21 February 2010

Learning is Sew Simple

So often when people see something I have sewn, they lament never having learned to sew. Some who have little exposure to sewing feel it is far too difficult a thing to master. I remember when I first started trying to sew on a machine. It was very intimidating. 

Threading the machine and keeping it so was my greatest frustration and I suffered long delays when anything went amiss. Keeping the machine tension at proper settings was a mystery. Some days it was perfect and some days it seemed no matter what I did the machine just wouldn't work with me.

I finally mastered my fear of the sewing machine when I decided to design and create handbags and toiletries bags from ideas that has been floating around it my head. Sewing for many hours a day taught me to work through my troubles, proper machine maintenance, and the confidence to believe I could learn new things.

It's never to late to learn to sew. I bought my sewing machine, a vintage Bernina, on ebay. It wasn't cheap, but I made a good investment in a renowned, well-crafted machine that I knew I could trust. It is very similar to the machine I grew up using. You can buy sewing machines in a wide range of prices and brands.

Sewing classes are taught at many venues. The best way place to learn about sewing is at your local fabric store. Find a shop where people are skilled seamstresses and can advise you on projects and best practices. One such shop in Los Angeles, is F & S Fabrics. They have a phenomenally knowledgeable staff and they are very willing to help. They also have a big selection of fabrics and notions.

They also have two home interior fabrics stores in nearby storefronts. They also teach sewing classes. I have to add to that if you are looking for a great tailor, your best fabric store is a great place to inquire. We found an amazing man at F & S who takes on side jobs and has done the most incredible work to repair or improve several clothing items. Yes, I can sew well, but I know when to turn things over to a true professional.

You can also find sewing classes through Adult Education programs, community colleges and trade schools. Look online, try craigslist.org where you could both buy a sewing machine and find class that would work. It's really not to late to learn. It's a great skill to have for so many reasons. I'd love to hear if you decide to go for it!


katie raddon said...

hi kalani!! can you teach me how to sew??? I love your bags. I just want to learn how to do simple stitches and easy craft projects. have you ever been to the sewing arts center in santa monica? thoughts?

kalanicut said...


Thanks so much for coming by the blog! My schedule is a little too crazy right now, but if I wasn't totally swamped I would love to teach you to sew. I haven't been to the sewing arts center. You might try checking it out on YELP for reviews from shoppers. That could be a great option.

F&S is an option too and I wouldn't be surprised if they don't have something at SMCC. Hope you find something that will work for you! I'll look forward to hearing more about your sewing adventure.

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