Thursday, 12 May 2016

Studio Series: Dress Work in Progress

Darling Ranges dress WIP © Karen Thiessen, 2016
My mom was my primary sewing teacher. She studied tailoring at night school and I loved poring over her binder of samples. In a four generations family photo of my great Oma, my grandpa, my mom and a four-year old me, mom and I are wearing matching dresses that she sewed. Mom was an excellent teacher but because we were broke, there was no room for mistakes, so she was often tense when we sewed clothes together. I internalized this and carried it forward, so I stopped sewing my own clothes after I left home to attend university. 

My indie fabric shop recently offered a Megan Nielsen's Darling Ranges dress class. Determined to overcome this mental block, I took the class, using old fabric that was not precious. I was mindful of when I tensed up: sewing bust darts and buttonholes. To get around the darts issue, I hand-stitched them before machine-sewing them as I find hand-sewing to be soothing. The button holes are unfinished. The weather is warming up and I need clothes, so I'm either going to overcome my button hole block, or, for ten dollars my local alterationist will do them for me. In my excitement of sewing clothes again, I cut out two more dresses, so I have not one, but three unfinished dress projects on my hands. If I learn how to make my own button holes, I'll save thirty dollars, money that I can spend on more sewing tools (like an ironing ham and a button hole chisel) and fabric. 

On another note, I did take the Megan Nielsen's Virginia leggings class and learned how to sew knits, how to sew with a twin needle, and how to use a serger. They are finished and look great!

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