The 5 Stages Of Dressmaking

I recently made the brave decision to sew a thing or three. Brave? Possibly an incorrect description… Heroic. Inspiring. Epic. Courageous. I mean, they all work. As there are many ups and downs to this process – I thought it would be helpful to flesh out the inevitable stages one will encounter while also sharing my own memorable experience.

Stage 1: The Brazen Confidence

You are full of ideas! Nothing is keeping you down! You own a sewing machine! The world is your oyster!

There I was – admiring myself in a Zara dress I had purchased awhile back – when I decided right then and there that dresses are easy to make. Period. Full of creative juices, insane confidence and zero experience, I rushed out to buy me some fabric (hellloooo Dressew). I decided to play it cool and limit myself to the sale section. 11 hours later – I was ready to sew.

Stage 2: The Test Run(sssssss)

Ok, you’re a sewing wizard, yes, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. It might take a couple kicks at the can for you to really narrow down what vibe you’re going for.

Now… Where to begin? But no actually… how does one start? Ah yes, a pattern. I decided I was far to pro for patterns, so I was left staring at two meters of material for 45 minutes. How about straps? Those are simple. Straight lines? I’m gonna murder those straight lines. It’s truly amazing how un-simple ‘simple’ gets when sewing. Let’s just say the dress ended up with straps. It may not have been the first or second version of said strap, but it has two pieces of material that go over my shoulders.

Stage 3: The Seed Of Doubt

You are human. You will question, you will wonder and you will doubt. But will you persevere?

It wasn’t until I was 2 hours in, re-sewing the skirt to the top for the 5th time that I experienced my first moment of doubt: Am I maybe NOT a kick-ass sewer?. I quickly laughed these niggling thoughts away, grabbed my wine bottle, took a big sip from my straw and carried on my merry way.

Stage 4: The Curse Words

This stage is a crucial stage. A turning point, if you will. You will either be consumed by f-bombs and storm away in a fit of rage… or you will keep your profanities controlled, steady (albeit brutal and scathing) and keep your tantrums at bay.

I’m not gonna lie people – I nearly cracked (my dogs still have not come out from hiding) but even as I pricked myself in the fingers for the 80th time, I remained composed, ladylike and in control *read: screamed a blue streak, threw sewing machine into the pool, and roared that sewing is for monsters*.

Stage 5: The End 

This project will come to a natural end. You will either complete your project with satisfying results, complete your project with devastating results and your husband will find you weeping into your wine or you will have added to your ‘scraps bag’ and gone off to find your next true passion.

For myself? 4-5 hours, 2 terrified dogs, 10 bloody finger tips, 2 pin-pricked breasts (don’t ask), countless screw-ups, and 4 deals with the devil later… I had ‘dress’. She is squidgy, made with blood, sweat and a lot of hatred… but she is dress. And she is mine. I vowed I would finish her no matter what and I am proud I didn’t feed her to the dogs (came close several times). As hellish as this experience was at times, it has given me a hugeeeee appreciation for individuals who design and sew their own apparel, the importance of fair wages for this work/knowing where your clothes come from and in a cruel twist of fate, has given me an itch to make MANY things (because I love torture).

Next Project: A three-piece suit for my husband for work. 

Timeline: 3 years

Projected Durability: 2.3 wears

Inspo Board: Denim piping/mustard yellow leather/faux fur peplum cuffs/matching accountant’s ‘bonnet’/single ostrich feather

Probability Of Him Getting Fired When Seen In Suit: Definitely arrested. Probably fired.




  1. I know exactly how you pricked your boobs! The husband always laughs when I’m quietly swearing under my breath as I rip stitches for the third time. As frustrating as it is, I love it.

    I’m also overly enthusiastic about buying fabric. I have enough to make 10 kimonos! I have no time to make 10 kimonos!

    • I hear ya sister! It is both highly addicting and wildly frustrating 🙂

      Kimonos… You have inspired me… To buy bolts of fabric and sit on them for years I’m sure.

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