Saturday, 9 May 2015

....starting to conquer my sewing fears

It was my final dressmaking class this week, with my dress already completed (dressmaking class no5.) I continued work on my latest project the summer top I blogged about Simplicity 2373, even with 3 hours of relatively uninterrupted sewing I still have plenty to do before it is finished and  I will pop up a separate post once it is complete, hopefully that won't be too long!

I wanted to reflect here on what I had learned from my class

  • I like the structure that going to my class gives to my week, it encourages me to plan in other activities such as going to the gym for a swim.  Its almost like if I exclude Tuesday from my week for sewing it makes sense to go swimming on Monday and Wednesday, I just need to maintain this now the class has finished.
  • I enjoyed going through the process of learning something new, the sense of achievement when I put the zip in was tremendous and it gave me a bit of self belief, at this stage my sewing confidence is still very fragile
  • I loved being in the company of a group of like minded people, one of my best moments on the course is when we all started work on our own projects, sharing our pattern and fabric choices with other people, its a bit like blogging but everyone is in the same room :)  I show my project ideas to the family but they do the equivalent of smiling nicely, patting me on the head and backing out of the room!
  • It was great having a knowledgeable person to call on when I got stuck, Our tutor Lisa was terrific, when I lost my instructions for my own project she was able to just look at the pattern pieces and work out was needed to be done.  
  • Having three hour set aside each week devoted just to sewing without any distractions has been an absolute pleasure.  While I am often afforded free time at home I am just as likely to be distracted with other "bits and bobs" that need doing or that great time eater the internet.  Maybe it is even the process of being out of the house and in a different environment that help with my focus.
  • When I start a new pattern, before I have even cut it out, I sit down and read through the pattern to understand how it going to come together and see what is required.  I usually read the first few tasks and think yes that is simple and straight forward but as I get towards the end it starts getting a bit more scary, I realise that this is because I am imagining that I will be doing all this in one go but if you do things in small bite size chunks it makes things more manageable.  Also some of the finishing bits that happen towards the end of a project are more technical and do need more skill and attention but that is part of the learning experience and the unpicker is there should it be needed.
  • Who would have thought zips are not as scary as I thought they were?  I am still by no means fully competent and have yet to unravel the secrets of a concealed or invisible zip but I am not quaking in my boots at the prospect of putting in a zip on my current project, in my book that is progress. 
  • I have various UFOs (UnFinished Objects) around my house which are a testimony to my enthusiastic start to a project and a combination of sewing fear, oops I made a bodge job and I will do that later, ends to them, but now I can say that I have completed a sewing  project and I have worn it to work
  • Finally one of the best things that came out of the course is that I discovered that I am a bit more competent than I thought I was, which has helped my self confidence and that is the best gift you can give to you.

There is talk of us signing up for the intermediate class in a few weeks time which I like the idea of not least because it sounds like I am no longer a beginner. 

I would love to hear about your learning experiences. What have you done that boosted your sewing confidence? Are you thinking about starting a new sewing class?

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