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« Seed-starting and reality | Main | April Giveaway »
Thursday
Apr222010

SewFun run-down

Our sewing party this week was a total success! Briana made me and a bunch of other people not only feel better about ourselves, but also swell with pride over taking our mending into our own hands.

SewFun partiers were of all different skill levels, from I’ve-never-dared-step-so-close-to-a-sewing-machine to yeah-I’ll-add-ruffles-to-that-shit-no-biggie. I’m definitely in the former category so the collective vibes from a group of ladies knocking out mending and tackling creative fabric projects was just what I needed to inspire and succeed.

Some things were simple, and just needed a little TLC with a needle and thread:And some of us got fancy:

Collective Garment/Textile Successes:

1. Made velvet eyebag using a scrap from former curtains, and filled it with dried black beans and lavender.

2. Mended cardigan

3. Mended frilly shirt

4. Created throw-pillow cover

5. Added ruffle-y edging to simple cardigan, edging cut from a vintage dress

6. Mended scarf suffering from wounds caused by a zipper confrontation

7. Mended pair of severely busted-through dance pants

8. Shorts created from pants

9. Shift dress cut and hemmed from longer frock

10. Addressed a vintage dress with a troubled hem

11. Patched holes in two skirts (one more successfully than the other)

Emotional and Personal wins:

  • I stopped fearing the machine. The super-fast, transformative power of simple sewing and mending using a sewing machine is enough for me to consider getting my own at some point. I don’t think everyone needs to own a sewing machine. Collective purchases and cooperative sewing gatherings are a great way to not eat the cost/investment in tools and materials individually; find a few friends who are interested in going in on a little sewing club and you’re in business (hopefully with at least one of you who knows how to operate/fix the machine!)
  • I watched Briana handle some of the basic maintenance things, like threading the bobbin (the little spool that lives in the bottom panel of a sewing machine and finishes the top stitch from the reverse side) and that seemed do-able and furthermore it was space-age (in the 1993 kind of way) and cool. I even threaded the top needle myself (a few times), which made me feel like a pro.
  • I used a seam-ripper (fantastically therapeutic) when I pinned and proceeded with sewing the first leg of my pillow cover right-side out (when it should’ve been inside-out). Near failure, turned fun.
  • There was a lot of first timin’ at the party, and everyone’s willingness to try new things (that were formerly scary) inspired me. Melissa rocked the hell out of her first time sitting before a sewing machine:
  • I also managed to get over my stigma surrounding difficulties tying the knot at the end of a single threaded needle. Briana showed me her method, thus boosting my self-esteem and letting me know that I’m not, in fact, thread-tying deficient, but it’s just a pain in the ass, patience-required kind of thing (to get three little knots to land right on top of each other.) Briana also reminded me that there’s no shame in double-threading (pulling your thread all the way through so you’re sewing with two threads) and just tying one knot in the both of them.

To be further inspired, check out Briana’s sweet Etsy shop. Stay tuned for the next Brooklyn Sew Fun event. Contact me through the form to be added to an email list for sewing party event updates. Until then, happy stitching!

Update: Partier submitted photos (and even a video to come!)

Reader Comments (5)

It looks like you had a ton of fun! Congrats on getting comfortable with the machine--it can be really scary at first. I hope you throw another Sew Fun party, because I definitely want to come.

April 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHaley (thezenofmaking)

This looks like a blast, Kate. I want to do this!!! Maybe you can fill me in on logistics when I'm up in the city and I'll host one in June?

April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoris the Goat

I added you to the email list Haley.

Sure thing, Audra! I love that idea. Let's hang when you're here house sitting.

April 24, 2010 | Registered CommenterKate

The double-threading also makes your stitches stronger!

April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

Mama, that's great news! xx

April 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterKate

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