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Sew Impossibly Chic

A Creative Renaissance.  Everyone is having one.  Lately, my creative energy is erupting like a volcano overflowing with lava.

One deep love of mine is Fashion.  Eat.  Breathe.  Sleep.  Obsess.  Why does this love resonate in every cell of my body?  It’s not so much the consumption part of it (while truth be told, highly intoxicating) it is the artistic component, where you can take a sketched idea, a piece of material, a few shiny notions and create something fantastically beautiful, awe-inspiring and breathe-taking.  I also have great admiration for designers and the creative process as it takes a lot of effort, hard work and determination.  Have you seen Isaac Mizrahi in Unzipped?  (If not, go see it.)

Today I was in a fabric store picking up some sewing supplies and it was sensory overload.  Dupioni silk, chiffon rosettes, beaded trims, french country and damask prints.  Sounds perverse, non?  Knowing how to sew has great benefits – there’s a very Laura Ingalls-Pioneer Village feeling to it.  When I sew, I enjoy the quiet, meditative quality of working independently and the fact that I can make almost anything if I feel so inspired (which is often).

If you have always had a passion for fashion, I definitely encourage amateurs and novices to learn this handy skill.  Here are some basics to get you started:

  • Get a quality sewing machine – You don’t have to spend a gajillion dollars.  There are many affordable options under $150 – from the basic Singer or Brother to more high-tech ones which do custom embroidery and varieties of stitches.  If you don’t think you will use all the bells & whistles, all you need is one that does a basic stitch. Voila!  Think of all the pretty little frocks you will make (so Jenny Humphrey, Gossip Girl Seasons 1-2) or pairs of designer denim you can hem by yourself. 
  • Sign up for a class with a project – Fabricland offers sewing classes for beginners or try a local community centre.  If you’re not the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) crafty type, it can be frustrating if you don’t pick it up right away.  By committing to a course that lasts a few weeks, you will surely attend and feel a sense of accomplishment when you are finished.  One of my first sewing projects in Home Economics class (haha!) was a stuffed bulldog with a monocle.  I was so proud.
  • Find a pattern – While you won’t be bantering with Tim Gunn on Project Runway any time soon (actually, you might be quite ambitious so I take that back), sit down and leaf through a pattern book.  There are ratings on the complexity of each pattern.  Make sure you double check that the type of fabric you select makes sense with the pattern.  Note: Chiffons and silks are trickier to sew because they are slippery.
  • Talk the Talk –  A judy is a woman’s dress form and industry is a size 8.  Seam allowances, sergers, muslins, reversible interfacing.  All these terminologies can be gathered from books, from friends that sew or the workshops you are taking.
  • Walk the Walk – Start simple and keep working your way up to a higher skill level.  Keep practicing.  Don’t give up.  With any art, the more you do it, the closer you are to perfection. 
Are you freaking out like I am? Crazytown Love it.  Vintage Vogue Pattern.

Vintage Vogue Pattern: Are you freaking like I am? Crazytown love it.

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