Thursday, 24 September 2009

What I are lerning

I started a college course a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it would be a good idea to do a little post about what I've learnt each week. It's a 30 week course entitled, 'Developing Sewing Skills for Fashion', and it's exactly what I have been looking for for about the last five years. It covers a little bit of arty farty stuff - aspects of design, how to develop ideas, that kind of thing, and then the rest is practical skills - button holes, cuffs, pleats, overlocking, waistbands etc.

I haven't done a post for the first week as we covered things like what to do if the fire alarm goes off, what equipment we need, and who they should contact in an emergency (like if we sew our finger to the table or something), and that's all very important but not very interesting.

This week we made our first mood board, which involved lots of sticking and cutting and felt very primary schoolish, but actually looked quite good. Mine was based around the two photos of metal objects, which are part of an exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. They're by an artist called Ndidi Ekubia, who was born in Manchester but now works in London.

On the practical side of things we got to grips with the industrial sewing machines (eeek!), and learnt about pleats. In class we just ironed fabric into pleats to get the idea, but I thought it would be best if I tried to put them into context just to see them work properly. So here is a version of the ruffle sleeve top from Sparkle Power's blog with an inverted pleat in the front:

It took me a while to work out the alterations I needed to do to incorporate the pleat, and I did about 20 squillion more things than I needed to do to make the band across the front, but I like the way it turned out.

It's dress length at the moment, but I really don't think it will be warm enough for winter, even with tights underneath. So once it starts getting properly cold I'll shorten it to a tunic top length.

I also had a bit of an epiphany moment - just before I added the ruffly straps, I looked at the dress and thought, 'I've completely unintentionally made a really cool skirt for a small child!'. So I'm thinking I'll keep it when munchkin grows out of it, whip off the straps, and use it as a skirt.
I have no idea about sizes for bigger kids though - does anyone know what age child has a 20" waist?

Next week - button holes and pockets, woohoo!


  1. Wow that sounds like a really interesting course! The dress/skirt is really cool, i am yet to tackel pleats myself...if only there was a course like that available near me, unfortunatly the only one i have been able to find is a patchwork and quilting course which sounds good but not really the direction i am interested in! i shall look forward to reading how you get on.
    x K

  2. I'm jealous of your course too! I could do with a bit more of the 'fundamentals' :)

    That's a gorgeous top and it's make a lovely skirt too! Maia has had about a 20" waist forever so maybe about a 2T?

  3. I've never seen a course like this before, I'm really excited about it.
    2T sounds about right, I'll have to make one for Munchkin for next summer :)