I have been sewing since middle school or so, and I am in grad school now. Around 1997, my grandparents got me a Singer 9410, which is a very user-friendly school sewing machine model that has served me well ever since. My mom taught me most of what I know about sewing, and my own experiences taught me the rest. I sew because I love making things, I enjoy ogling patterns and fondling fabric, and I can't find dresses that fit off the rack. Most of the sewing I do is very pattern-based, although I also do some re-fashioning. I am not yet at the stage where I can take a length of fabric and just make up a pattern. I don't yet own a dress form, but I'd love to have one. My stack of patterns and fabric waiting to be made is always bigger than the amount of time I have to sew, and I always seem to have a few projects that have temporarily stalled out, but I don't mind that. It means I have a lot to choose from when I do have the chance to sew.
I've found that the quality of the sewing experience has a lot to do with the room in which sewing occurs. I have tried to sew in apartments without even a dedicated sewing table, and it's very hard to overcome the inertia the sewing machine has when it's sitting on the floor. My husband and I have a guest room, which 95% of the time means that I have a sewing room with a bed in it. (The rest of the time, it means that I am madly scrambling to clear my projects off the bed so our guests can use it for its intended purpose!) I love having a sewing room. I have a stand-alone full-length mirror against one wall, and I have an ironing board permanently set up in the corner. (Ironing boards also have a significant amount of inertia, and I am a much sloppier seamstress when I have to unfold them every time I want to iron.) My sewing machine table is nice and big, so it can get pretty cluttered and still be used for sewing.
Sewing is all about the body, so here's a little bit about mine. I am of average height, and my waist is a normal distance from my bust and hips, so I don't have to lengthen or shorten patterns. I am very pear-shaped. In Simplicity pattern size, my bust is a 10, my waist is a 14, and my hips are a 16. (Other pattern sizes are similar; current clothing sizes are much smaller.) When I use multi-size patterns, I slope down to different cutting lines as necessary when cutting out the pieces. When I use single-size patterns, I choose a pattern with the right bust size and alter the rest of it to fit. I am fortunate that my bust measurement gives the right size for the neck and shoulder area of a garment. This can be a problem for women who are larger than a B cup. (See this article if that was confusing or you'd like to know more about sizing.) Overall, I am lucky that I am pretty easy to sew for. I used to be very self-conscious about my body and avoided clothing that in any way emphasized my pear shape, but in the past couple years I have gotten the message that it's not changing and figured that I might as well enjoy it, so I'm trying to sew (and wear) a wider range of styles.
So that's the first post. Bye.