You all asked for a picture or 2 of how I sew in my home. So here it is. On one side of my tiny table is a window with a bird feeder. Eddie and Stella, USUALLY sit in their beds and get entertained by the bird. Of course, I couldn’t get either of them, to stay put for the picture. And yes, Eddie loves all his stuffed animals. Stella could care less. On the other side of the machine, is my desk. I cleaned it for this picture. In-between is my desk computer. In this way, I can work and embroider at the same time.
This weekend marks the end of week 4 of my summer Sewing Fundamentals course. Last week, we worked on our bodice-jackets. We made and put in the sleeves 2 ways: with gathers, and with industrial crimping. We made and put in our collar and front facings. This was tough because our seams were only 3/8 of an inch. We also made a half-size skirt with an elastic waistband. Last Thursday, we had a fun time, putting applique on our jackets. We also sewed on a patch. Then we learned how to sew on buttons, snaps, hooks, sequins and beads. Always remember the way I showed you how to make a thread eye. This is the way tailors do it. This 4-thread crochet stitch is very useful besides making thread eyes. It is strong enough to make almost invisible belt loops on dresses and can keep skirt linings from riding up.
This coming week, will be another fun packed week. We will start the week off with a lesson on pleats. In Tuesday’s class, we will learn how to make pockets. Wednesday, we will practice hemming and a bunch of new hand stitches will be learned. Thursday will be zipper day. If you want to practice how to put in an invisible zipper, you will need to buy an invisible zipper foot for your machine. If you are providing TLC for the school’s machines, there is a plastic generic foot you can buy for less than $5.
*****The weekend of July 11 and 12 will be the final weekend for the Sewing Techniques Portfolio. The portfolio is due on Monday, July 13. July 14th, is our personal image class. July 15th, starts module 2: Sewing with a commercial pattern.
The picture of the week, is from Janet’s Café in Lakeside. I know, the setup is a fake, but, it represents comfort and home. Learning to sew will become comfortable. Let the lessons sink in.
Class Notes: Last week, we learned how to work sergers, and straight stitch sewing machines. We learned how to fuse interfacing, and mark our fabric with pattern markings. Then we started doing the checklist listed on the Sewing Techniques Portfolio Grading Sheet. We practiced sewing machine control. We learned default stitching, basting stitching, 2 by 2 mm stitching, and how to serge using your straight stitch sewing machine. We also learned some seam finishes that you will find very useful.
This coming week, we will be learning a lot of different kinds of seams. Next Wednesday, we will learn a bunch of things, that sergers can do. And how easy it is to thread them !!!! On Thursday, you will learn how to read your apparel construction pattern. Make sure you bring it to class along with a tape measure !!!!
I read through the Evaluations of Student Learning Outcome and Course. I have answers.
1. There is nothing I can do with Elmo. I tried to sew for a while without a light bulb in the machine. This really hurt my vision. So if you can’t see, just come up to the machine.
2. If you want to see the finished samples from the Sewing Techniques Portfolio segment of the course, just ask me. I always have a completed portfolio in the classroom.
3. New sewers want to pick your own pattern. As a new sewer, you don’t know what is easy. This is a sewing class. NOT a fit class. I am here to help you learn to sew. So the pattern I choose, is the best I can do. Trust me, I look for easy patterns all the time. This being said, I will now allow 2 days, to fit the pattern. There will be a first fitting and there will be a second fitting, if necessary. Also, you can ALWAYS make pajamas from the pattern.
4. Some of you wanted a materials list for each class. I think if you read the grading sheet, you would see what we will be doing for each class. Also, I write what we are doing in the A-Team email. You need to read this every Monday morning.
5. As an advanced sewer, you want me to do the project along with you. This can only be done if we all use the same pattern and we all choose the same methods. In tailoring, most of you wanted to do bespoke tailoring. Next time I teach this, we will industrial tailor the same pattern and I will be able to complete the project with you.
https://vimeo.com/122440837 The Pursuit of Perfection – part 1 Don’t forget to check out the videos that are lined up across the top of the sitge.
I do hope you know that what was said in the syllabus was correct. The first 2 weeks of this course is tough. You gotta get the work done on time. Then the class gets much easier. I just need to make sure, you are all on the same page to begin with. I cannot teach with everyone doing something different. Week Onewas comprised of: registration, reading the syllabus, cutting the sewing portfolio patterns, going shopping, and laying out our fabric on grain to cut. In Week Two we will learn: Fusing interfacing, marking serging, caring for sergers and straight stitch sewing machines, sewing machine control. If you want to use your own sewing machine, bring it to the class on Tuesday, June 16th.
Notes and Links:
On June 27, 2015, there will be a Breast Health Day at the Women’s Wellness Center & Town and Country Learning Center. The address is: 230 Catania Street, San Diego. Zip Code: 92113. The time is 11 am to 2 pm. If you would like more information, see me, I have a flyer for this. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Of course, during the first week, I don’t remember anyone’s name. And for that, I apologize.
For those of you who still need to buy supplies or found that Joanne’s didn’t have everything you need, go to Central Sewing. Here is their phone number: 619-447-3244. They can get the Simflex, and corner templates. Check the walls of your nearest Yardage Town. They also have bee’s wax and more.
http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/43810/11-couture-techniques-to-try?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=eletter&utm_content=th-eletter&utm_campaign=threads-eletter 11 couture techniques to try
Meet or tweet? How do you network?
In addition to career assessment, exploration and job search resources, the Career Services webpage has a Networking Tips folder with recently uploaded attachments on how to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for job search networking. There are also folders with a Resume Workbook and resume templates for Continuing Education training programs.
Karen entrusted her handwoven Monk’s Belt yardage to her favorite couture seamstress, Susan Stowell of Asheville, who meticulously cut, matched, fit and finished the dress for a fashion show. Photo by Zaire Kacz Photography
Get Over ‘Precious’ Factor When Creating Handwoven Garments
I love designing and weaving yardage, and wearing handwoven clothing. It’s that step in between that trips me up.
Even when I’ve decided on a pattern, fit the muslin and laid out the finished yardage on my cutting table, I may walk around and around it, rearranging pattern pieces and meticulously checking grain lines for days before scissors finally meet cloth.
It’s not that I am a novice sewer. I was sewing long before I became a weaver. I guess I haven’t been able to get over the “precious” factor, as one instructor put it. “It’s only cloth,” she would say. Yes, but cloth I’ve spent hours, days or weeks designing, warping, weaving and wet finishing out of yarns that cost more than most commercially woven fabric I’ve ever purchased.
Straight skirts can be simple sewing projects for weavers with basic sewing skills. Karen embellished this one, made from wool and local alpaca, with locally tanned buckskin side panels. Photo by Zaire Kacz Photography</td
It’s also the details. When I was whipping up skirts, tops or dresses from commercial cloth, I never thought much about seam finishes. If it held together on the outside, no one needed to see how it looked on the inside. If raveling might be a problem, out came the pinking shears.
Now with handwoven cloth, details matter…a lot. For one, seam allowances can be fragile, depending on the yarns used, so at the very least they should be serged to prevent them unraveling to nothing and weakening seams. More importantly, if you’ve put that much work into creating the cloth and designing a garment, shouldn’t the inside of it reflect the same level of care?
I never made a muslin before I became a weaver, either. Buy a pattern, cut it out along my size lines, stitch it together, and if it didn’t fit, rip it out and try again. If you’ve ever tried to pick machine stitches out of a lofty handwoven wool fabric or a fine, patterned fabric with lots of floats, you’ve no doubt discovered how difficult that is, and the toll it can take on the cloth. It’s not like you can run to the fabric store and buy another yard.
So here are a few lessons I’ve learned in my quest for handwoven clothing.
ALWAYS fit on a muslin before cutting handwoven cloth.
If seam allowances will show, Hong Kong seams look professional and are not that hard.
Stick to simple styles that showcase the cloth and are easier to cut and sew.
That doesn’t mean you have to wear a sack. Darts are your friend.
Take care when positioning pattern pieces on patterned cloth so graphic elements don’t highlight a body part that doesn’t need more highlighting.
If your sewing skills, like mine, were learned from the “good-enough” school, take a class and learn some couture fitting and finishing techniques worthy of your beautiful cloth.
When your handwoven cloth demands a garment that is spectacular, hire a professional to design, fit and finish it for you. Then get back to weaving.
If you’re a bit afraid of sewing handwoven fabric, I hope these tips help you overcome that fear!
The following pictures epitomizes my Spring 2015 course offerings at West City Center.
I think I learned more this semester from my students than my students learned from me. Next time I teach tailoring, it will be different.
On to the new semester !!!! I will be teaching Sewing Fundamentals / Apparel Construction 4 days a week for 9 weeks. It will be a short intensive course. You will learn to sew efficiently. In the right hand column, you will find everything you need to print out and bring to class: The Syllabus, Classroom Etiquette, Trouble Shooting your Machine, and the Sewing Techniques Portfolio Patterns. Just click on the picture and the PDF file pop up. From there, print WITHOUT any scaling/shrink to fit. This will insure that all your patterns will be as big as they can be. So “tinky” down the right hand column and find your needs……….
Note: I write to the blog every Sunday night. You can sign up to be notified in the right hand column towards the end………………..
Hello A-Team: There are 2 weeks left to the Spring Semester. This is the last blog message I will be able to write, till after the new classes start. I am just running out of time !!!!!
In Tailoring: We are still working on our jackets. It was fun for me, to skype with Elo, this weekend. I do hope you all worked hard on your jackets, this Memorial Day weekend.
In Sew Fun: Apparel Construction: We are finishing up our shirt and pant projects and working on our community service projects. We are now hemming and adding embellishments to our skirts. The finishing touch we MUST do: is give each of our 22 skirts a final press. Commandment #14: Thy iron is thy friend. They are turning out SO CUTE !!!! The one thing that will make grading very tough this semester, is that once some of you have finished your projects, you decide NOT to come back to class. Without the proper number of hours, I need to give you an incomplete, EVEN if you have finished your projects. RE-Read your evaluation, which is written in your syllabus. On Thursday, I also showed a power point concerning the use of croqui when you design.
Matchstick-style machine quilting is a sophisticated way to give your quilt a modern look. But it also works well any time you want to fill in an area on your quilt–and looks especially nice on solid fabrics.
You can use a contrasting thread to draw attention to the machine quilting or matching thread for a harmonious look.
Matchstick quilting may look difficult, but it isn’t–so long as you have the right tools. A walking foot, rather than the darning foot you would use with free-motion quilting–helps a lot. With the feed dogs up, the walking foot moves all the layers of the quilt sandwich forward at the same time. This technique allows for more even stitching and avoids tucks in the fabric.
My personal patron saint of the walking foot is Catherine Redford. I have watched her demonstrate how to machine quilt with the walking foot to create machine quilting patterns including straight stitching, triangles, plaids, serpentine, and matchstick.
Here are some of her tips for matchstick machine quilting.
1. Press seams open and flat for a more even stitching surface.
2. Pin baste with several small safety pins.
3. To start your first line of straight-line quilting use a seam as a guide, or, place a piece of painter’s tape on the fabric and stitch next to it (not through it–you’ll ruin your needle).
4. Stitch straight across the area you wish to quilt. At the end, pull up the thread and move your needle over to one side of the first quilting line, the width of the foot. Continue this way until you have quilted the entire section. Note: If you come to a seam, do not stitch in the ditch, because the seam was pressed open. Instead, stitch just next to the seam.
5. Now, start filling in the “gaps” between the original stitching lines. Start with one, fill in with close lines of stitching, and then proceed to the next. “Think happy thoughts!” says Catherine, and don’t worry if the lines aren’t exactly straight. “It looks more organic.”
Tonight, I want to leave you with a picture that says a lot: From me to you. There is a Dr. Seuss exhibit in Balboa Park. Graduation is next Friday!!! Congratulations to all of you who are walking !!!!!!!
I have Terrific News to report: Jocelyn Passed the California Bar Exam !!!!! I AM SO PROUD OF HER !!!!!!!!!!!
Other noteworthy items: We have 3 weeks till the end of the Spring Semester. Time is getting down to the wire for our final projects. We are all working on them so hard !!! The Sew Funclass, is ahead this year. We are manufacturing skirts with industrial methods for an orphanage in Honduras. Such a learning experience !!!! I wrote an “Order of Operations” so that the sewing will go really quick. I am including pictures of what manufacturing looks like in the maquiladoras in Mexico. It never changes much. This is how it is done worldwide.
There is no class on Monday, May 25, Memorial Day. Then there is only 2 weeks left. The Tailoring class is holding a Pot Luck/Show and Tell with the Hat Class on Monday, June 1. Because the time is getting so short, my blog posts will be a bit sporadic until the new semester. I still need to prep for the new class.
I have a video to share with you. It is just compelling. It is all about how Kimonos are painted. This is just unbelievable !!!! The video is beautifully done. At the end, YouTube, gives you options for more videos that I am sure you will like !!!!!
The Classroom: The final projects in the tailoring and apparel construction classes keeps going forward. Everyone is busy working on their assignments. Those that are finished with their shirts and pants, are going to help with a community service project for an orphanage in Honduras. Thank you, Christina, for the opportunity to help with this project. We will be making 2 sizes of children’s skirts. Donations welcome !!!!
Graduation is around the corner. Those of you, who are graduating, need to see a counselor to ensure you are walking on May 29th, at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.
Mesa’s Fashion Show was last Friday night. I can’t wait to hear the stories from the event !!!!
The California State Button Society is holding its Annual Button Show and Sale on Saturday, May 30 and 31st, at the Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center. 500 Hotel Circle North. Admission is free to the Button Show. This is also the same weekend as Central Sewing’s Anita Goodesign Machine Embroidery Event. I am sure there are still tickets for this event available. Call Central. 619-447-3244. There is a cost to the Machine Embroidery event. BUT…if you are interested in learning how to do this, the return is well worth the cost !!!!! I will be at the Anita Goodesign Event !!!!!
The details for the ASG Exhibit Hall Preview Night at the Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center. 500 Hotel Circle North: If you are under 65 the cost is $5. For seniors the cost is $2 This will get you into the exhibit hall every time it is open, all weekend long. Parking is $10, whether you stay for 2 hours or 8 hours. Don’t park in Fashion Valley or the Trolley Center. They tow cars there. I spoke to the Dean. There is a way, I can collect the exhibit hall fee and get you your ticket. The ASG would like us to purchase the tickets all in one group. This would make it easier for them. I will need a personal check (with your name and address printed on it) addressed to the American Sewing Guild. I will be collecting the checks for the tickets the first 2 weeks in June. I can NOT get tickets after that. I cannot do any refunds. When I get the tickets in the mail, I will post this, on the blog. You can stop by my classroom, Monday through Thursday, from 5 to 9 pm to pickup your ticket. Make your check out to the American Sewing Guild. Check out the ASG website for more details. http://www.asg.org/html/conference.html If you miss the cut off, you can fill out a registration form and send it in, with your check. OR….you can stand in line at the door to pay your fee and get in. Hope to see you all there, on Preview Night, Thursday, July 16th. What Fun !!!!!
I love my graphic artist. He can get me to try new things. So expect this post to be very different as I learn to post my blog in Word.
News of the Day:
Yes, I contacted ASG and found out how to get the tickets for our July 16th Exhibition Preview Night fandango. In this way, you won’t have to stand in line. One of my students, found a great restaurant to eat in. I loved the name: BUNS. It is a bit pricey. I need to check it out. Since the Breast Cancer, I have had to only buy and cook organic meat, and chicken. (The us FDA won’t allow hormones in Turkey…..yeah!) And I know enough to stay away from farm raised fish. I need to stay away from anything with hormones. If any of you have been to BUNS, please weigh in on the subject. The ASG convention is at the Town and Country just off of highway 8. I will speak about what I found out, in Monday night’s class. And if it allowable, I will talk to the Hat Class. You can check out the ASG convention calendar at: http://www.asg.org/html/conference.html.
I hope some of you are going to show your work at Mesa’s Fashion Show on May 8th. See Donna if you are interested in doing this. If not: save the date anyway:
24th Annual: Ceramic Fundraiser at the Educational Cultural Complex
» All original handmade pieces created or donated by students in Continuing Education ceramics classes
» Flower arrangements and live potted miniature succulents and cactus gardens
» Opportunity drawing (tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5)
» Prices start from 5 cents and up
» Opportunity drawing and Silent auction close at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 7
» Bid on silent auction items
» Vote on best of show featuring Ceramic Fish Art inspired by the sea
» Original print photo note cards
May 6 and 7
Wednesday and Thursday
9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Educational Cultural Complex
4343 Ocean View Blvd./92113
Main entrance and upstairs foyer
Free street parking or purchase a short-term permit to park in the lot.
Sponsored by Associated Students, Student Services and Ceramics Instructor Pamela Kozminska
#3 Ocean View Blvd. 15 min.
#11 National & Logan 15 min.
#55 Logan & 43rd 30 min.
We are all involved in our tailored jackets. It is fun to discover all the different Bespoke methods that are written about in books. I must have 4 different tailoring books in the classroom. Some exclusively for Women’s jackets. Some exclusively for Men’s. I only found 1 that had both women’s and men’s in it. This one, I chose as the text book for the course: Illustrated Guide to Sewing: Tailoring: A Complete Course on Making a Professional Suit. Has directions for both men’s and women’s jackets. (2011) Skills Institute Press, LLC. No directions for bound buttonholes. The students love this one, because the pictures are so clear. The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket: Tailoring. (2011) Creative Publishing International. (400 how-to photographs.) I like the techniques found in the following: Vintage Couture Tailoring. (2012) Author: Thomas von Nordheim. Very Bespoke/Traditional. Then Bloomsbury published the second edition of Classic Tailoring Techniques for Menswear: A Construction Guide. that is just the ticket !!!! This book, is brand new. Next time I teach the course….this will be the text. Check it out on www.amazon.com.
In this course, everyone is involved in their shirt and pant project. Some are very close to being finished. We are going to do a community service humanitarian project, when we finish our graded project. For the humanitarian project, I am going to be teaching industrial techniques: Cutting, and Piece Work. You will learn that industrial sewing is not the same as sewing for yourself. There is no trying on. There is no pressing open each seam before crossing it with another seam. This is why the industry likes knits. It fits the most different sizes without a lot of trail fitting. Where as when you sew for yourself, you can fit at every stage. You can make personal adjustments. You can put your pocket where you want it. You can press as you sew. The following blog from Babylock will help you to understand understitching: http://totallystitchin.net/articles/how-to-understitch.
Fun Contribution from Dona:
Advice From a Singer Sewing Manual from 1949
Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do… Never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates.
Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing. When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on. If you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home, and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing.
I just saw this movie called “Dior and I” at the Landmark Ken in Kensington last night! It is great! An excellent behind the scenes look at what goes into creating a couture collection at house of Dior. It may not be there that long, so go see if you can! Check out the link to the website, with a preview… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twd6bkCz8F0 Thank you Jena !!!! Check out the right hand column for MORE Dior videos !!!!!
You will be seeing many test changes, like the cupcake one. I am finally, with A LOT of help from my Graphic Artist, trying to get the blog on its own website. What Fun !!!!!
Tailoring: We are working on our tailored jackets. We are about 2 weeks behind schedule to be done by the first week in June. I hope everyone worked this weekend on their jackets. We will be able to do the pad stitching by the school’s tac sew hemmer machine. This should speed up about 8 hours, worth of work.
Sew Fun: We have gone through our first pattern fittings, we have cut our pants and shirts – on grain, we have fused our interfacing and serged our edges. Last Thursday, we marked our pattern marking on our cut fabric pieces. Now it is time to put our pants and shirts together by reading and doing what it says to do in our pattern guides. If you need help, just ask me. Some of you, have already heard what I think of pattern guides. The pattern guide is a GUIDE …. not a GOD. If you read something you don’t like, you have the power to do it a different way. I taught you many industry techniques in module 1. You will find these very useful for module 2.
Things to know about: Mesa is having its annual fashion show on May 8th. If you have any garments that you made at Continuing Education, and want to wear in Mesa College’s Fashion Show, see your instructor. The garments do not have to be just made this semester. The idea is to have some garments that reflect the quality of work our CE students do. We are good. We do great work. The world needs to know this.
Link of the week: How to decide whether to staystitch knits.
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