Saturday, 26 October 2013

Adventures in Sewing #2 - an (unfinished) dress

After the success of sewing my lovely cushion cover I was keen to enrol in another sewing class keep the momentum going.  This time I was keen to make something wearable out of stretch fabric as that's a fabric I wear a lot (aka "eating dresses").

I enrolled in a "Learn to Sew Stretch Fabrics" back at Sew Make Create and took myself off fabric shopping.

First stop was The Fabric Store in Surry Hills. This store has LOVELY fabrics...REALLY lovely fabrics that sadly come with a really BIG price tag.  I was really tempted to buy something from their enormous range of knit (aka stretch) fabric but I just couldn't justify paying top dollar for something I was probably was going to ruin.

Next stop is Tessuti where I did my very first Learn to Sew class.  They also have super lovely fabrics but again they are NOT cheap. I was tempted by a few pieces that were way out of my price (and ability) range. And then I spied a nice roll of fabric that was on sale for $14/meter so I nabbed it.

Of course because I'm a tad OCD I popped into a Lincraft where I spied a lovely roll of red fabric that had some bobbly texture to it. I didn't buy it, but i couldn't stop thinking about. After two more visits to "check it out" the material came on sale so I bought it. SCORE!

So, now I have two lots of fabric...and sadly my class at Sew Make Create didn't go ahead as I was the only person enrolled (tears were shed when I heard this -- so sad). They weren't sure when the class would run again as the teacher was going overseas so I decided to see if I could go to the Tessuti class where you BYO your own "stretch project". It wasn't a beginners class, but because my pattern was SO simple I was able to enrol *fist pump*!

In hindsight this wasn't the best type of class for me as we weren't all sewing the same thing. Although my dress was "easy" I needed a fair bit of guidance on what to do next.

That said, I did learn how to fit a neck binding and how to sew in some whacky kind of paper fabric to make sure the neckline doesn't overstretch. I also learned a quick fix on what to do when a straight dress is obviously NOT going to fit my larger than life food-bloggers derriere (it's called a godet - a triangle wedge of fabric that caters for big butts/thighs/hips/tummies). When we realized we were nearly out of time the teacher sewed up the remainder of the side seems for me which is a shame as I probably could've managed to do this myself.

The dress is still un-hemmed and is now rolled up in the bottom of my cupboard - to be looked at when we're friends again (and when I learn how to hem a stretch garment).

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Adventures in Sewing #1 - a cushion cover

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I recently decided that I needed to find a hobby that didn't involve food or my food blog...or specifically eating. And whilst the Balcony Garden gets me off the couch there is really only so much I can do on a tiny balcony each weekend. After you get the planting out of the way (which takes just an hour or so) you just...wait, and water. That's it.

I've been inspired to try my hand at sewing, after reading a few sewing blogs and becoming inspired by Sew Amy Sew who is only just learning to sew herself and is already turning out some lovely garments.

So (or Sew) I took myself off to a beginners sewing class at Tessuti which was very good + covered lots of basics.  But I wanted MORE. I wanted to make something other than straight lines on bits of scrap fabrics.  After scouring the internet I found a cute little sewing workshop and creative space in Chippendale called Sew Make Create.

Before the class started I took myself off to Lincraft to try and find some fabric for my cushion cover. Holy world of ugly Batman! That place is SCARY + a total messy schamozzle! I decided to try my luck at Spotlight...I know there are plenty of nice places in Sydney selling fabric but some of them aren't cheap and most of them are not in Western Sydney and I'm too lazy to venture far on the weekend. I was in luck though and found some really nice fabric...made in Japan which is where most of the lovely fabric at Spotlight seems to come from.

At our first 2 hour beginners class at Sew Make Create we learned about the machine, what bits go where, and then spent some time sewing straight and wiggly lines on paper -- just to get the "feel of sewing". This was really useful. Then it was time to thread the machine up and practice with real thread on real fabric. I'm happy to report that nothing went too badly for me and our teacher Melissa had infinite amounts of patience and I think it helped us all that the class was small - only four or five people each time.

Next class it's time to whip out my lovely Japanese fabric under the watchful eye of shopdog, Pepper who spent a lot of time supervising us in-between naps + (loudly) snoring. Pepper has her own Instagram account and she leads a lovely life of shopdog leisure...lucky dog. I really enjoyed having Pepper in the class - patting a puppy when sewing gets a bit stressful is VERY therapeutic.

And here it is, my finished cushion. I'm so proud of this little baby! I learned how to cut out a pattern, sew straight lines, pivot the needle, sew button holes using the machine and do a zig-zag stitch to stop the fabric edges fraying (and in between patting Pepper the shopdog). Nice one Miss Piggy!

Sew, tell me dear reader (LOL, I LOVE saying that) you sew? Who taught you or did you teach yourself?