If you had asked me ten years ago whether I’d want a sewing machine for my birthday, I may have fainted in disgust. To say I was completely uninterested in all things domestic then is about as true as saying I don’t love cake. How quickly my mind changed! Is it because I became a young mom? Or, perhaps, because we have an extraordinarily limited budget for clothes and such? I can’t pinpoint the exact origin, but I can say my shift of priorities and interests has been one of the happiest parts of growing into an adult.
I can’t say that I don’t adore shopping, because I do. What I don’t adore is clothing falling apart after a few wears. We simply do not have the budget to replace clothes every few months. With two kids who grow like bean sprouts, our “clothing” part of the budget has to be focused primarily on them. This means that when my husbands shirt or socks get holes, we need to be able to mend them to save a few dollars.
There’s also the question of my figure. So often, I am between sizes and, like most women, the question of proportion is never far from my mind. My children are both of the tall and exceedingly thin variety, so I imagine they’ll deal with this for quite awhile too. My husband, of course, fits whatever he throws on but he is hard on clothes. I’d like to be able to alter items I’ve purchased or just make them to my specification.
I tend to learn well from books. I basically taught myself how to knit, crochet, speak French, bake, and cook more complicated meals all with the help of books. Of course, lots of videos, websites, and free help from family and friends never hurts, but I like the comfort of having something solid to reference when I am stuck with no help around. I think the right books can be hard to find, so let me tell you about two I’ve really learned well from.
I know a very limited amount of hand sewing. While Project Runway may be all the tutelage some need, I needed something quite a bit more basic that still kept my interest. More importantly, I need clear pictures and easy, concise directions. I have to be realistic here and not up-size my skills. Before I ever even look at a pattern or fabric, I have to master the first steps.
I’ve found two really well thought out and helpful books. The S.E.W. & Teach Yourself Visually: Sewing workbooks are two of the best I’ve read and I recommend them for any level of sewing skill. They include step by step breakdowns of any stitch, techniques that apply to most sewing projects, great pictures, reference lists, and great patterns. Best of all, they are well priced for the volume of information that you get.
I’m pretty certain that I’ll be looking into sewing classes. There’s always a schedule of them at Heirloom Creations in Sioux Falls. Apparently they are also offered by our local Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Fonder Sewing. Eventually, I’d like to teach my kids this skill as well. They may not make themselves things but being able to fix something you love rather than throw it away is always a blessing.
Does anyone know of any other great resources for sewing in our area? Feel free to share and to recommend! Any suggestions are always welcome.