Thursday, July 29, 2010

All sewn up

On Tuesday night I had my first dressmaking night class! Although we won't actually be making a dress, so I'm going to call it my sewing night class. The 8 week course is a birthday present from my Mum after I said I didn't really need anything for my birthday and she cleverly suggested she buy me something to do instead of something to have. I love my Mum.

My excitement about my first class was somewhat dampened by the fact that I, without exaggeration, had not slept at all the night before (thanks again to the break-up train deciding that when you think you're through the worst and you're actually doing okay, it's the perfect time to run you over again). I've never not slept at all before and it was a weird experience. After watching the hours change from 4am to 5am to 6am to 7am and seeing it get light outside, I got up and went to work and felt all fuzzy for the rest of the day. I was really worried I'd be a mess come 7.30pm and break the sewing machine or something but I was actually surprisingly okay thanks to a wee sleep in the afternoon. The human body is a strange and amazing thing.

Our class has a reliever teacher for the first few weeks and she is your classic high school sewing teacher. She said she's been teaching sewing for over 30 years and you can tell. She's a no nonsense, firm but fair woman with a sense of humour that shows itself every now and then and clearly a big heart deep down. Also, she doesn't like Spotlight.

The first class was very much back to basics as some of the women (and it's an all female class, probably because all the males out there already know how to do everything...) hadn't threaded a sewing machine in 20+ years. The machines in the class are battered Berninas used by countless students but they do the job. We had to practice sewing lines, zig-zags, curves and edges and she showed us an amazingly quick way to put a zip in without using pins that creates a little flap to hide the zip. It's like magic! She's going to help us do it ourselves next week in preparation for the zip we need to put into the bag we're going to make which has lining, a pocket with a zip, darts and those sort of things. I think the class is going to be really useful for learning how to do things the right/easiest way and also just for the sewing practice. I love the act of sewing but I don't feel confident enough to attempt much at home so I'm hoping taking these classes will help with that and I'll be churning out clothes in no time...

Yesterday while walking along Lambton Quay I came across these in the window of The Body Shop. Look at what they're wearing!

Knitted puppy jumpers! Penny was really keen on making these at Monday night Knitting Circle a while ago but I couldn't bring myself to spend all that time and effort on something a puppy would inevitably rip or get really dirty. Apparently I'm a selfish knitter when it comes to animals. However, my selfishness aside, the pattern and the information about making the jumpers for the Wellington SPCA are here for those knitters out there who, unlike me, are not cold of heart.


  1. Sounds like a good class and I can certainly relate to her dislike of Spotlight. They tend to kill off the small fabric businesses, their staff are badly trained and often unhelpful and after having worked there for 2 weeks I know why; the atmosphere is appalling! I go there in emergencies only, most things I can get elsewhere and if I have to pay a little more at least I'm supporting local businesses.

  2. Yes that was exactly what she said as well! She said she'd had many students go there and try to ask for help getting what they needed and they either got no help at all or got sent off with the wrong thing. I haven't been there much myself as it's a bit out of the way and Arthur Toye is dangerously close to my current workplace...!