I started sewing back in 2010, and it seems like a long time ago now! I first broke out the thread box whilst still at Uni - for a project where we had to make our own puppets, and tell a story with them.
It was a weird couple of weeks for a few of us, and a story for another time.
Anyway, fast forward a few years and I have pretty much have my toy building skills sussed out - all from a few weeks of stressful hand sewing, a lot of trial and errors, perseverance and an unstoppable lust for fabric sales. I'm not sure why I latched onto sewing as much as I did, but I get a sense of joy and satisfaction from it that I only get when I've finished a video game, or passed a math exam I'll never have to take again. Like with video games (and unlike math exams), I always find myself excited and ready for the next project even if the last one kicked my butt and bruised my fingers.
I'm still always working on streamlining my toy designs, or creating new ones, but I also love learning new skills and pushing the boundaries of what I can do with a needle and thread. So, one way or another, I ended up trying out dressmaking.
I've made costumes and wearable props in the past, whether for myself or the stage, but there was an understanding with those that they only had to look good from the audience, and needed to last a few weeks at most. I wanted to learn to sew things that could be worn every day, to transform and change my wardrobe whilst also having fun whilst doing it. I started with altering a few things here for there - adding longer skirts to dresses, shortening jackets and hoodies for a cropped look, and turning my trusty flight suit into my beloved high waisted work trousers. Altering is one thing, kind of liking rearranging the pieces of a puzzle that's already set out. Making something from scratch however... that's a different story. Pretty much every project I set out to do from scratch ended up a disaster, whether I picked the wrong fabric, made it too short, or just plain botched it.
So, I decided to start from the bottom and try again with something simple, something straight forward, and something fun! The 1 Hour Skirt Challenge!
I found these beautiful flamingoes in London, and I've been using them in my toys for the best part of two years. I'm always drawn to them, the beautiful high saturation of the pink, green and turquoise is like candy for me, and I decided it would make a really fun little skirt! It's a simple little technique, gathering the skirt up and making a little waistband and a little zip hidden away at the back.
I'm in love with it, I love the bright colours, I love the style, and I love the length! I opted to keep the length just above the knee, so it was a little more fun and flirty. Some of the other skirts I'm working on are a little longer, and have a different style inspiration but more on them in another post! I love this style of skirt because it shows off my little waist and hides my big hips, but it's light and perfect in the heat of summer.
But it's got me doing my Marilyn Monroe impersonation against the wind!