I just had a look at lovely Lulu Carter's blog today, I check her page religiously, not just because she has such an unerring sense of style, but because she is so clever with her use of colour - the images she has for her easter banner are just gorgeous... you owe it to yourself to check it out.
I also put some encouraging words on the bottom of Fluid Pudding's blog; she's trying to work up to getting the sewing machine out & make some kids clothes - I have to say that when I got to about 30, yes, yes, I know it was last century and all, but I do remember that far back... I got the urge, you know the one, the producing urge -not the reproducing urge, but the urge to make clothes. I didn't even know what a selvedge was, and I had to ring my mother up to find out which way to pin the pattern onto the fabric.
I persevered, and I made things, reaching the peak of my skills with a 17th century style corset I made at a course run by our national Drama Institute.. dressmaking is infinitely satisfying, and the opportunities to improve your skills just go on and on and on... but you have to take that first step. I'll post a piccie of the corset one day, it was quite an achievement in the end, all the boning had to be cut to size, then the ends rounded with emery paper, the eyelet holes for the lacing went in using a huge victorian press, all the stitching was done on industrial machines, which are a completely different prospect to normal domestic machines, then I had to stitch the binding on by hand - all 4 metres of it... but it is spectacularly gorgeous... if I say so myself.
Once I found patterns I liked, I made a bunch of the same thing - 8 gore skirts on a yoke, a t-shirt blouse, flippy skirts with a frill on the bottom (come on, I was young once too)... and I bought metres and metres of dress fabric - and most of it is still sitting in my sewing room - cotton shirting, beautiful raw silks, organza, linens, beautiful italian wool velvet, sari silk.. is it wrong to consider making froggies out of that stuff? It's just sitting there in the boxes, looking at me... because I can't be bothered any more..
All that pressing, pinning, cutting out, marking the grain, measuring from the edge to the grain line to make sure it's all straight, cutting out the notches, then doing it all again for the lining... I've mastered french seams, darts, pin tucks, blind hemming, piping...