About Me #1: My Sewing Journey

My messy sewing space
My Messy Sewing Space

I was talking to one of my friends this evening about how I ended up learning how to sew a few years back. It made me realize how things fall into place even when you are not consciously planning for it to happen.

I have always been into sewing. At every stage of my life, I have a memory that is related to sewing. From the early days in Lagos making clothes out of paper by taping together, to the days of sewing paper with needle and thread to the days of going to the tailor and designing my own outfits, there is a memory tucked into me somewhere.

When I was in college and fearless, I used to hand make some of my own outfits for fancy dinners and stuff. Those outfits were shapeless but I made them and I wore them without feeling self-conscious because clothing was always a passion of mine. For a while there, I contemplated going to design school. Instead, I settled for a graduate degree in Fashion Retail.

I guess I was meant to learn out how to sew because when I was done with my graduate programme, I decided to do a year of service in Nigeria. I ended up in Ibadan teaching in a school. The school let out early and I needed something to fill up my evenings so that I won’t be bored. This was how I signed up for sewing classes at a small studio near my house in Oluyole Estate in Ibadan.

My days at that sewing studio was fundamental to the confident I have now in sewing. Yes, I am not super confident because my lessons were cut short by tragedy. However, I learned how to use a sewing machine and basics of sewing so that gave the foundation to self-teach other things as I sew more.

I have only had my sewing machine for a year now because when I moved to the United States, for the second time, I could not afford a machine. Plus, my room was way too tiny to fit in a sewing machine. Times have changed now and I am able to afford a machine and to buy sewing supplies regularly.

I still don’t sew as much as I would like but I get in regular time.

Closet Curation: Episode #1

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I spent the day sewing my Thanksgiving dress. It is made with a rather lovely fabric that I have had my eye on for over a year. The fabric, which has black cutouts in a floral motif pasted on a white net background, is one that I recently acquired. Luckily, I was not too scared about cutting it so my Thanksgiving dress is coming to life. I am excited to show off my creation once it is done.

Recently, I have come to a point where I have to acknowledge that I have a fashion problem. The thing is I hate shopping…I truly hate shopping for clothes or shoes or anything that has to go be sized and goes on my┬ábody. It gives me anxiety.

When I got into sewing last year, I made a deal with myself that I would not shop for clothes. I promised myself that I would spend time making my own clothes instead. I made the deal as a sort of commitment to sustainability. What I have found though is that it has become an excuse to hoard fabric and avoiding shopping for clothes.

So I have to rethink this strategy. I have to find a way to shop for clothes and make my clothes at the same time. I really have to go back to the drawing board and plan my closet. With my experienced eye, I know that I am lacking both basics and stand-out pieces. Since my clothes are not well edited, I constantly find myself feeling insecure about the way I look. This is especially true when I have special events to attend.

I am taking the first step by making this Thanksgiving dress. I made a lovely dress last year that my darling friend, Bi, cut out for me and then I sewed it. This year, I have used a McCall’s pattern from my stash. Bi is still helping me install a zipper since I am scared to do it myself.

Beyond Thanksgiving, I have to sit down and plan my wardrobe. I am dreaming of basics from H&M and then dressier pieces that I can make myself. I am excited to see the evolution of my closet.

Is anyone else looking forward to curating their clothes?