Sewing course 2023 (01)

I’m currently taking a sewing course at a local college. I hadn’t been to the college before and was impressed by the size of the building as well as how modern the facilities are.

It’s not super clear yet what exactly we will be learning during this course. I signed up because it’s called advanced/adult sewing and it seemed like a good way to learn something new as well as to meet new people.

The class consists of 14 students. It seems that most students are around or over 50 years old. I guess that’s when most people start having more time for hobbies. The split between the students wanting to learn to make/alter garments and those wanting to make soft furnishings is about 50/50.

My aim for this course is to learn more about pattern drafting the “right” way, so that I learn how it’s supposed to be done as opposed to just trying to figure it out myself. If in the end I prefer to just continue to wing it, that’s fine, but at least I have a theoretical basis I can come back to when I get stuck doing pattern drafting my own way.

In this first lesson we were shown how to use the free-motion foot. I’ve been sewing for a long time now but have never seen this foot before! The free-motion foot allows you to sew in any direction you like (because you turn the feed dogs down, the fabric won’t be moved in any way by the machine itself). This allows you to effectively “draw” with the sewing machine!

The first project was to create applique inspired by nature. I selected a source image showing a tree stump that must have gone through many cycles of rain and dry moments to end up with cracks in the stump revealing some of the rings. We all worked on a white fabric base but got to pick any fabric we liked from the college’s stock (literally hundreds of pieces of fabric). We could also choose the thread colour.

This first lesson was in-part dedicated to introductions and going over the basics (as some students came in with very little sewing experience), so I didn’t have time to finish my piece. For this reason I finished the piece at home. I could still do more work on it, but for now, I’m happy with it considering it’s only one of my first attempts at applique:

I used a white cotton (?) base and three different fabrics on top. The centre is a yellow polo type fabric. The purple/pink ombre is possibly a type of voile. The solid pink is a thin fabric that seems kind of standard/unremarkable in fibre/weave. Sorry, I know this is a bit vague!

I used the free-motion foot for the outlines stitched into the white base. I used the regular foot for everything else. I did a little bit of hand stitching on the white base too but it doesn’t look so great.

After the first evening I feel that the course is at least in-part self-directed learning where students can bring their own projects to ask help and guidance with.

I don’t yet have a project in mind to work on during this course. For now, I’ll do all the exercises/projects that are demonstrated in the lessons. Just to be prepared for anything, I think I will design one or two garments for which I’ll bring materials in case there’s some spare time or when I have a specific request for help to draft the patterns.

I had a good time this first evening and I’m looking forward to next week!

By Alex

I have been crafting since early childhood and currently do mostly sewing and illustration. 'Almalauha' is the project I started to showcase my sewing/fashion hobby, at least that was the plan. But because I like a million different arts/crafts things, I'm just going to share most of the creative things I do on this blog.

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