As a kid, I spent summers sewing 4H projects. 20 years ago a pair of my homemade wind pants earned blue ribbon praise at the local county fair. Since then I’ve mended a few sweaters, hemmed my work pants, and cut a pair of jorts. Undeterred by my lack of experience, I optimistically headed out to my local fabric store and quickly learned a few things.
The Do’s and Don’ts Approach to Making Your Own Gear
Don’t apologize for the accent you spent years perfecting.
Do buy your favorite color! Mine is purple at the moment.
Don’t exercise color constraint. Neon green fabric? Why not! If you wanted black you would have bought the bag already. I’m already regretting turning down the extra yard of hot-pink fabric.
Do order outdoor specific fabrics and zippers from the comfort of your couch.
Do set realistic expectations.
Don’t anticipate your first prototype turning out Etsy ready. I naively ran out to strap my bag to the top tube of my bike only to watch it slip to the side. After a few tweaks and excess velcro, I designed a mediocre saddle bag instead.
Do create something you need. Even if your 10-year-old self could make it better.