Sunday, May 04, 2008

Why I Sew

I was invited to give a talk today at the Women and Girls Luncheon held today at my church.

The idea was to share my fashion sewing avocation - why I do it, and why others might consider taking up the hobby. I brought a bunch of my sewn clothing, emphasizing all the variations on "t shirts" that I have done.

I also brought a bunch of sewing and inspirational resources to share.

Some of the women also brought samples of clothing they had sewn. A beautiful wedding coat. Baby dresses. And Kay, who presented with me, brought her beautiful handbags - and sold quite a few of them! It was, from my viewpoint, a resounding success. Because two young women (13 years old) asked me for very specific info on book resources, and two others specifically told me that they were going out to get fabric and SEW tomorrow!

How awesome is that?

Here is the outline I gave out today:

Step I - Inspiration

Your Life – What Would You Like to Wear?

If it’s true that All the world’s a stage (Shakespeare, “As You Like It”), then what part would you play?

Your roles vary depending on the need and the venue. You are playing a part whether you actively choose to or not.

The Street and Publications-- Vogue Bazaar NY Times Fashion Section Fashion Exhibits and Books

Snoop Shopping” Designers/Ready to Wear (examine the work of those you like.)

Elie Tahari
Max Mara
Eileen Fisher

Step II - The Means

Basic Equipment:

Basic Sewing Machine (straight stitch, zigzag, buttonholer) – buy quality – it’s worth it! (Baby Lock, Bernina, Pfaff are no-fail brands) (if you want to go slow and steady, you can choose to hand-stitch…but accept that your projects will take a l-o-o-o--ong time!)

Scissors, Pins, Needles, Thread, Measuring and Marking Tools (Joann Fabrics is a good local source – but their fabric offerings are spotty.)


(there are multitude of resources out there! But for your first step, go to Jomar – great fabrics at low prices)

1721 Markley St., Norristown, PA 19401 610-277-2856

Step III – The Ability

The best way to learn is to jump in. Purchase a pattern, basic equipment, fabric and go for it! Pick a style with simple lines and not fitted if this is your first project.


· Sew U: The Built By Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe – A “just do it” guide to sewing many different styles of shirt, skirts and pants using basic patterns included in the book.

· Anything by Sandra Betzina.

· Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide

· The Vogue Sewing Book

· Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing


Liana said...

Sounds like a great program! What fun to get such positive and instant feedback.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Barbara - this is so kewl that they asked you to present this! I am sure that the love you have for sewing shown through your presentation...and I'm not surprised you encouraged some of the young girls to sew!

Elaray said...

It's great that you are doing sewing outreach. I wish more people sewed.

Cennetta said...

Great post, Barbara. Sounds like the presentation was very rewarding for you and the attendees.

Nancy W. said...

Thank you for providing your outline. I would like to do something similar in my own church. There are a few ladies who sew, but are not really "fashion forward" if you know what I mean. I'd like to inspire some of the younger, and/or more fashion-minded women to get involved! Great post.