Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Lady Geek Out Recommends: Learning to Sew (and not just for cosplay)

This may sound like an out-of-place 1950's PSA, but I highly recommend learning to sew. It may seem like an outdated skill that has lost importance since the pioneer days, but learning to sew was one of the best skills I've ever learned (besides, you know, feeding myself). And it's not just for ladies! Male Pattern Boldness is an amazing example of this!

Meet Rosie, my sewing machine!
Obviously, knowing your way around a sewing machine is a huge plus if you are into cosplay. There's only so much you can do with store-bought costumes, scissors and fabric glue. I personally can't afford to commission someone else to make costumes for me. There's so much more freedom when you make your own costume as opposed to buying a costume from a store. First of all, I'm often grossed out by the quality of the costumes they sell at Walmart and the like. Plus if you want a more obscure costume, chances are you won't be able to find it in a store near you. And finally, once you know some sewing basics, fit improves immensely. As someone who is a minimum of 2 sizes different between my bust and waist, this is huge!

Skirt and bustle sewn by me!
But sewing isn't only for cosplay! I'm currently working on buying much less and sewing more of my everyday wardrobe. First, as I mentioned above, once you get the hang of fitting, it's nice to have clothes that were made for exactly your body type. The second reason I enjoy sewing my own clothes is an ethical one. In these days of "fast fashion", clothes have become incredibly disposable. Instead of spending more and buying quality clothes that will last for years, people just buy what's cheap and trending and who cares if it's stretched out in 10 wears, because you can just buy the next new thing at the mall. I have major fears about the working conditions of many of the factories where these clothes are made. Here's an article on "Slow Fashion" from one of my favourite sewing pattern companies!

I've never seen a backpack this stripe-y in a store!
Finally, the biggest reason why I sew is that I love it! Sure there can be frustrating times (Sewing a seam wrong for the 3rd time at 3am with a time crunch or unpicking a serged seam), but you find that in lots of hobbies (that impossible boss fight?). I really love the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish a project. Plus you get to use what you've made on a day-to-day basis. It's fun to learn new skills and with sewing, you're never really done learning if you don't want to be!

Top sewn by me
Sewing can turn into an expensive hobby (can't they all?), especially if, like me, you become addicted to buying fabric. My current machine was fairly expensive (for me at least, although people can spend over $2000 for a machine), but so far I feel like it's been worth it. But you don't have to start with a fancy machine. I learned to sew on my mom's Singer which is 12 years older than I am! So like a lot of hobbies, it's as expensive as you make it!

Sewing is one of my favourite hobbies and I definitely wish I'd learned earlier!


  1. I'm starting to learn to sew and got a decent sewing machine for Christmas! It's a Singer and also got some scrap fabric to practice on. But you're right, I see all of this cute fabric on Etsy and wanna buy it all up!

  2. I inherited my mother-in-law's desk sewing machine and was all set to teach myself how to sew, but it turns out the peddle is broken :( One day.