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Conversational Threads

Who do you sew for?

Deana | Posted in Talk With Us on

Do you sew garments primarily for yourself, for others or both?

Deana Tierney, Assistant Editor, Threads


  1. jatman | | #1

    Hi Deana,

    I sew mostly for me.  I'm still trying to get the fitting down for myself.  It's amazing to me that I can sew something for myself, try it on 50 times during the construction process and STILL not have it fit the way I want it to.  If I ever get fitting down for myself, I may try to sew for someone else someday.


    1. Caili | | #28

      After a while you will be used to your fitting problems and it will come easy. Sometimes you can take an ready made garment that fits well. Take    apart, press. Use this for your pattern.emember to add seam allowances, Jeannine

      1. jatman | | #29

        I've been working towards that lately - amazingly, I took a ready made shirt and compared it to a pattern before cutting it out.  They compared reasonably well to eachother (in all the places I thought would matter) so I cut out the blouse and sewed it up.  Still - not a good fit.  I'll wear it but it doesn't fit the way I want it to.  I think I will take your advice and take something apart and use it as a pattern.  I just don't know enough to know how a subtle difference in a seam shape, etc. will reflect on a new pattern.  Thank you for the encouragement.  It really is frustrating at times.  I don't know how anyone ever gets good at doing this without making a multitude of expensive mistakes.  I'm in love with every fabric I've ever purchased so I don't want to screw anything up.



        1. Caili | | #31

          You will be amazed how fast it comes. Try to use the same patterns, and  easyones to start with.If you successfully make several pants or tee's, you will be so excited & it will build your confidence!        Caili

          1. jatman | | #32

            I actually just finished a t-shirt that fits reasonably well, so I've decided I like working with knits.  It just takes a few successes, doesn't it?  Thank you for the encouragement!


          2. Caili | | #35

            A few successes & you will be on your way. Why don't you make a couple more  t's in different knits. This gives you lots of options in your wardrobe. The second time you make the same pattern you cut your time in half! Lots of luck!, Caili

          3. jatman | | #36

            Great idea.  Everyone can use more t's, right?  Thank you!


  2. ctirish | | #2

    Deana, Only recently have I started sewing for myself. I have done a lot of Home Dec sewing and now I love to sew for my grandchildren.  Anything for them, pillowcases, small blankets with their favorite character of the week, pj's, etc.  I would love to see an article that has someone going through all the steps for sewing a silk dupioni or charmeuse blouse or dress that I could relate to a child's dress as well as make a silk blouse for myself.

    1. thehat | | #10

      hi thought I could interact on this I love to sew for people and my grandchildren and I love to sew period clothing this month I am desinginga out fit of  white satin  and  black and sliver brocade with a hat  with feathers  this is a chalange and thats way I sew and the clothes that I make for the girls is right now is a pair of knickers with a vest and a hat

  3. fabricholic | | #3

    I sew primarily for myself. I sew for my granddaughter and sometimes, for my husband. He always wants me to make him something. I am making a wrap for him that he can use when he gets out of the shower. It's very simple. I made him a polar fleece robe that he loves.


  4. alotofstitches | | #4

    I'm a dressmaker for other ladies sewing lots of ladies tailored suits as well as several wedding gowns and lotsof bridesmaids' dresses.  I enjoy sewing some for my grandchildren.  I love to sew for myself but find myself at the bottom of the list!

  5. lovestosew | | #5

    I sew suits, skirts, shirts and home dec for myself, shirts for my husband, minor repairs for my sister-in-law, totes, jumpers and home dec for my sister, totes and shirts for my niece... I love it all but my very favorite has to be making shirts for my husband.

  6. SewNancy | | #6

    Mostly for myself and some things for my daughter.

    1. flossie | | #7

      I sew for my daughters (two real life "Barbie" dolls) and I also do some dressmaking for nieces, sister in law etc. I rarely make clothes for my self because I am never happy with the way they look or rather I am not happy with the body underneath the clothes - it is a long time since I looked like a Barbie doll LOL

  7. user-217847 | | #8

    I am curently attempting to make myself presentable. I to don't like the body I'm in, I've recently purchased some patterns (not your usual choices) from America, Christine Johnson, Lois Ericon and Revisions that caught my attention. Threads and Stitches offer neat suggestions also. I do all the repair work for my whole family, I also machine embroider for a dress maker friend.


  8. Teaf5 | | #9

    I sew garments for my daughter, son, and husband, all of whom top 6 feet and have problems finding clothes.  I make myself jackets, vests, & shirts but prefer rtw jeans, tees, and pants.

  9. Betakin | | #11

    I have rarely sewed for myself. The main reason I started sewing years ago was for clothing for my 6 kids. I also went through a period of doll making when the grands started coming. Now, since I have retired and back to sewing again, I sew for my 26 grands and 6 great grands and I love it. I also sew gifts for my married kids. Usually I sew one special item a year for myself, like a suede jacket or a party outfit. I do home deco projects for the family plus my own home.

  10. cafms | | #12

    I make all of my clothes and made my children's clothes.  Still do some for my daughter.   Also sew shirts for my husband and used to make his suits.

  11. Maasai | | #13

    Hi Deana:

         I sew for both - but most of the time I'm sewing for others.  I love to sew, and its a very relaxing hobby of mine!


    Peace and blessings - Stephanie D. Jones

  12. SAAM | | #14

    I sew clothing for my daughters, my husband, and myself most of the time. Occasionally I will sew for other special people in my life — friends and other family members. I also do some home decorating sewing (draperies, pillows, pillowcases, quilts) and have made soft toys (dolls and stuffed animals). In terms of clothing, I have sewn everything from wedding dresses (including my own) to men's suits to prom dresses for my daughters as well as all the usual everyday clothing. I used to sew professionally but found it wasn't worth it in terms of time invested vs compensation. It just didn't give me the same satisfaction that sewing for my loved ones does.


    1. User avater
      Becky-book | | #19

      I can agree with that!!  I have done projects for 'loved ones' that some one else couldn't pay me enough to do!! I have also done work for paying clients who seemed to grudge every penny I charged (don't do work for them anymore!)

  13. TJSEWS | | #15

    I sew primarily for myself.  And I do a lot of fitting adjustments for my daughter on her ready to wear purchases, mostly shortening hems.

  14. solosmocker | | #16

    For many years I have sewn primarily for myself. Now I have grandchildren who think I am weaving magic when I bring them a new outfit. It doesn't get much better than that!

    1. User avater
      Thimblefingers | | #17

      I sew for myself because I am 5' tall, 98 lbs and 49 years old - my style doesn't really suit the Junior size clothing that I would have to buy if I didn't sew!  I also used to sew for my ex-husband because he was 6'4" and very slim and he could rarely find clothing to fit in ready-made.  I loved to sew for my daughter - still do sometimes - but now she sews for herself.  I sew all my drapes, curtains, and bedspreads.  And I sewed professionally for many years so have sewn all kinds of garments for all shapes and sizes.  Now I also sew for my boyfriend who is involved in many outdoor sports like cross-country skiing and needs technical sportswear.  I love sewing! 

  15. SewMadSue | | #18

    Exclusively for myself!!
    I have made other items (craft or home dec type) for family or friends as gifts but dressmaking is not something I'd undertake for others!

    When my sons were younger I made almost every garment they wore too, trousers, shorts, dungarees, shirts, tees, sweatshirts and fleece tops, winter coats, anoraks, waterproof over trousers for school run! you name it I've made it! but now they are older (11 and 13) I make them very little as you can imagine!

  16. Langtonian | | #20

    Hello Deana,

    Now I sew mostly for myself and occasionally for a Grandson.     I did a lot of sewing for my four children - from little smocked dresses when they were little to duffel coats when they were in university.

    I have always enjoyed sewing AND shopping for fabric!


  17. nbxrox | | #21

    I sew mostly for my children, ages 11, 7 and 5. I do alot of home dec stuff, but my recent passion has been the ConKerrCancer.com pillow cases for local children's hospitals. The pillow cases are really quick and easy (I made more than 5 in one night), are a good use of your scrap fabric, and gives immediate gratification, becuase it is completed in one sitting. If you are interested, check out the website for where to send your completed pillow cases. It's a great cause, and I have actually found myself BUYING more amterial rather than just using my leftovers.  

    1. Ralphetta | | #22

      I've been reading this thread and it reminded me of a friend.  She had 3 little girls about a year apart.  One day when the girls were napping she started cutting out a dress in the middle of the floor.  A neighbor came to visit and commented on the dress and then asked who it was for.  My friend said, "I don't know, but it's bound to fit someone."

  18. tricone | | #23

    Hi Deana

    I sew mostly for myself. Whenever i can get the fit right .

    However I have begun to enjoy sewing mens shirts. They just seem so much easier to construct. ? Perhaps they are a symbol of the male psyche once you get to understand it!

    Good luck

    and thanks


  19. sewingkreation | | #24

    Hi Deana

    I sew for my Grand Children and other people.

    I don't sew for myself much.


  20. User avater
    ehBeth | | #25

    Occasionally for myself, occasionally for a couple of the neighbour's children, more often for the dogs and windows.

    Most of my 'craft/project' time is devoted to knitting.

  21. Bren2 | | #26


    I teach a high school vocational program in pattern making and garment construction so you could say I do a lot of sewing for others. I also like to keep myself motivated by sewing or restyling clothes for myself. Last winter a local organization held a "Project Runway" It was superfun but superhard. We were given $100 and had 1 week to get it done. I had to source my own models. It was difficult to squeese it in along with full time job and family obligations. Also once you purchased the fabric and cut....there was no going back. You were committed to your idea. Only slight modifications could be made because you could not buy anymore fabric.              I had lots of fun back stage and watching the variety of entries. Four of my former students were also in the competition. It was a great experience.


  22. Morach | | #27

    I have sewn for myself...but find fitting problems difficult ...to the point I make a muslin or mock up first and try again.....I loved sewing for the grand girls up to size eight  when they were easy to please and completed a matching doll dress for them and one for me as a reminder of the project.....that I enjoyed when I knew they could always grow into them....I just purchased an embroidery machine and I am looking forward to sewing lots of other things in home dec...

  23. sewchris703 | | #30

    I sew for a living, for myself, for my family and friends.  I work pt doing bridal alterations at a bridal shop and I own my own dressmaking business where I specialize in historical and ethnic reenacting clothing.  After 40+ years of sewing, I'm finally taking a patternmaking class.  I just finished my personal block (or sloper which is what my old patternmaking book calls it or foundation which my boss at the bridal shop calls it).  So now I will be able to make my own personal patterns and alter commercial patterns to fit before cutting them out.  My boss at the bridal shop does my measuring and fitting and I do hers.


  24. lilah | | #33

    I sew mostly for my 22 yr. old daughter, some for my 1 1/2 year old  grand-daughter, a little for myself and occasionally a gift item (sometimes quilts or pillows)  for other family members or friend.  My daughter loves everything I make for her which encourages me to sew more.  I also ask for her input on colors, fabrics and style so she helps in the design process.  She likes classic clothing - nothing too over the top, nothing that looks crafty or junky. 

    1. User avater
      Thimblefingers | | #34

      When my daughter was in Grade 2, I started sewing a cute little doll outfit for birthday parties she was invited to.  By the end of Grade 3, she was being invited to every girl's birthday party in the school, whether she knew them or not.  I finally had to say "no more doll clothes" as I was beginning to feel like a doll clothes sweat shop!  She was being invited to at least one party every week!  When the doll clothes stopped, so did the birthday invitations (except from her real friends)!

  25. samsmomma | | #37

    I sew mostly my husband and myself, tho I make sleep pants, boxers and robes for DS. I also make quilts, curtains and slipcovers to save money.. I've sewn for about 48 yrs.

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