Although I ran my own fashion business for 12 years and went through thousands of metres of fabric with some of the designs that are on this website, the main things I made were the really easy ones.
So now I am making clothes for myself and my family and I have 2 key reasons to up my game with sewing.
1. I really want to make more of my Jackets in the Linens and Cordarouy and even Velvet Fabrics that I am lusting over. The top of my arms have always been a key problem in my body shape and I have been looking for years for someone else to make a design that suits me without limiting my arm movement, and I haven't. From Op shops to $$$ designers, nah dah, nothing, zip. SO I want to wear jackets that don't make me look short and suits my body type.
2. I know how to make things that last. I was doing it for years with my label, I never cut corners no matter what and I didn't buy cheap nasty fabric, ever. So the Learn To Sew Online program we are developing is to improve sustainability and give me a kickass wardrobe and reduce #fastfashion impacts on our teenagers. And when I find something in Vinnies, that almost fits, I don't have to put it back, I am learning how to alter and let out designs so that they can fit me.
Those are my two key reasons to Learn To Sew like a professional.
But first I had to find some awesome people with some wicked sewing skills, I have two, one is a professional machinist, her lessons are super fast cause she gets paid by the hour. The other is a 35 years experienced Pattern Maker who is still refining her sewing hacks, but we are curating their awesome insights into our lessons.
With the checklists and principles from the awesome teachers I have found who are going to make up the intelligence and smarts in the online lessons. This will help me put together not only my own patterns but other cool patterns I find online.
As a woman my weight has fluctuated from puberty, to my 20's, to being a mum and now I am going through peri-menopause I know all too well walking out of shopping centres with nothing and my confidence crushed because nothing, even the next size up, fits my ever changing curves.
Our Learn To Sew Online program will supplement our online sewing lessons that we have already filmed, edited and segmented for each of our designs.
The Learn To Sew Online Course Will Cover
This course will take you through all your tool kits. Sewing Kit, Beginner Sewing Machines, Fabrics, How To Choose Accessories and how to buy what you need and not too much so you don't end hoarding stuff you will never finish.
Teach you how to map out the designs you are going to make for the year and what skills you will need for each and then also which of our patterns will suit your body type.
Once we have done all of that the final lesson/course will teach you how to cut a pattern from your favourite piece in your wardrobe. This will also include how to adjust the patterns you do find online to suit you, your shape, hips, belly and boobs so it looks like it was made for you.
The format of the lessons will be inclusive of questions we take from our Facebook Group, existing students and surveys.
We are also going to be including Penny, a girlfriends daughter who is 11 and super keen to learn how to sew so she can upcycle.
We are building this slowly, so we make sure we take into account your feedback and experience with putting the designs together and how we develop the videos and then any upgrades are added to the lessons when we get pearls of wisdom from people like you, who have different levels of sewing experience and different sewing room setup of how to get to sew OR how to engage others to make it for them.
Here is a taster of what we will be covering in the full Online Course when it's released.
Setting Up Your First Sewing Kit
This is what I started with, and I will slowly add to it over time, I am looking at buying some higher quality Fabric Scissors as a reward to keep at it & get to the skill level to make my 70's Jacket.
The key things I did identify when I was sewing is that the better the machine, the easier it is to sew. So, make sure you have good tools. Self-healing Cutting Mat[I know it sounds weird but it means it closes up after you cut on it] will allow you to set up a temporary cutting space no matter where you are and not damage your table. I have cut out designs on the floor of my house when I didn't have a cutting table, so you can cut fabric and patterns on your dining table and be creative about it.
And that is the next pièce de résistance, the fabric. If you are making something that you are going to go out in public in, then invest in the fabric. Invest in learning about the fabrics, the beauty of this industry is that we love sharing insights. So first, choose a good fabric store, not Dolce & Gabbana fabric but you know great cottons, linens, cotton spandex, liberty cotton, embroidery anglaise, a good hemp fabric which hopefully has progressed in the last 15years & Bamboo = great for t-shirts. With these on your final make you will be on your way to becoming a great sewists.
The key is in all making sure all the tools you use; fabric, thread, machines, scissors are the best from the beginning because it means you will spend more time sewing and less time unpicking or looking for solutions to mini problems.
How To Choose Your First Sewing Machine
While I have been teaching people this year about how to sew, I have worked with many sewing machines of my students and your choice of machine really comes down to how much sewing you intend on doing.
Personally, I intend on doing my own clothes as well as some staples; tees, boardies, PJ's for my family. So I decided on the Brother A150 which is the new series of basic but smart sewing machines from Brother. So far, I bloody love it. Buttonholes are super easy, the automatic features in it are brilliant and I don't have to have snips near me all the time. And there are easy to use fancy stitches and for the first time EVER I have used a twin needle which is handy when you are making a collection of cool print tees for the teenage boy in your life.
I got a little overwhelmed with their manual so I went back to Echidna Sewing and Rhonda kindly walked me through all the basics and the buttonhole footer. This is all you need to get started with this machine. I have also broken up this tutorial into mini steps which you will find on my YouTube channel.
Our lessons will walk you through resizing the pattern to fit, what fabrics go with each design, and sharing with you our Bullet Journal Method of how to run a Sewing Project so you know which parts to have a break at and come back to later.
We are slowly adding mini tutorials to our Instagram and YouTube Channel to help you get prepared before you join us online. So if you have any questions about learning to sew, please send them through to us as yours just might end up in one of our lessons.
The key is to never give up on learning how to work out what you are missing when it comes to sewing. Persistence wins.