This is one of those things where, if you’d told me several years ago that I’d be doing something like this, I’d have laughed in your face.
Mum does quite a bit of dressmaking, altering and various other sewing projects, and tried to get me interested. Dad made Mum’s wedding dress, so it’s something that runs through the family. My brother never got into it though, and for a long time, neither did I. Occasionally I tried, but the results didn’t often turn out as well as I’d hoped. Knitting was even worse, and I gave that up as a lost cause fairly quickly – it wasn’t until much later that I realised it was just because I’d been learning wrong; every knitting book out there assumes that one is right-handed. I’m not.
Ironically it was going through a major life change that got me keen to be more capable. I made the odd item for myself using online tutorials, which I still use occasionally. The big push for me to pursue it further was Live Role-play (LRP). I discovered early on that buying items for this wasn’t always an option, and after getting my first piece of costume custom-made, I got more interested in making my own items.
The doublet pictured is my first ever attempt to make something from a pattern. I’d made myself little bits before – decorating a hat, making a mask – but this is a lot more involved. There have been some mistakes made along the way, but overall I’m very happy with the way this is progressing, even if said mistakes left me wanting to tear my hair out at times. It’s obviously not finished yet – when it is, you’ll soon hear about it – but it will be for my character to wear under some mage armour when he goes into his first battle.
My interest for now will be to just make costume for LRP, but given how awkward a fit I am for some clothes, and how my taste deviates considerably from what’s usually available, I’ve been toying with the idea of making everyday clothes for myself too. Whether I get confident enough to offer these services to others will be a matter of time.
EDIT: It’s finished! I’m so glad I managed to get the above picture before, as you can’t see the pattern well in this photo, but you can see what I added – the main thing here is sleeves. The original pattern didn’t come with sleeves, so I had to build some from scratch. I took what I learned from making the body, looked for sleeve ideas and studied the old sleeves from my first doublet (made by someone else) to get an idea of how to make them. Plus trim of course; in The League it’s all about the trim 🙂
See also: Live Role-play