Wouldn’t it be funny if I did a series called “Baby’s First” where I tried out a bunch of new things for the first time? This post might be the trendsetter.
A few months before Christmas I asked my parents for something very specific: I wanted to learn how to sew. And guess what? They listened!
The story goes that my grandmother learned how to sew during the Great Depression, and although she was a terrible cook, she was an incredible seamstress. My dad says that she was able to just look at a piece of clothing and replicate it.
Then, my parents both made their own clothes when they moved to Brooklyn in the 1980s (the original hipsters), and eventually made some clothes for when I was a baby and a young child. My favorite story is how my dad took me to the Central Park Zoo, and they had these exotically-colored chickens in the petting zoo. He decided to steal some of their feathers by scaring the chickens, who would then shed them. My dad then would swiftly scoop up the feathers, take them home, and sew them onto the pocket of a little shirt for me.
So I guess it’s in my blood to be into fashion. Although, growing up I didn’t have the self-assurance to really explore it, and aside from a jean purse or awkwardly-made skirt, I never got the hang of sewing. But, I really wanted to learn a new skill, and, inspired by a slew of DIY videos, I decided to really pursue sewing.
After Christmas, I had my first class at a place called The New York City Sewing Center. It went really well, and I enjoyed myself immensely. So much so, that I excited bought some materials for next class, went home and got my mother to fix our sewing machine, and quickly made my first piece: an apron from a skirt that I used for my Halloween costume and leftover ribbon from Christmas. The detailing, however, proved a bit tricky. I picked up some scrap fabric with beautiful embroidery, and went to sewing them onto the apron. This was a bit harder, and I corrected my mistakes well enough until the entire bobbin compartment came apart. Eventually I had to give up my embroidery dreams, but for a frantic first on-my-own project, I’m really happy with how it turned out!
With the next session, we finished up our drawstring bags (mine is now currently being used for patterns and fabric) and learned how to fashion a zipper with these nice pouches. I learned how important straight rulers are as well as how much fun re-using old shirts and fabric can be!
I’m already itching for class #3, where we start making garments and working with patterns. I’ve got some great dark green fabric and a dream of a well-fitted pair of pants. Hopefully they’ll turn out good enough so that I can post them here!