Friday, June 26, 2009

First Project: Drawstring Pants

As I said earlier, this week, we started on our first project - drawstring pants - after learning how to properly thread the machine, transfering the classroom pattern to our own pattern paper, then to our chosen cotton woven fabric. The image below is one of 2 pattern pieces of this project and called the Front Side Pattern.

There are 2 pattern pieces for the pants, a front piece pattern and a back piece pattern (fabric cut front x 2, back x 2) for a total for 4 fabric pieces. The steps to this project are:

*Transfer pattern to fabric making sure that the grainline of pattern is perpendicular to the selvage of the fabric.
*Cut fabric.
*Press the fabic pieces with a steam iron.
*Sew the side seams (SS) together with 1/2" seam allowance.
*Press seams open.
*Fold one side of the seam under itself 1/8" (press with iron).
*Sew at 1/16" from its new edge.

You now have what is called a simple seam finish. Repeat for all seams. Pressing in between all steps is necessary for the best results and look of a finished garment.

Do the same for the sewing of the inside seams (IS), pressing and finishing with a simple seam.

By the time I left after the first week of class, I have sewn the pants' Front Side piece seams together and the Back Side side seams and currently performing a clean seam finish to these seams. I am about 1/3 of the way for this project.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Week #1 Basics of fabric, sewing machine, and patterns

Today marked the end of week one for Palomar's Beginning Sewing course. I am happy to announce that the class is a lot of work but a lot of fun and the instructor named Ken is just an awesome person.

Lecture always come first in the day and then to sewing lab. The first set of lectures were on the parts of the woven fabric. In this class, we will be only working on woven fabrics such as cotton and cotton blends; no stretchy or knit fabrics.

Parts of the fabric: The selvage is the finished edge of the fabric. It is slightly thicker than the rest of the material. Sometimes, it may be white or lighter in color and printed on it are all the individual colors that can be found on the printed fabric.
The grainline runs parallel beside selvage from north to south.
The crossgrain is the fabric weave that goes east to west, perpendicular to the crossgrain.
The grainline and crossgrain make 90 degree angles taking turns going over and under on a 1:1 ratio.

Ease: The amount of grace or resistance a fabric has is called ease. Basic cotton woven fabric have little or no ease compared to stretch or knit fabric.
When fabric is pulled at its 45 degree angle to the selvage, there is much more ease than pulling the same fabric on its grainline or crossgrain. This 45 degree angle is called the bias. The fabric may be cut on its bias for pieces of a garment construction that need more ease, such as a waistine. Some dresses or outfits are fully consructed on its bias for a desired fit or look - or a full outfit may be sewn on a bias such as in the constructing of an evening dress or fitted clothing.

This week, we started on our first project - drawstring pants - after learning the parts of our classroom sewing machine (Pfaff ClassicStyle 1520?) and how to properly thread the machine, we worked on the transfer of a pattern to paper, then to our cotton woven fabric. Specifics on this will be on the following post.

So this week in sewing class:
Monday: Introductions, parts of fabric and sewing machine lecture
Tuesday: Sewing straight and curved lines on sheet of paper
Wednesday: Transfer pattern to paper and to fabric
Thursday: Cutting and sewing of fabric for drawstring pants

The classmate in general:
I have met some great students in the class. Some have clothing lines (Take Me back Clothing Company), some conduct a clothing business overseas (India), and some students are new to everything and some literally say they want to kill their sewing machine. Level of skill and learning styles vary just like any other learning environment but for some reason may be more obvious in the sewing room and some fashion girls have burnt other girls with the iron. Talk about mean girls!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sewing Classes @ Palomar College starts June 22!!!

Last week it was full when I checked... so it's worth a shot getting in as first day of class, June 22 gets closer:

Because we are - except for a few - pretty new to sewing and I've been asked more than twice... I am writing to let you know that Palomar now has spots on their waiting list for apparel construction/beginning sewing.

These are sewing classes for the Summer through Palomar College. $20 a unit (total $ 80 as it is a 4 unit combo for both class - must register for both). It is so worth it as it is 4.5 hours per day, 4 days a week for 8 weeks (144 hours of sewing for $80 is 55 cents per hour of instruction!). If it becomes full from now til you get to register, brave it and go crash anyway:

Palomar College Campus in San Marcos

M-F 8:00 lecture starts followed by lab, ends at 12:30 pm
8 weeks long and yes Monday through Friday, August 21 is the last day

Class Nbr - 50695 (Lecture)

Status - Wait List

Session - FT-1st 8wk

Days & Times - MTWTh 8:00AM - 10:50AM
Room - FASH-1
Instructor - Kenneth Imaizumi
Meeting Dates - 06/22/2009 - 08/13/2009

Class Nbr - 50816 (Lab)
Status - Wait List

Session - FT-1st 8wk

Days & Times - 11:00AM - 12:20PM
Room - FASH-1
Instructor - Kenneth Imaizumi
Meeting Dates - 06/22/2009 - 08/13/2009

Class Notes - Students enrolled in Fash 165 Class Number 50816 must also be enrolled in Fash 135 Class Number 50695.

For those who want to get together and sew, join
The Sewing Room Meetup Group and host a sewing meet your home or go to one. Let me know when and where and I will gladly post it on the board. Don't worry about trying to accommodate a big group. Everyone has different schedules, the more sewing places, the more choices to accommodate each other.... and from experience, 5 and less is better than a big group anyway. Email me to let me know.

And due to the nature of the internet, may hosts may want to meet attendees during a meet and greet in a public place prior to entering their homes. Thank you for your understanding in advance everyone!