Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Announcement - Next Level Sewing Series




I have spent the last couple weeks refreshing photos and updating text in my Next Level Sewing Series. This series was written and directed for the newer or returning sewist who is ready for the mentoring that can provide a strong foundation to their next level of sewing skills and challenges. We don't have these mentors any more. I was blessed to have an amazing Grandmother and Mom, both of whom taught me and inspired me to sew. They gave me support as well as knowledge and skill and an "eye". I also had many years of schooling  with Carmelite nuns who taught me lovely hand sewing skills. In the one year I attended a public, unisex school, Mrs. Townsend was my Home-Ec teacher. I could write a few posts just on Mrs. Townsend! She was an awesome teacher, very encouraging and knew how to open the doors of our mind. These mentors were truly a blessing. Newer sewists today don't have these mentors. They do have videos, forums, chats and insta, most of which are fairly shallow on the skillset and there is no way of really knowing if they really know what they are doing. Anyone can say they do. Some are very good. Some are far from it.

It was along that vein that I decided I needed to do something about the lack of in depth, experienced sewing knowledge. I certainly don't have all the answers but I felt with blog posts on various subjects and the wide skill set of my readers commenting we could all help each other out. In the Next Level Sewing Series you will find information, links and photos of things you won't generally learn on the web or in school. Please read the comments as our readers are amazing with their knowledge and so generous to share it.

It is the end of March of 2019 and all the series have been updated. I have mentally committed to writing several new blogposts for the series as a result of numerous repetitive discussion I see out on the web. These are frustrations newer sewists are having with the same techniques, fabrics, etc. Stay tuned for those and if you have any topics you would like covered, let me know. Happy Learning!.....Bunny

12 comments:

  1. I certainly look forward to reading the series. I learned to sew in Home Economics class many years ago and have made many garments as well as household items. I am learning now, how to alter patterns to fit my large bust better. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you. "Shallow" is a very good description of most of the sewing information available on the web. If one wishes to settle for the "RTW look", then why bother to sew? Thank you for bringing the highest and best form of the Needlewomen's and Needlemen's skill, to light.
    I have been curious about the skills you learned whilst with the Carmelite Nun's. The luxury of handsewn lingerie, of cotton lawn or silk, has long been a goal of mine.

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    1. Every day, no matter the grade, we had our sewing lessons. It was always hand sewing at our desks on small items. Each day we would go up to Sister's desk to have our work critiqued and it was rip out or move forward. It was hem stitching and pulled thread work and that sort of thing but what I remember the most that we did a lot of was the teensiest cross stitching. I remember shopping with my mom for the linen with the proper thread count that they would specify for each project. It was a very slow, unhurried learning and Sister had tremendous patience and kindness. Loved her and what she taught me.

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  3. It's also worth mentioning,as I think you have before, that photographs can be very deceptive as to how something looks in person. I am an expert seamstress who has tried one or two refashioning projects that looked cute online, but the actual garment was not something I would wear at any time. Including hanging around the house.

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    1. That is so true. I have to say this. I watched the TV program last week on Create channel "It's Sew Easy" and there was a "re-fashioning" of jeans that was incredibly ridiculous and I would dare the teacher to wear such things in public. No hems, not necessary, no measuring, and she couldn't decided if that thing on the sewing machine was a presser foot or a pressure foot. She kept going back and forth. I love recycling, but heavens, it has to be wearable. Almost everything I see regarding "up cycling" is taking another men's shirt and switching out the bottom with a different men's shirt. There is so much more that can be done with re cycling that can give a more sophisticated wearable garment. It's not the blue jeans that were cut off at the knees with thick black fur legs attach to the bottom to make them long again. Oy,,,,,rant over. Thanks for humoring me Gail.

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  4. Thank you! That will be so helpful.

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  5. A lot of us who are returning to sewing our own clothes have so many fitting issues with patterns that we just give up. Can you help us build in some "insurance" into our first drafts of a pattern so that we can adjust them a little easier? I remember how my mother used to make a hidden pleat above the hem in my dresses that could be let down as I grew taller.
    thank you so much!

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    1. Lisa, check out my responses to Celkalee. Also, the best insurance is a muslin. I doubt I've ever spent more than an hour on any bodice muslin. Mine are down and dirty and strictly to monitor fit, front back, sleeve. That's it, no buttons, plackets, closures, collars, pockets. I will usually check size and placement details of pockets later in the process on my dress form. IMO, the concept of a wearable muslin is a waste of time. I want to get to the good garment. So that is one form of insurance. Another is what our blogging friend Nancy Karpen does, a one inch seam allowances on vertical seams. You can always trim them back and it's what Nancy calls "fit insurance". In the heirloom clothing I made my grandchildren I often put in "growth tucks", partly for interest but also because it allows a hem to be lengthened if desired.

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  6. Age and time has surely changed my fitting needs. Several years ago I started sewing again and it was not good. The pattern was essentially a square block with a button placket. No shape, no obvious design lines. Online people raved about this pattern. I was too trusting. When I read some reviews these same people commented that the pattern was "too big" other said it was "too small." That said, looking forward to your series.

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    1. Our bodies change over time and if someone hasn't been sewing for a while it can be quite an eye opener. Don't let it get to you. I did a two part series recently on the standards of fit and will add that to Next Level Sewing. I will do that because so many don't know what good fit is and judge the pattern unfairly. I've also found that many newer sewists, lots, buy the wrong size pattern. It can be tricky and in their frustrations do blanket FB condemnations of whichever pattern companies, unfair. I've also seen among newer sewists a ton of posted pictures where they've exclaimed total joy with their fit and how it is perfect and the fact is the fit is abominable. Throw that to the magic of the internet and you can see how easily our concept of fit gets skewed. As far as patterns with no shape, they can be quite hard to fit properly as the fitting tools, darts, pleats, whatever, need to be hidden but are there. I want to leave you with some positives. Read the lessons in NLS on patterns. There are 2. Then read the Standards of Fit posts. Once your geared up with that information, google Nancy Zieman Right Size Pattern Fitting. This will set you on your way to the correct size Big Four pattern. I think you will be well on your way and I'm here for you if needed. My email is in the side bar. Don't give up. You deserve well fitting clothing and the joy of wearing them.

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  7. I am very excited about your series!!!

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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