So, you find yourself intrigued by the world of sewing your own clothing. What a vast, magical and slightly intimidating jungle of possibilities sits before you!
You think to yourself: Where to start? What to make? Do I take a class? Do I just wing it? Good god, why are all these people going on about not cutting anything but fabric with their shears? Also, why do they use the word shears?
And you’ve found yourself more than once on Instagram following some amazing sewists and heard the recent chat about #sewingthescene, which is a super fun sewing challenge organized by my insta-bud Jo (@theunfinishedseamstress) but this time your questions are more like “HOW do I get involved in such a fun challenge when my sewing skills are…well…not so cultivated?”
Enter: me. I GOT YOU, bb sewist! I will hold your hand through this sewing jungle!
So, let’s consider that you’ve learned how to thread your machine, finally got that bobbin all wound up and you’re standing poised with those fabric shears (see, got you to start calling them shears!) and just want to know a good place to start on your own.
Here are a few characters and beginner considerate sewing pattern suggestions to give you the little push you need to start cutting fabric (and ONLY FABRIC) with those shiny new shears/scissors of yours! And then maybe take a super cool photo of yourself to post to instagram and hashtag that biznatch with some #sewingthescene action!
Suzy Bishop & the Francoise Dress by Tilly and the Buttons
I’m a bit biased by this one because it was my first entry into the #sewingthescene challenge last year! But, If you can find the right fabric (I used a textured poly knit in pink) to make the TATB Francoise Dress you can easily accomplish a 60s style mini dress like the one brave Suzy wears throughout Moonrise Kingdom. Accessorize with Binoculars, an assortment of female heroine sci-fi books and a kitten and you’re gold.
2FOR1 Baby Houseman & the Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti Fabric or the Kila Tank by IndieSew
Pretty sure everyone has fantasized being Baby Houseman, apart from her glorious mane of hair (80s curls for dayssss) we all wish we could have Johnny Castle take us on as his sole pupil and teach us the lifts in a scenic Catskill lake all while falling madly in love to one of the best movie soundtracks. Well, real life doesn’t involve bad boy ballroom dance instructors at the family resort, but stripe jerseys and sewing patterns can maybe fill that void in our lives. Enter: the Mandy Boat tee by Tessuti Fabrics (play with sleeve length to accomplish the few different boat neck tees Baby wears in the movie) or do the Cha Cha with the knits and try IndieSew’s new Kila tank. To finish the look? Find those denim shorts you can’t bear to donate, those white keds you bought awhile back but have been afraid to tarnish and find a watermelon you can carry all. by. yourself.
Princess Ann & Full Circle Skirt by Sew Over It
I remember the first time I saw Roman Holiday. I totaloly cried like a baby at the end, when they’re saying goodbye at the press conference and they both give one another the “look”…. oh my gosh, my heart breaks just thinking of it. OH RIGHT, you’re here for sewing patterns. Well, if you’re anything like most breathing souls on this planet, you adore Audrey. The best part? Her style in Roman Holiday is super easy to achieve with Sew Over It’s Full Circle Skirt Pattern (or- draft your own, it’s not that hard!) and a white button down (bonus points if you’re ambitious to try sewing one of those, Sew Over it’s Penny or Libby would work great!) The best thing about this look? You can sew a circle skirt in a basic cotton and it still look amazing, or you can level up and get a tencel twill or viscose and feel super accomplished!
Claire & Sutton Blouse by True Bias
Hello, everyone’s favorite Brat Pack member Molly Ringwald (not your favorite? Get outta here! Unless it’s Jon Cryer SOLELY for Ducky in Pretty in Pink. I’ll never understand the ending of that movie massive eye roll) One thing I always loved was how timeless her look in the Breakfast Club was, though, and recreating it would not be too difficult if you have the Sutton Blouse by True Bias and a chocolate colored corduroy skirt in your arsenal. May I suggest making it from a slightly crumply bubblegum pink linen? I’m a fan of the Sutton for it’s smart details while also being a simple shape, definitely a good way to start tackling techniques like pleats and slits at the hem.
Mia & Cambie Dress by Sewaholic
Another contender for a great ambitious beginner project is the Cambie Dress by Sewaholic Patterns, and a good challenge would be finding the person yellow fabric to make it out of to mimic *the* yellow dress that Mia wears in La La Land! Ok, I admittedly have not seen this movie- don’t judge me. But, I dig all of the costumes I’ve seen floating around the interwebs. This dress is definitely a challenge for beginners with its zip closure and fitted bodice, but, if you’re not learning how to sew them now, then when?