There are at least a thousand things I would like to learn during my lifetime. A thousand may seem like an exaggeration, but I have a fascination with learning new things. I want to learn how to code a website, speak Dutch fluently, play ballads on a guitar, and many other things. However, if I was forced to pick just one new skill, I would choose sewing. What, sewing!?! Yes, I would choose sewing.
The major reason behind my decision is that for such a practical skill I can use every day, I received very limited exposure as a child. The first item I tried to sew myself was a pillow. It was so lump-sided and uneven, the perfectionist within me threw the pillow across the room and vowed to never sew again. However, as I got older and my passion for fashion evolved, I wished I would have continued to learn that craft correctly. Who knows if I could have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars in clothing, but anyway it is never too late to learn something new, right?
So I’ll start by stating the obvious and mention that the first step to successfully learn something new is to spend some time researching how you will learn your new craft. For sewing, I know there are an assortment of references, books, workshops, and tutorials on YouTube that can serve as guides. After hours of careful deliberation and research, I found a website entitled: tillyandthebuttons.com that offers tutorials with visual aids, online and in-person workshops, and guides.
The second step for my quest to becoming a sewing maven is to invest in a sewing machine, and I knew I would need to spend time researching my choice on that as well. According to Ms. Tilly, the machine I will choose will depend on the use. For a first time buyer, it is recommended that I get a machine that is considered a mechanical model with knobs instead of a digital one. (I did not know that there were digital sewing machines until reading her post! I just accomplished one of my lifelong goals without knowing it: learn something new every day.) For the more experience “stitcher,” computerized sewing machines are recommended since there are variety of stitching options. Since I plan to make sewing a permanent hobby, I will likely use the Janome 2212 Sewing Machine as recommended, and then upgrade to a mid-range model in the future.
Now it is time to set up shop. Ms. Tilly has two entire posts dedicated to setting up and threading a sewing machine. The visuals she has are explanations in themselves, and each topic is formulated in no more than three steps. There is also a blog post on the essentials one needs for a sewing kit: fabric and small scissors, cutting mat, marking tools, tape measure, pins, a pin holder, seam ripper, needles, paper, pencil, ruler, tape, glue, steam iron, and ironing board. (For just getting started, that’s one heck of a grocery list!) Micheal’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, here I come.
After setting up, I can finally start sewing. Ms. Tilly recommends starting with simple designs like scarfs or bow belts. The key in mastering these designs is picking the right fabric and making the designs over and over again. I believe my first project will be scarfs, since I can find different ways to use it head to toe (well, head to torso anyways).
In my opinion, what makes a blog worthwhile is how interactive the author is when it comes to commenting. Ms. Tilly regularly answers user's questions and directs them to the solution they need. I am so impressed with this blog, that I am tempted to sign up for an online workshop or two, and also purchase her book. If I keep at it, I may be able to make my own clothes in no time. Brava, Ms. Tilly, brava!
Ok now that I have decided on something new to learn, it is your turn to decide. If you could learn anything, what would you choose?
Photo Credit: Cláudia*~Assad