Thursday, September 21, 2017

Teaching Garment Construction 2.0 this fall

I'm teaching 2 classes this fall at Sierra Sewing in Reno:  Garment Construction 2.0 - October 10 and November 11.  We will be making the Scout Tee by Grainline Studios.  Details and sign up here.

What is the 2.0, you may ask...

By definition I mean the next big thing, version, or interpretation of sewing:  PDF patterns, hacking, tutorials, experimenting.  Sewing is becoming popular again and the internet has brought a community together making it easier to be inspired and learn.

Sewing has evolved just as everything else in life.  While I learned to sew from my mother, 4-H,  and home economic classes (yes, I realize that dates me), those "opportunities" aren't readily available anymore. Young people are learning to sew online through Project Runway, youtube, and indie sewing bloggers.  Many are not learning the formal skills but rather "hacking" store bought items and creatively piecing together all kinds of wearable items.  It's all good!

Frankly, I rebelled against all my teachings and even ran a business refusing to "do things by the book."  I created my own patterns and taught myself techniques that worked for me.  Creativity should not be hindered by any means.  When I didn't have a sewing machine in college or couldn't afford all the tools and notions I needed to make something, I hand stitched and pinned together my outfits.  I hated to follow patterns and mutilated my creations into submission - some wearable and some not.

But, after 40 odd years of sewing, I decided that it was time for me to follow a pattern from beginning to end - no altering or deviating from instructions.  Honestly, it was painful.  It was an experiment in patience, self-control, and maturity.  I'm not exaggerating, it was tough.  The result was surprising.  First came a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, then the realization that basic skills (by the book) made my sewing so much better.  My understanding of basic garment construction has exceedingly improved.  For the first time in my life I'm actually wearing outfits I'm making from patterns.  What was most helpful to me was that every time I got stuck, I could find a video online or a tutorial on a blog.  I found shortcuts via other people's mistakes...all at my fingertips.  I could print out PDF patterns at home w/out venturing to the fabric store.  BTW, I love PDF patterns as piecing them together is very therapeutic to me and helps me understand what I'm sewing before I start.  I hate flimsy tissue patterns because they rip easily and are a pain to store. I also love the immediacy of printing patterns at home.

So, Garment Construction 2.0 means combining what we know with the current technology and creativity that abounds.  Not limiting ourselves to "old school" teachings but exploring "new world" opportunities.  There are workshop and lab spaces popping up in cities.  There are places where people can come together to not just sew but create in all mediums.  There are places where you can rent machines and space if you don't have either at home.  These new places become communities of learning and sharing.  I want to share my enthusiasm with others and reinforce that there are no limits.

What limits are you pushing?

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