Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sewing Class for Beginners: Class 1!

I think I am really going to enjoy this class. I am participating with my best friend, Ally, and we arrived barely on time with chips and beef jerky in hand that we had just bought at the convenience store because we did not have time to stop for supper. There are 3 other fun women in the class, and the teacher has been sewing for decades.

Over the course of the 6-week class, we are learning to sew a pencil skirt from a pattern. This will be good for me because there is a 13-inch difference between my hips and my waist, so many off the shelf pencil skirts are not only too short, but they don't fit well in the waist or don't go over my hips. I have also never sewn something from a pattern before. The skirt pattern we need to choose should have a back zipper, no slit, no belt loops or yokes and not too many pattern pieces. This actually rules out a lot of patterns, so I might not listen to all the rules. It was also recommended that we don't use a knit fabric.

The biggest things that I learned in week 1 is the following:
  1. When choosing a pattern, make sure to know you measurements and choose based on them, not the size that you think you are. In store, I am generally a size 10 or 12. In sewing patterns, I range from size 18-22. There are some patterns that I cannot buy because my hips are larger than the biggest size. 
  2. If there is no exact colour matching thread for your fabric, it's better to go a shade darker. 
  3. If you need to do pattern matching, make sure to buy extra fabric. 
  4. When buying a zipper, purchase one that is 2 inches longer than the pattern calls for. 
  5. When you buy a pattern, highlight your size and the design that you will be sewing so that it's easier to read. 
I also learned that there is a long list of things that are needed to get started with sewing in general, as well as with patterns. I still need to pick up tailor's chalk, a tracing wheel, dressmaking tracer paper and Wonder tape. I also would really like to add a rotary mat and cutter to my collection of sewing implements, but I might need to wait until Christmas or my birthday for that.

I decided to go with the pattern 7010 from Burda style in the plus size. The skirt fits the requirements well enough, and I get patterns for pants and a blazer to try one day. With 47 inch hips, I'm almost off the charts for sewing sizes. I have a navy blue suit fabric that I will be using that is 60 inches wide, and I have a 20cm invisible zipper.

Stay tuned for lesson 2! There will be pictures eventually, I promise.

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