Why I Sew

In today’s mail I received a few catalogs, including a sale catalog from Lord and Taylor. In it were these 2 really cute dresses. The orange one by Adrianna Papell and the other by Calvin Klein. Both were under $100!

Adrianna Papell Dress_main Calvin Klein_main

I made me stop and think – what am I doing??? Here I am spending time and money trying to sew my own clothes that don’t yet match the quality of even these!

Then, I looked through this catalog. It’s one of my favorite ready to wear labels, Lafayette 148. As you can see – this is their “essentials” catalog.

Lafeyette Catalog

I was not thrilled with the styles featured this time, but I loved how they put this catalog together – it’s organized by fabric, with a description of each.


This helped crystallize things for me. These clothes are mostly simple basics in fine fabrics. Look at this one:


They describe it as a “swiss cotton-spandex rib knit” and say “this classic cotton tank will prove its worth in no time flat.” For $158 – I hope so! However, I think it’s cut a bit too short for me (especially because I am tall), so probably not!

 This reminded me why I returned to sewing – it’s about getting great fitting clothes in fabulous fabrics in styles that work for me. Sewing is a creative outlet for me and I (sometimes) get a sense of accomplishment. I still have a way to go, but that’s my reason why.

How about you? Why do you sew?


12 responses to “Why I Sew

  1. There are two intertwining reasons: creative interest and a desire to look good. I believe fit is the keystone to looking good. I’ve seen past-due trends in shabby fabrics look super and classics in great fabrics look frumpy because of fit. I have a non-standard body, so I can invest a small fortune in alterations, or I can invest a small fortune in sewing paraphernalia. I’ve done a bit of both, and I prefer to sew. I think it will be more economical in the long run, as well as more satisfying.

    • I so agree! Fit is such a challenge for me – I’m really trying to learn and improve. I really appreciate now all the things my mother tried to teach me about fitting that I was too impatient to pay attention to then!

  2. I so agree with you! I began sewing because i don’t just want clothes that are gorgeous, I want clothes that arw gorgeous on me.

  3. Hello Laura, I think that like yourself, teaweed and Annika, these is a creative satisfaction to be had (apart from muslins, which can get very tedious). Also, if you are a non standard size you cannot get clothes to fit, so you always look sloppy. I also like natural classic fabrics, and these can be hard to find in RTW clothes. I would like work on fit, and then work on quality, and this may take a year or so. I also currently live in a regional centre in Australia (married a medical practitioner who can’t just relocate) and it is hard to find nice clothes here- so I’m sort of stuck. It’s make my own or wear sloppy, ill designed, poor fabric, poor quality, poor fit tat. I think I would rather perfect (lol’s) a skill set and make my own in styles that suit me. Finding the time is going to be the problem.

  4. Hi Laura and I sew for pretty much the same reasons. I love being able to sew clothes that fit my curves and that don’t cost the earth. There’s so many styles that I really love and I can’t usually get them in my size or if I can they are ridiculously overpriced and even then they don’t tend to fit well either LOL. Also I love the satisfaction of being able to make something myself that fits well and when we get the right fit it definitely makes us feel more confident in the clothes we wear.

  5. I sew to get the best fit. I would far rather spend the time perfecting the fit of a pattern that I can use again, than frustrating, demoralizing hours in a fitting room.

    I also care about style and quality. By sewing, I have a lot more fabric and style choices.

    • So true. I feel a bit constrained now too – that until I get fitting down, I’m not really comfortable enough to really “break rules” and get creative with patterns. Maybe I need to know them to break them!

  6. Pingback: Sew in Bra – Seeking Ideas | christine at home·

  7. Hi,
    I agree with so much of what you say! Simple lines and good quality fabric is all of what classic good dressmaking is about. Knowing what flatters you makes it easy to choose patterns and means you can have a classy wardrobe for far less money. Also, on all vogue patterns now they have figure flattery guides!

    – singularityware.wordpress.com

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