Off and on over the years I have dabbled in jewelry making. I love playing with the colors and textures and working on a small scale item. My number one passion has always been sewing. But I have decided it would good to stretch my creative wings and really learn how to make jewelry and do it right. I've been concentrating on this a lot lately, investigating classes, forums, youtube, vendors, etc. and as I do I keep seeing how this applies to sewing and more specifically, being a new sewist. It's been a long time since I was a new sewist but I think there are some universal truths that travel across any creative endeavor. I would love to share a few of my observations with you.
*1 I am overwhelmed. There are so many beads and wires and findings and on an on. How does one know even where to start? Do I want to learn wire work, loom beading, pearl knotting? Yikes!
For a beginner sewist it must be the same. All those patterns, fabrics, threads, notions, just so so so much stuff to it all. Where does a person who is just starting to sew start? Buy a pattern and just go for it, follow sewing blogs for inspiration, look for classes? My suggestion would be to start simple. I should follow this advice with the jewelry, but will I?
*2 I have unbridled enthusiasm. I can't wait to learn more, get better at it and just attack the whole endeavor with all I've got.
As a beginner sewist, there was no stopping me. I couldn't wait to get to the fabric store and pour over pattern books, drape fabrics over my fist and just fantasize away on the upcoming garment I would make. Today the internet magnifies this even more with such a marketplace online it's incredible. And there are many to share sewing enthusiasm with through forums and blogs. Wow! See Number One. It can be overwhelming.
*3 I want to go straight to the difficult stuff despite my having no clue. I see amazing hand made jewelry on Pinterest. I can make those too, right?
How many times have you seen posts on Pattern Review where someone says they have never made a dress but have decided to make their sister's wedding gown? Oh, and it's a knockoff of a 20,000.00 Monique Lehuillier model. Same deal! Wild enthusiasm can do that to you!
#4 I don't know what I don't know. I think the three previous bullet points prove that.
The same faces any new sewist today. Their moms and grandmothers are not teaching them to sew. Neither is the educational system which taught everyone at one time what a quality garment was in Home Ec class. But this not knowing what you don't know has a good side for newbies. They will try anything and that's great and how we learn. And they may come up with new ways of doing old things. I love that.
#5 I am amazed at all the opportunity there is out there to learn jewelry making. Craftsy classes, the local artist's guild, vendor's tutorials.
Craftsy is a great opportunity for the new sewist. Various teachers have various skills but if you start listening to different teachers with different skill sets, you will still learn and it won't be long before you know who is great at teaching quality sewing. Newbies need to also look locally for classes, dressmakers or tailors to help with slopers or measuring, guilds for friendship and encouragement. There are lots of options. It's just a matter of being open to those who have come before. I have found a local fiber artist to teach me about dyeing, shibori, etc. Seek and ye shall find!
#6 Jewelry blogs and forums are just like sewing blogs and forums. You can read and lurk or you can jump right in. Some people know lots and inspire. Some don't.
Newbie sewists have these options open to them as well. I would love to see a forum for really new sewists, in particular. Wouldn't that be great? Newbie sewists deserve the depth of convo and learning that takes place on forums. It will only enhance their total sewing experience. And you can make great, real friends! ETA: There are countless Facebook sewing groups. Those are good but sharing one liners is not what I am talking about here. On forums you can have in depth discussions, varied opinions and much learning and friendship takes place as you get to know regular posters. Stitchers Guild and Pattern Review are two great ones but there are others.
#7 Jewelry making has its tools, jargon and types, all of which are very new to me. I have ordered so many books through our interlibrary loan. You can't imagine! I pour over them all the time lately and of course most of it is still foreign to me.
Sewing also has it's jargon, tools and specialties. It is not easy to figure it all out as a newbie. And sometimes terms can have more than one meaning, just like in my last post. The best way to get a handle on all the "biz" is to just stick with it. The third or fourth sewing book will be a lot more familiar than the first one which may seem to be written in a foreign language. The same could be applied to following patterns. Look to forums and blogs for recommendations on good sewing books. There is a plethora of newbie books out there, but on more than one forum I have seen the request for the "next level" sewing book. Reader's Digest or Singer Sewing Library would be great. Anyone know of good beading books?
So right now I am a newbie beader, I guess you could say. And it has come with all it's frustration, excitement and creative inspiration. It makes me sympathize sooo much with those of you who are just starting out with your passion for sewing. Keep at it. The more you make the better you will get. That thought gets me through some of the more sloppy things I have made. I am going to try to teach myself as much as I can through youtube, books, classes, yada yada.... A new sewist can easily do the same as information is so readily available to day.