Course: Intro to Dressmaking
Place: Sew Over It, Clapman North
Time: 2 tuesday evenings, 6.30 – 9.30
Result: 1 Knee Length Skirt, made to fit you
When I say I’m a novice at some things, dressmaking is definately one of them. I have sewed 2 things since I plucked up the courage to buy a sewing machine and one of them is falling apart already. So I decided to take a small class to BEGIN my sewing education. My friend and I went to a small earring making class at Drink, Shop, Do run by Sew Over It and from there I scanned their eye-pleasing website for a suitable course.
Walking five minutes up the road from Clampan North station you wouldn’t expect to stumble accross a cheerful looking sewing store whose shop floor is filled with fabrics, tea cups, cakes, threads, needles and other sewing materials.
Upon entering the shop, Lisa Comfort, owner and my teacher for this class took my name and asked if I would like some cake? I took a piece of carrot cake and headed downstairs to the ‘class’room which was fully stocked, sewing machines with name labels and everything. The class was unusually small, there were only three of us, which Lisa pointed out was less than a full class (6-8); however this had its great advantages, more teacher-pupil time and loads more space to spread out.
We got to know each other. One of the girls is an air-hostess and one works at the Dutch Embassy, I felt like I was in something out of Satre, except not in hell but heaven: sewing heaven!
Lisa herself is, as you would expect from someone who runs a sewing shop, lovely. She doesn’t patronise, she’s funny and sweet, and most importantly of all she knows what she’s talking about. Lisa guided me and the others through the stages at a comfortable pace, and when I did stupid things (like thinking the sewing machine wasn’t working because it wasn’t plugged in,) she sorted it, giggled and let me get on.
Day one consists of:
- You measuring yourself
- Measuring and Cutting the pattern to your correct size
- Pinning your material to the pattern
- Cutting your material
- Attaching the zip
- Attaching the front to the back
I’ll say this for day one, I didn’t think I would leave 3 hours after I went in with something that looked pretty much like a skirt, and a decent one at that.
Now, as I mentioned before, I really am a novice at this. And as you may have imagined, day two is slightly more fiddley than day one.
Once again, tea and cake is had, but clearly Lisa knows that day two is more strenuous than day one, and the machines have already been set up. In day two you:
- Going round the edges, to avoid fraying
- Attaching the waist band
- Attaching the popper (which, incidentally I didn’t get to, so I did it at home.)
- A lot of ironing
I wont recount all the details of the class, you’ll have to take it to experience that, but I for one became rather flustered. Luckily, the machines that Sew Over It uses really are classy (if way out of my price range.) There are all sorts of buttons that I’m sure I don’t need but I do WANT, like a small slider that has a tortoise at one end and a hare at the other (for speed, obviously.)
As for the skirt itself, for the first thing I’ve ever made that is to WEAR I think it came out great! The sewing is funky in places and the hem isn’t even all the way round but if it was perfect even I would doubt that I had made it.
Main downs of the course: Day two seemed a little rushed and although we were given hand outs they were never used, which may have been a helpful tool when stuck.
Main ups of the course: Not too simple and not too complicated, a warming environment to create in and to see if you like sewing (which is why I took it)…and I guess i do!