Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Fit Diary

My Weekly Craftsy.com Blog Post

Last week's post introduced readers to my Fit Diary or Sewing Journal. It's something I picked up from Peggy Sagers, my sewing & fitting guru.  I record all of my measurements in a diary which I update each year. But, the real plus is it contain the 'style formulas' I use to create necklines and other types of styling details. These formulas are tailored to fit my body. No more gaping necklines or ones that turn out too low.  It's a great tool that every garment sewer should maintain. Here is the link:  http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/05/making-a-sewing-journal/

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sewing - A Developmental Boost for Kids

Sewing is Good for Kids!
courtesy:  la.mommypoppins.com
As the end of the school year is upon us, parents, are you looking for a constructive activity to engage your 8-12 year old this summer? Have you considered sewing lessons? Children in this age group have the mental capacity to grasp basic sewing concepts and sufficient manual dexterity to work a sewing machine. It is, in fact, about the most perfect age for them to learn the craft. And, you will be amazed at the developmental benefits children can gain from learning to sew at this young age.

Knowing how to sew, for anyone, is a useful life skill with lifelong practical applications and many health benefits. To sew requires concentration and focus, problem solving skills, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. It challenges left brain thinking and is a great way to express ones creativity and individuality. And, let’s not forget, sewing can be just plain fun!

Studies have shown that children, especially those in the 8-12 year old group, who learn to sew gain many mental as well as physical developmental benefits. It has been found that the various tasks involved in sewing a simple project, such as following pattern instructions, fabric selection, color coordination, sizing and fitting all help stimulate creative thinking, promotes self-esteem and perseverance. Completing a sewing project from start to finish fosters a sense of accomplishment that can boost a child’s morale and self confidence. Furthermore, the tactile nature of sewing helps strength a child’s hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Other notable benefits include providing children a vehicle for personal and creative expression. It is a productive way for kids to use personal time and create independent work. And, it opens the door to future potential career paths. Sewing really is good for kids!

So, where does a parent go to look for kids sewing classes? In the Detroit metropolitan market, surprisingly, there are number of great places offering kids classes this summer. Oftentimes, they are promoted as 'Kid’s Camps' as they offer parents a place for kids to go during the summer recess. Typically, most places offer classes that introduce kids to sewing and how to use a sewing machine; as well as classes that teach them to make simple projects. The number of students per class is kept to a minimum so each child gets the amount of attention they need to complete the project.

Here is a list of places throughout the metropolitan area that are offering kid’s sewing programs this summer:

Haberman Fabrics.  This premier fabric retailer located in Royal Oak offers the most comprehensive selection of sewing courses in town geared to sewers of all levels. This summer they will be offering courses geared specifically to children aged 8-12. The classes include beginner courses as well as those making simple clothing and doll clothes. Go to www.habermanfabrics.com for details.

Joann.  The fabric and craft retailer offers kids sewing classes throughout the year, but expand their ‘Kids Camp’ offering in the summer. Go to www.joann.com for class offering and schedules in your area, or pick up one of their flyers featured in all stores.

Scrappy Chic. The scrapbooking mega-store in Livonia has collaborated with Simply Sewing Studio to offer children’s sewing classes in their store. The courses include a beginner class for first time sewers as well as those making simple clothing. Go to www.ScrappyChicLivonia.com for dates and times.

Sandy’s Make it Sew. The sewing machine retailer will also be offering Kids Camps in July and August in their Livonia location. Courses include a beginner basics class as well as simple garment making classes.  Go to www.sandysmakeitsew.com for dates and times.

Sew Many Things Sewing Center – This sewing and quilting store in Clinton Township offers sewing classes for children 8-12 years old.  Go to www.sewmanythingssc.com for class offerings and schedule.

Ann Arbor Sewing Center  -- This sewing mega store selling sewing machines and fabric is also a headquarters for great sewing courses. They offer a nice selection of classes for kids all year round. Go to www.annarborsewing.com for class details and schedules.

All Sewn Up – This Ann Arbor based concept is dedicated to teaching people of all ages to sew. Kids are the concept’s specialty and the summertime Sewing Camps offer week long programs that teach kids to sew. Go to www.allsewnupbyanne.com for details.  

Private Instructors. They do exist but they are hard to find and are in short number. The advantage to private sessions is they can teach whatever the student desires and students can learn at their own pace. A quick Google search reveals who is teaching private lessons in the area. 

And finally - yes I will be teaching kids classes at Haberman's &  Sandy's Make it Sew in Livonia.  

Friday, May 23, 2014

BRAVO Beginner Skirt Class Students!

 Another Great Sewing Class!

Butterick 5466
To the students who finished their skirts yesterday at my Haberman Fabrics Beginner Skirt class - a big congrats to a job well done. I have been teaching this beginner course for some time now and each and every time I teach it I leave happy and gratified. It is wonderful to see how happy and proud my students are at their accomplishment. And great accomplishments they are. For most the skirt is their very first project. The class teaches them a wonderful base of skills they will use throughout their sewing careers and all of them did a superb job! 

Their invisible zippers were excellent, their darts done in my reverse fashion were even and well balanced, waistbands were just right and I would have to say the fitting of the side seams could not have been any better. So BRAVO  to all and I hope to see you in another class.

As an added note, this Butterick pattern #5466 is an excellent pattern I recommend to anyone to keep as part of their personal base pattern library. As you can see it is a pretty basic and straightforward skirt that can be easily modified to replicate any ready-to-wear skirt sold in stores. It can be easily streamlined into a pencil skirt adding a kick pleat to the back. The waistline can be converted to any number of ways and of course a lining can always be added. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Another Burdastyle.com Webinar!

Sheer Management - Strategies & Techniques for Sewing Sheer to Lightweight Fabrics
Monday, June 9th at 2 pm EST

Once again I will be presenting a one hour webinar on Burdastyle.com.  The topic this time is sewing with sheer to lightweight fabrics.  If you have ever tried to sew with these delicate, but beautiful fabrics you know how frustrating and sometimes downright difficult they are to work with. This webinar will clue you into a wide variety of techniques you can employ to better manage and control their often unruly nature. Sewing with them really can be fun!

I will offer numerous ideas for ways to control excess fraying, manage their slippery nature and I have oodles of ways to sew and finish seams, and master rolled hem using these fabrics. Don't miss out, there will be lots to learn.  Sign up at burdastyle.com.