I liked to think that I could sew. Notice, it's in the past tense. Because I was working on a pattern (something I'm making to sell) and realized, no, I really don't know what I'm doing. When I brought it up from the basement to show Mister, I had to laugh. It was awful. "It is clear I need to take a sewing class," I announced. While I was figuring out some sewing techniques, I was fumbling around in the sloppy sewing dark. My first French seam technically works, for example, but it's not beautiful and not even.
So, a couple of weekends ago, Cake and I took a class at KnitOneOne, a sewing/knitting studio in Oakland. I'd helped Sile, the owner, out over the summer by making snacks and tidying up during the teen summer session. In trade, I received class hours. On to Kira K.'s sewing class! Kira had taught the summer session for teens so I knew how patient and meticulous she was. I needed a bit of that.
We made lounge pants. Mine, which I'm wearing at the moment, are huge. A little long and I could take the waist in a bit more, but they are comfortable and loungy, as they should be. I bought enough fabric to make Lentil a pair, and a dress, and another pair. We don't want to be too matchy-matchy because that's too creepy-puff-paint-sweatshirt-motif-mommy for me.
What I appreciated was how easily some of the techniques I'd been trying fell into place. I came home, finished my pants and made Lentil a pair of leggings from an old sweater (not original, but I like them and will probably make more and sell them on The Salted Dog). In doing so, I mastered the overlock. I can see why people like BaMa, who recently purchased one, move on to sergers.
When I finished the leggings, I moved on to a baby shower gift for my friend Ellie. I'm also knitting her bebe a sweater, but in the meantime, I made this bib (and one for Lentil) from this remnant fabric — ooh, aliens with many eyes!
The backing is a bamboo fleece, which the woman at Piedmont Fabrics swore would be fabulous and is. It is soft, absorbent, and lays well. It's also $25 a yard, which would yield about 9 bibs (wow! $$$). In doing this project, I tackled the button hole. I can't say they were beautiful, but considering the thickness of the fabric, I'm okay with how they turned out. I used this tutorial to understand the Brother buttonhole foot, but I found it via SewMamaSew's buttonhole tutorial series.
In the second picture, I'm proudly showing the hole where I flipped the bib inside out. While I was sewing, I was listening to The Windup Girl and in sewing glee/book focus I zipped all the way around, forgetting to leave a hole. At least the seams were even. (I fixed it later.)
For me, the most useful part of Kira's class was finding clarity in instructions that were slightly out of focus for me. My mother and step-mother are regular seamstresses (my mom made a lot of my clothes when I was little; my step-mother made her own — first — wedding dress, our dresses for her wedding with my father) but I never sat with them and actually learned what to do. Most of what I did seemed to make sense, even if it was a little sloppy around the edges.
Now I'm going back to my original project, which uses recycled sweaters in a children's garment. When I make the first one I'll post it. Those, I plan to sell.
(Speaking of selling things, I have three Tasty Hats to whip out for a consignment offer down the street. It will be interesting to see how they do.)