4 min read
You should make your own clothes.
If you know me, or have been reading this blog for a while – you know that I love to make things.
Besides writing my two favourite creative hobbies are probably knitting and sewing. Specifically – knitting and sewing garments. I am nowhere near an entirely handmade wardrobe but now have quite a few pieces of handmade clothing that I genuinely love to wear.
Being able to make your own clothes is incredibly satisfying and empowering and I think everyone should give it a go! Here’s a few reasons why:
Making your own clothes is a celebration of the body that you have
For me, no place is worse for body image issues than the changing room of a clothing store. There is something about the light that always makes my skin look terrible. After pulling three or four tops over my head my hair is usually a mess. I am surrounded by mirrors. And then – nothing fits right.
This is because the clothes don’t fit me. Not because my waist is too wide, my bum to flat, my boobs to big or my legs too short. However, it makes me feel that way.
Making clothes enables me to make clothes that fit my body. Rather than trying to alter my body somehow in order to fit into the arbitrary standards of the fashion industry.
For me, making my own clothes is a celebration of the body that I have. My body is worthy of being clothed in garments that make me feel good. That are comfortable and vibrant and fun and me.
Making clothes makes you appreciate the work that goes into it
We have become pretty accustomed to extremely cheap clothing. Fast fashion is very problematic for the environment but it also is an incredible devaluation of the skill and effort that is required of garment workers.
I know that not everyone has the financial means to opt out of fast fashion completely, but if you are able to either thrift or make most of your clothes you have achieved a lot already.
Also, once you have gone through the process of painstakingly fit a neckband or unpick the seam for the third time you start to really appreciate the amount of skill, effort and time that goes into making even just a simple T-Shirt.
Making something with your own hands is good for you
I cannot quote any specific research here, but I am sure you can easily find some – either way I am convinced of this: making something with your own two hands is good for you. Concentrating and creating something tangible puts me into this state wich is almost meditative. Seeing progress, being able to touch it and then wear it, is so satisfying.
Making your own clothes will make you feel calm and proud and empowered. (Also very frustrated at times, but more on that in the next point.)
Failure is also good for you
When learning a new skill failure is inevitable. I have made things and afterwards thrown them away because they came out wonky or just very different than I had wanted. Making clothes can be difficult. There are many steps. And if you are not careful, many points where you can get things wrong. And you will!
But that is also good. It’s good to learn to deal with frustration. It’s good to fail and try again. It’s good to make a mistake and then learn from it. You will get better! (But I am pretty sure you will always need your seam ripper, no matter how advanced you get).
It’s an opportunity to be creative and find your own style
When making your own clothes, you can go the classic route and buy a pattern and some fabric or you get an oversized shirt from a charity shop and take your scissors and go at it. There are so many possibilites – you can choose different fabrics and patterns and alter patterns and, and, and… You can really stretch your creative muscles.
Plus, for me, sewing and knitting were great ways of figuring out what I actually like. My favourite colours, combinations of different fabrics and patterns etc.
Just get started! Go make your own clothes!
So, my strong advice would be: just try it! Maybe you have a sewing machine already or you have a family member or a friend who would be willing to lend you theirs. Find a beginner pattern and buy some fabric and just get started.
Or alternatively, get a set of knitting needles, some yarn and learn to knit. It’s slower than sewing but also more portable.
Both are so fun! You should do it. Make your own clothes.
This is Day 93 of my 100 Day Project. You can learn more about my 100 day project by reading this post. If you want to do your own 100 day Project, I would recommend checking out the 100 Day Project website.