Thursday, 10 September 2015

"No offence but..."

"…the stuff you made when you started, you could tell you'd made yourself"

A good friend said that to me once. They were there when I wore my first ever handmade outfit on a fancy dress bar crawl, they were there during the beginner's euphoria, and I'm honoured to still count them among my friends now. Still, it's an interesting thing to say to a person.

Now, I think I'm "good" at sewing. I'm not Ann, or Carmen or anywhere near the professionals who come out of art school. But I think I'm good.

I've never worried that it would take 5-10 years to get "good" at sewing - I either thought I was good already, or was so excited about every step of the journey that it never struck that something I produced would have been rubbish. What was perfect in 2012 definitely isn't perfect by my 2015 standards, what's perfect now might not be in a few years. To me they're perfect just as they are.

The reason it's important to write this out is because the thought of putting in the effort to level-up is scary. It's not the fear of failure that gets me most of the time, but becoming daunted by the enormity of the task ahead - the time, the rubbish, the expense, the embarrassment, the frustration, all of those things. All that stuff. Sewing has never given me that problem, while other things do on a daily basis.

So no, dear friend, you didn't cause offence.

But there are a few treasured moments in life that take you by surprise, where you realise you've reached a milestone. One of those happened last week as I went to visit B in his new digs. Those are really nice shorts, wonder what brand they are, I should copy them. Thoughts moved on to making tea, playing Flux, building an office chair, plans for next weekend, noticing the dodgy paint job in rented accommodation. 


I shit you not, have you ever forgotten something you've made? It's like an unbelievable high. It's like finding 10 discount pizzas in M&S on clearance for £0.08 each, like Hank Moody when he realises the baby's not his, like crafting and deploying the perfect deadpan pun.


So, these are the shorts. They're the Jeds again, though apparently I needed to size up a little for this version. I added 1cm down the centre of the leg, for the whole length whole of the leg, for both front and back. Otherwise, the only alteration was to make the pockets a bit bigger and add a tiny coin pocket. Apparently B is a man who uses the tiny coin pocket, I thought they were just part of some useless RTW diktat. No, people use coin pockets, who am I to judge?

The fabric is some sort of synthetic steal I got from Misan Textiles, about £30 for 4m. It's got a bit of a spring, a bit of a sheen, it's a bit water repellent and I can't tell the right side from the wrong. I'm going to make some office trousers from it as well - they will be gorgeous.

Sewing late at night...ALWAYS stop sewing when your fabric pieces start laughing at you
The lining and accents are a combination of some bias binding I made in 2010, and the OCTOPUS DAMASK that haunts me like a lingering squid. 

Amazingly, I made these in March - they were ready for the Stockholm Tap Festival and I had it in my head to finish them as the fancy dress flapper outfit was never going to materialise on time.

The weirdest thing? The first time the shorts got washed, all load of dye came off the button. It's a completely different colour! It was a vintage thing I'd found in some charity shop bucket, but has this happened to anyone else?

Not sure what else to tell you about these shorts. Any questions?


B waves bye as well



  1. I cannot believe you managed to sew with Octopus Damask! How many times did it go flying across the room? ;) Nice shorts!

    1. Literally none- you should be very proud!

  2. Thanks for the heads up!
    Nice short and incredible high for sure!

    1. Thanks! Hope you're well and doing some good sewing :)