In praise of sewing lessons

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I’ve been sewing for a couple of years now (after a break of 20+ years) and I’ve been feeling for a while now that I could do with some help with sewing techniques.  Things just not turning out right, too much of the time!

The help available on the internet is brilliant, but I’m a visual learner and like to be shown what to do.

Then I met Sara Radford at a craft fair and joined her Wednesday sewing lessons.  Sara has been sewing professionally for 20 years, and she knows a lot about sewing!  She also has a very kind and encouraging manner, though I have noticed her fingers twitch when I’m about to get something horribly wrong….

Most weeks, I go for a three hour sewing session at her house with 2-4 others. There is no formal lesson. We take along a project and Sara helps and advises.

Already I’ve learned a lot, not just from the advice I’m given, but also from listening to what the others are learning.  And I’ve noticed I’m more patient with myself, more inclined to unpick and try again rather than bin, or wear something that I know isn’t right.

My first project was a Banksia top in chambray with added buttoned cuffs on the sleeves.  This turned out to be quite a learning experience as I hadn’t any experience of sewing a collar, button placket or the cuffs I wanted to add to the pattern!  I would have given up without Sara’s expert guidance, and if I hadn’t managed to put the cuffs on back to front (at home) I would show you.  Me and the Banksia are taking a break from each other, but back soon!

So I took an unfinished skirt to my next lesson, pattern Simplicity 1783.  I could not get my head around the zip insertion instructions and Sara just showed me which bits to line up and where to stitch. Now I understand!

I used Sunni’s Patch Pocket tutorial which is excellent, and they have come out pretty well (I started this skirt before I began the lessons).

So, here is my very wearable denim skirt, with a Maria Denmark Edith blouse.

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My next project is to reline Mr D’s favourite jacket.  It is very old, and the lining has collapsed.  Sara  says she has ‘seen worse’, which is good news – I’ll let you know how I get on!

3 responses to “In praise of sewing lessons

  1. Nice work! I also benefit from seeing a technique demonstrated.

  2. Oh I can totally sympathize – I was feeling pretty meh about my sewing too, and really down on myself because of it… after taking a good hard look at my habits, I came to realize I really needed to slow down and respect the basics 🙂 In person lessons must be so much fun!! 🙂 I have to make do with Craftsy for now, but that’s pretty awesome too 🙂 Love the skirt – it looks very well made and cleanly finished – well done! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Top 5 hits and misses of 2014 | dottie doodle

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