up with something that you could buy without much money or effort. In order to get past that place I think most sewers come up with a set of criteria that not only changes the conversation, but brings their sewing to a new level. In this case the fabric was free, the pattern was borrowed, and it had some cute details that beat out the 5 dollar Target shirt. Usually this isn't the case and in those instances I start to factor style (is this going to look like I got it at Old Navy?), fabric (again with the ON questions, but add to that how much I love/need the quality, type, or print of the textile), and fit.
I met up with sweet Laurie last week for breakfast (thanks Laurie!!!) and then forced her to buy some Liberty fabric at Bolt (sorry Laurie!!!) and somewhere in there I got even more bossy and said something like "one of the reasons that new garment sewers give up is because they don't follow the directions carefully and they think they can wing it and be really happy. Imagination gets in the way of doing it right." I used to sew this way and until I buckled down and started following patterns carefully, I never really knew if there were problems with the pattern or problems with me. Turns out it was 90 percent me and I have a box full of sad sack unwearable clothes to prove it. But now that I've learned the basics it's so much easier to see the potential in a good pattern, or a sweet print-- and sewing clothes becomes a little more economical.
I'm still working my way through the Sew, Mama Sew Women's Sewing Month posts-- so much good information. I'm going to put a couple of Sewing With Nancy DVDs on my wishlist as well. And I've only got my head out my bottom and started following the peeps over at Burda Style. And that Sew U Homestretch book? I still love, love it but I can confidently say that in my edition the basic tshirt pattern was reproduced about two sizes bigger than the measurements listed. I'm going to make a competent sewer out of myself (and apparently anyone else who will listen) yet.