Sewing for Myself

One of today’s big buzz words is “self-care”. Self-care was why I started quilting in the first place! It’s so important — I think especially as a woman and a parent — to prioritize something or things that give us life and energy for the other areas of our lives where we need to show up fully. Since quilting became my job a year ago instead a form of self-care (a.k.a. hobby — let’s not diminish the word “hobby”!), I have been searching for other things that give me a boost. Enter my first garment making attempts. And a backpack, one year in the making.

Range Backpack. Pattern by Noodlehead.

We get a lot of joy out of making things for others, don’t we? So this category of sewing, when we sew something for ourselves is often called “selfish sewing” — a term that I could take or leave. Self-care can seem “selfish” but it’s not, right? A reminder that it feeds the other areas of our lives!

Inari Tee. Pattern by Named Clothing.

First up, the Inari Tee. I bought this pattern at the workroom in Toronto. It takes very little yardage and isn’t fitted, so I thought it was a forgiving first garment to make for myself. If it didn’t turn out, I would have wasted too much fabric or time. I loved the cropped length of the tee – something I didn’t already have in my closet and I thought it would look great over a high-waisted skirt or a fitted jersey dress (both of which were already in my closet). I found the perfect fabric in Jen Hewett’s Imaginary Landscapes line for Cotton + Steel.

Farrow Dress. Pattern by Grainline Studio. Fabric: Yarn-dyed Essex Linen in Lingerie

Secondly, I’ve always wanted to make Grainline Studio’s Farrow Dress pattern. For a couple of years now, I’ve thought, “If I were to make a garment for myself someday, it would be a Farrow Dress!” (see all the #farrowdress goodness here!) It was ‘someday’ until I was at Patch Halifax working on my Inari tee and a fabric delivery arrived. And this Yarn-dyed Essex Linen in “Lingerie” arrived. It was perfect. Right then and there, I bought the fabric and the pattern.

And lastly, my Range Backpack (pattern design by Noodlehead) that I started a year ago! Leather straps and brass hardware from Tandy Leather, with a special zipper pull that I replaced myself (which may seem easy peasy to you who do it all the time but it was a little heart-stopping) were the perfect accent for this black and gold Rifle Paper Co. canvas. The Wonderland collection is fabulous; I love how this particular print is a loose map of all the places in the story of Alice in Wonderland.

I did want to add a layer of water-resistance to the canvas, so I waxed it myself! You can see how I did that over on my Instagram story highlights.

As you can see, blush pink, gold and black – my kind of neutrals. I’m so glad that these items speak to my style more than any store-bought items could. That’s part of the reason we make, right?

5 thoughts on “Sewing for Myself

  1. Anne Lussier says:

    My first 2 hand-made garments are the same as yours 🙂
    How did you find the Farrow sizing chart?
    I just finished the muslin last night and feel like I could fit two bodies in it…especially in the back…
    Yours was definitely what finally pushed me to start cutting my fabric! It’s beautiful!

    • andrea says:

      Hi Anne! No way — what are the chances?? The Farrow is certainly very full but the shoulders are perfect in sizing. I shortened the sleeves because I wanted to have them hit mid-forearm. Have fun with yours!

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