Dusting Off The Old Sewing Machine Out of Necessity

I am wondering how many of you are like me and have begun trying to find outfits online during the COVID pandemic.

To say challenging is an understatement. I once was able to go to a store and try on an outfit before purchasing. This is how I truly knew if I liked the way it would fit and look on me not just the cuteness factor on the hanger. Through the last 18 months, the stores haven’t allowed you to try things on. We have to take them home and bring them back if they don’t suit or fit. That inevitably means another trip to the store which was a hassle the first time. I confess to buying some items online to avoid making multiple trips to stores and to give me a pick me up with a new purchase.

I like to know what the feel of the fabric is like. I like cotton in particular because it is cool and looks classy. I have been disappointed to say the least with my online purchases. Most things that are sold are rayon, polyester or blends. I didn’t like it in the 70’s and I don’t like it now. However, it seems that it packs well with few wrinkles and cheaply can be shipped because it is lightweight. Yet, it is not appealing when I try it on.

I try to look modern with some updated patterns and designs. The models always look amazing online. I am careful to pick more conservative styles yet I still am unimpressed when I receive items in the mail. This makes two dresses now that I have received that look like a tent is missing from the circus even though I tried to pick a form-slimming design.

Returning items by mail is also a hassle I hope to avoid plus I don’t like to admit to defeat. So what can I do? I am trying to refashion my purchases in a way that I can wear them with some sense of overall satisfaction. This means having to sew. I haven’t tried to sew much clothing in years. I remember making a peasant top in junior high school for my home economics class. It turned out pretty well as it was very basic. We were not taught much in the way of how to make alterations to make things fit better. This is a whole new experience for me. It doesn’t seem hard to cut a shape as we used to for patterns. I could use clothing I already own for the basic template then sewing a basic line is easy enough. I have decided I might as well give it a try.

The first shift I received was too wide with pockets and too long. I have cut down the sides and the bottom to a more rectangular shape and less of an a shape. The second shift-tent will be turned into a tunic top as it was way too wide and a-framed again as a dress.

I am not as petite as I used to be but am definitely not ready to look like I am wearing a housecoat from Mama’s Family.

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