Saturday, 12 January 2013

What has sewing done for me (and could do for you)?

I've been sewing for probably about 5 years, let's see, Mad men was first on TV in the UK in 2008 maybe, so it must have been around then that I suddenly realised I didn't have to put up with buying all the clothes that weren't quite right from shops that were all wrong, and I too could dress like Joanie (if I so dared) or Betty.

Since then, I've learned oh so much, made way too much and had a blast. It's really in the last three years, since I've been living in Beirut that sewing has come to be so central to me, it's not only my hobby now, it's my job. And so, inspired by SallieOh's comments about her sewing ....I thought I'd break down what sewing has done for me.
·         Numero uno and probably most importantly for me, it's stopped me shopping! Not that I was some out of control shopping freak, just your usual, shopping on a Saturday type of girl. But it's been two years now I haven't bought a single piece of clothing from a high street shop - I have bought some second hand things and maybe one or two things from independent shops. This makes me so happy. I'm eternally grateful that I was able to get off the consumer treadmill, it has made me so mindful of all the shopping I now do and I have become so much more conscientious about my consumption habits. This year, and after reading Overdressed, I'm not buying fabric. I swear! 

·         Like Sallie mentions sewing has definitely got me feeling better about my self-image. Going into shops like H&M and Topshop and having to try on clothes that don’t fit doesn't really help a girl feel good about herself. Now that I make my own clothes I don't ever consider "sizes". I know my measurements and I know how to make clothes fit me properly. I'm not self conscious about my ample booty any more, clothes go over it these days and don't gape around the waist like they used to...and that's because I made them the right shape. I think that's pretty cool. 
Never thought I could wear a wiggle dress, but I love this one!
·         I feel like I really have my own style these days. I feel like my clothes really express something about me. I'm not just wearing a version of what everyone else is wearing because I like the fabric but not the style so much, or I like the style but the fabric is "meh". Everything I wear is something I chose because it says something about what I love. I am the most me version of me in my me-made clothes! 
·         I feel like I'm constantly learning and I like that. Having been a teacher all my working life, I really like the feeling of always learning. Sewing gives me that. I feel there's so much more to master that I can never consider myself an expert. 
first time i sewed in a lining!
·         I take pride in my achievements, like, all the time! I go round just beaming with pride at how cool and lovely my clothes are! And when I make something for someone else, woah, the pride (some might say all this pride might warrant a fall...lets hope not!)
Add sewed for someone else- very proud me!
There's probably loads more to say, but I'll stop there for today. Safe to say, that as we all knew, sewing is all kinds of brilliant, amazeballs and fun! Oh yeah, and that's not even with me mentioning that sewing has given me a job, a business and an income. What? That's crazy amounts of things sewing has done for me! What has it done for you? Or if you're not there yet, what could it do for you?!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

New classes and dates for 2013

Hope everyone had a lovely festive season and the new year is treating you well so far. One of my new years resolutions this year is to try and get my classes organised and booked ahead of time. Better for me because I know whats coming and can get prepared and better for you because you can put it in your diary and get excited about it!!
So here are my proposed classes for the next few months. None of these are set in stone and there are still possibilities for change. Remember to sign up early for things because I hate to disappoint and you know I only have limited space in each class. All these classes are suitable for those who have taken the beginner course or have some sewing experience (unless otherwise noted).
Sewing with stretchy stuff: Wednesday 16th January, 23rd and 30th 5.30-8pm. $60.
This 3 week class teaches you how to cut and sew with jersey, t-shirt or any other kind of stretchy fabric. In this class we'll start with a basic t-shirt/top and then make something of your choice...dress, skirt, pants, up to you. (This class will also take place on Tuesday 5th, 12th, 19th March).
Dress-making: Thursday 17th, 24th, 31st January and 7th February 5.30-8pm. $80.
Choose from a variety of patterns in this 4 week class to craft yourself a dress, while learning techniques like inserting an invisible/lapped zipper, fitting darts or adding a lining. (This class will also take place on Wednesday 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th March).
Made by Lindsay here
Making a tailored shirt: Sunday January 20th, 27th February 3rd and 10th. 3-6pm (the first class will be 12-3pm due to elec cut). $95.
In this 4 week class you'll learn some advanced techniques to make your own tailored button down shirt. Learn how to make a collar and cuffs, and finish the shirt with french seams for a very clean finish on the inside as well as the outside. You'll go home with a perfect shirt for the office or something more casual.
Trouser/shorts-making: Wednesday 13th, 20th, and 27th February 5.30-8pm. $65.
In this 3 week class you can choose from a variety of patterns which will  teach you all the basics of making and fitting a pair of trousers. Learn how to add in-seam pockets and fly fronts for a unique pair of trousers or shorts. 

Refashioning and recycling: Thursday 14th and 21st January. 5.30-8.30pm. $35.
Give your old clothes a new life by refashioning them. In two evenings turn shirts into skirts, dresses into tops, add detail to boring clothes or simply mend and fix well-loved and worn out clothes.

Pattern Drafting: Thursday 7th March and every Thursday until 9th May (this does not have to be Thursday, if you want to do this and prefer a different day then there is a possibility of changing it) 5-8pm. $200.
A brand new class to teach you how to make a dress pattern from scratch. We'll start by drafting a bodice, sleeve and skirt block to fit your exact measurements , make a muslin to check the fit and then learn how to change design details like darts, necklines, pleats etc to create a dress of your own design! N.B you need some experience sewing clothes for this class, not suitable for those who have only taken the beginner course. (I am also open to doing this on a weekday if I have enough people who want to.)

Handbag making: Saturday 16th and 23rd March. 11-3pm. $65.
A two day workshop in which you'll learn how to make a professional looking handbag/purse/man bag/holdall etc. Add metal fastenings and fancy closures for a bag which looks shop-bought.
Underwear/swimwear making: Starting beginning of May? 6 weeks. (details of this not finalised but want to know if there is any interest)

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