One of my resolutions was to take a sewing class and I can check that one off the old list. It turns out that I was like a really crummy seamstress before. In fact, I don’t think I should even use that word. Seamstress.
As with many things I approach in life, I just went for it full steam ahead without regard to Sewing Rules like pre-washing fabric, ironing, measuring, cutting straight lines, following patterns… This fake-it-’til-you-make-it approach often works often but sometimes, it is best to be careful and thoughtful and follow rules. Like with sewing (I know mom, you told me so).
My sewing class was through the adult ed program and was held at a local high school in the home ec room. Or, consumer science, as our dear teacher, Carol, called it. Carol is a sewing champion and taught the eight young women enrolled in her class the lost arts of patience and clothes-making. Carol’s days involved classes full of smart ass kids who would tell her things like I don’t care if I mess up with the serger this class doesn’t matter anyway. Punk. So, for her to have the full, thirsty attention of us, well. She dug it. Although I have to admit I just couldn’t indulge her enthusiasm for paper piecing to make Christmas ornaments.
My eye-opening lesson: There is good reason to take the prep seriously. I learned that not everyone has to seam rip for 45 minutes with each project. Really? I learned that the edge of my happy curtains in my living room no longer needs to be concealed by a giant jade plant because now I know how to straighten my fabric perfectly (I alway ripped my fabric before).
The crisp, clean, pre-washed fabric with flawless, blunt edges all stacked up on my work table brought my inner type A to the surface. I realized that I didn’t follow sewing etiquette because I was afraid that I would then have a ton invested in the project and if it didn’t turn out I would feel like an asshole but if I just kinda tossed my hands in the air and sewed with whimsy and it didn’t turn out I could say oh well, it was just an experiment.
Now, I sew with intention and respect. I am still impulsive and a rule-breaker but I feel like I can be now because I know when not the break the rules (in theory anyway). I am, in fact, making a large quilt for our bed. It is currently in a tidy stack of 36 16-inch squares on my dresser. I used the pillow cases I made in my class as the color inspiration.
We also made pajama pants and a zippered pouch.
In other sewing news, my sewing guru of a mama is starting an etsy shop for kids clothes like this dress. Stay tuned.