Many years ago, when my kids were small, I often had to make them fancy dress, or costumes for school plays. Back then, you couldn’t just go to the supermarket and pick up a ‘dressing up’ outfit, you had to have a go yourself.
I didn’t sew much for myself for years, but gradually started making a fair bit for other people. Like most of us, I barely charged at all, not feeling that my skills were high enough to be worth much! Recently, my mother in law pulled out a dress I made for her about 25 years ago [I used to be her neighbour], and although I really didn’t remember making it, I was surprised to see that it actually wasn’t half bad! [Hindsight is twenty twenty vision]
Anyway, this was way back in the late eighties/early 90s, and I made quite a few wedding dresses, and gazillions of bridesmaids’ dresses. Of course, they weren’t all strapless and corseted back then. more big sleeves, huge skirts, flounces and netty petties.
I think I used to charge about £25 for a bridesmaid dress, and £50-£100 for a wedding dress, not including fabrics. I still felt cheeky asking for the money!
Anyhew, apart from the opera costumes, I made very little between 1992 and 1996 as I’d started university as a mature student, and life was WAY too complicated.
Again, apart from the odd garment for someone else, or a curtain or so, the machine rarely got used until the lights really went back on when I had my first hip operation just before my 50th birthday. I needed a dress, and I had time to sew.
And sew. And sew. Gradually starting to realise that it wasn’t going to be as easy as it used to be to just grab a pattern and make something I could wear.
I made a few things for the then-fiancee, who’s much less lumpy than me. We had some costume parties. Fun.
THEN my youngest daughter announced that she would be getting married in 2012, I bought a new machine [then another], found The Sewing Forum, and I haven’t looked back.
Part of me wants to make more wedding dresses [I really love it] but oh, the insurance, the time, the bridezillas…
Nah, I’ll just sort out the next lot of fabric and do some cutting out. Now, where’s that silver coated linen?…