MMM Garment Story: Fulton Sweater Blazer

Happy Me Made May, everyone! Between CoVid, pregnancy and a very strange postpartum/nursing period, I haven’t participated in–or even thought about–Me Made May in years! I’m excited to once again participate!

For those who don’t know, Me Made May is a maker’s challenge where people are encouraged to wear/use their me-mades in innovative and mindful ways. It’s completely personal which means it changes from person to person but it is a fun way to think about your clothes differently and get inspired!

The people over at Sew Liberated extended an additional MMM challenge which was to write about a meaningful garment. I love this idea! I’ve always thought Meg is a very gifted writer and it was fun to read her garment story, as well as those of her team. Here’s mine:

I had definitely sewn clothes before this but I consider January 2019 to be the start of when I really started getting in to sewing clothes. I sewed this Fulton sweater blazer one month later, in February. I had a lot of ideas about myself, my skills and sewing in general and most of them were completely inaccurate. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

  • I thought I was an excellent sewer, closing in on expert.
  • I thought a universal needle was a universal needle.
  • I thought all fabrics were created equal, meaning they could be treated in the same way across the board.
  • I had never heard of double sided hem tape.
  • I thought there were, like, two indie pattern designers.
  • I was afraid of buying fabric online (Joann works for everything, right?).
  • I thought muslins were a waste of time (some things never change. Haha just kidding…sort of).

I was clueless. But through the naivete there were things about this make that I want to hold on to, even now.

  • I had really wanted to try using a scuba knit, so I did.
  • I liked the bold pink, so I bought it.
  • I was worried about the pattern, specifically the notches at the neckline, but I went for it anyway.

I was so unaware that I threw caution to the wind and just went for it. As a person who likes to follow rules and be structured and mindful, this take is not first nature for me. Of course, it was easy in this instance because, again, I thought I had advanced skills. (Not to worry, it didn’t take much exposure to the sewing community on Instagram for me to realize I was very much a beginner.)

When I read about this sewing challenge, I knew right away that this was the garment I wanted to write about. Not because it’s perfect or because I wear it all the time (I don’t; I’ve worn it exactly once). I wanted to write about it because it encapsulates the things I want from my sewing. I want to try new things. I want to be bold. I want to have fun. I want to remember that skills only come through trying. I might not want to wear the first iteration of a new technique or project but if I don’t try it out, I won’t get better. Sometimes what you end up with is a garment you’ll never wear, but don’t forget that you also end up with a new paragraph or book or bookshelf in your ever expanding Sewing Experiences library. And that’s good! Knowledge–you can’t wear it but it’s priceless (should we put that on a bumper sticker??)!

Things I learned from this make:

  • Universal needles aren’t universal. Stretch needle for scuba knits, please!
  • Hem tape!
  • Using a damp tea towel or piece of cotton on top of your fabric during pressing can help make crisp folds with tricky fabric.
  • Scuba knit is fun but also tricky!

Things I learned sometime after this make:

  • I am not an expert sewer but I can try new projects.
  • There are soooooo many indie pattern designers. Like, so many.
  • Buying fabric online is awesome! I’m grateful for Joann but only having it for buying fabric would truly be purgatory. Online fabric shops for the win!

And I’m still learning!

I’m glad I gave the Fulton sweater blazer a shot! It has something wonky going on every couple of inches but if I look at it from far away with squinty eyes, I really like what I see! If I come across some more bright pink scuba knit I might try making another!

Here you can see here my very uneven hem, some skipped stitches due to using the wrong needle, and the interior of the jacket.

This jacket might not get worn but I keep it in my closet regardless and there it will stay because it’s more than just a failed jacket to me and I don’t mind it taking up some space.

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