I “Did It Myself”.

Ever since I got my sewing machine, I’ve been pretty obsessed with it. I have become quite the hoarder already–books, machine accessories, patterns, fabric. I started out doing some starter projects to familiarize myself with my new hobby, such as this reversible tote:


Then, I decided to move on to skirts. However, I did not start with the super easy elastic band A-line skirt that all new sewists are supposed to start out with. I was feeling crazy ambitious and began with a pencil skirt–complete with interfaced waistband, darts, vent, invisible zipper and all. I actually had to convince myself *not* to do a lining this time around. Don’t ask me what I was thinking. If there was a sure way to discourage myself so early on in my “career” as a sewist if the end result was horrific, this was it.

It was a little challenging for a total noobie who had never used and cut a pattern or put together a garment before. It took me about four weekends to finish it mostly because I was feeling extremely overwhelmed at times. But I learned that the key is to really take your time. The western culture, particularly Americans (no offense intended), constantly demand instant gratification: I want everything NOW and not later. Sewing is definitely not one of those hobbies that will give you that. It’s very much a process that requires care at all steps of construction. If you want a really professional looking garment, you really need the patience which I sometimes do not have. I will say this, however: There is something oddly therapeutic about sewing. Who knew?

A few of you saw it on Twitter already, but here is my very first skirt:

And it fits too! LOL. Well actually it’s a smidge tight as you can see by the bit of pulling across the front, and a bit too high-waisted. I didn’t use ideal material, I just used the best I had that would work for this particular project. The cotton is very thin and therefore it definitely needs lining, but that’s OK, I don’t intend to wear this out in public anyway. My biggest pet peeve about homemade clothes is that they tend to actually *look* homemade. I think this falls into that category.

Vent and invisible zipper up close:

DSC00749 DSC00753 DSC00754

Not bad for a noob, huh? I made a few of errors, but I’m pretty proud of how it turned out considering it was my very first garment. I’m ready to try something else!…But probably something a little easier. =/

Have you ever tried to sew a garment yourself? How did it turn out?

P.S. Happy 2012! I was thinking of posting a slightly more elaborate first post of 2012, but I guess it’s going to be my second post of 2012 instead. 😛


  1. Erin January 8, 2012

    I love it! The pattern is great and I would have never guessed it was a DIY skirt.  Nice job!!

  2. lovelypettit_mom January 8, 2012

    you did a good job and skirt so pretty.

  3. Jenn January 8, 2012

    The skirt is lovely and i wouldn’t have thought that it was “homemade”.  Keep it up!

  4. Kath January 8, 2012

    I love the tote and skirt. Probably the most recent DIY of mine was a similar tote to yours but it isn’t reversible but I have made an apron 🙂


  5. Girlie Blogger January 8, 2012

    SHUT UP! Did you really make that skirt? It’s FANTASTIC!

    Girlie Blog

  6. Helen January 8, 2012

    whoa! That is pretty awesome. Great prints!

  7. Jarucha January 8, 2012

    It doesn’t really look homemade to me from the pics, that is a lot for a newbie to make. Soon enough your skirts can look like the ones from  J.Crew….ahaha.

  8. Rites of Beauty Blogger January 9, 2012

    Good work on your first big DIY project!

    If you’re very concerned about the tight parts, I think you could easily just let out the side seams and re-sew with less of a seam allowance.

    Great pick on the fabric. It looks really pretty.


  9. Little Nashua January 9, 2012

    This is a great first attempt at a garment. The only thing I can see that is not perfect is the fit. Fitting is something that you will get better with. When you finally make something that fits perfectly, use those measurements on all future projects. Of course, the fabric also determines fit, so if you ever use something with stretch, you can get away with a smaller overall pattern.  What I like most about sewing is the process. When I first started I wanted to sew everything as fast as possible, but I have since learned that it is better to take time. Some things need time  = hems need to hang for at least 24hrs, wool needs to set up and cool after pressing. The most important advice I can give for professional looking results is PRESS AS YOU GO. My mom told me that, and it makes a huge difference. I press every seam at least 2 times, sometimes more. I finally broke down and bought a pressing ham and a seam roll for when I sewed my wedding dress, and I honestly had no idea how I managed to get by without one before. It makes pressing seams and darts so much easier. Wait for JoAnns to have a sale with coupons and you can get them cheap.

  10. Cher January 9, 2012

    Thanks so much for your tips! Yes, I’ve learned already how pressing can make a huge difference. Good thing I think pressing is kind of fun. LOL.

  11. Ping January 9, 2012

    totally impressed!

  12. TOBeautyReviews January 9, 2012

    Whoa you did an AWESOME job Cher and for your first try? Amazing?  So sad I literally can’t even sew on a button!

  13. Cher January 9, 2012

    LOL. That’s what I’m aiming for! I’ve been inspecting J.Crew’s skirts so hard lately hoping that one day soon I might be able to pass off one of my own skirts for J.Crew! 😛

  14. Callandra January 9, 2012

    Wow!  I am so impressed, you have real talent!  I can’t wait to see what else you can make 🙂

  15. Bravoerunway January 10, 2012

    I think you did a fantastic job on both pieces!  That skirt is fantastic, I didn’t notice the pulling until you mentioned it, the pattern conceals it!  I can’t wait to see what else you’ll be creating!

  16. nkauj thao January 10, 2012

    Really good for your first time. It looks store bought and the fabric is a very pretty choice. Give yourself more credit!

  17. Canadianpetite January 10, 2012

    You did a good job! I also like the fabric you chose. 

    Back then (before blogging appeared), I didn’t know about petite sizing so everything looked ill-fitting on me. So I sewed skirts, dresses and blouses. Now, I cannot justify the time it takes to make something altho I have been reading sewing posts lately and am tempted to try again. 

  18. Really Petite January 10, 2012

    Such a pretty and unique pattern. You did a wonderful job. I look forward to seeing more projects!


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