In middle school, I took a cooking class and a “life skills” class, each of which promised to prepare me for fancy grown-up tasks like adequately feeding myself, running a household and holding a baby the right way. Instead, I learned a slew of pointless tasks that did nothing to prepare me for grownup-dom. High school was no better. I went to great schools growing up, and in Home Ec, our awesome teachers were just doing the best they could with the crappy curriculum they had to work with. Still, those “life skills” lessons left me and dry. I’ve since become a domestic goddess in some areas of my life (I can sew like a boss), but I’m still muddling through learning some basic skills that my 7th grade teachers promised I’d know by the end of the semester. After the jump, some useless junk I learned in Home Ec and how they failed me.
Keep reading »
Oh boys — isn’t it adorable when they start learning how to take care of themselves? For example, take the Scottish dudes behind the Gentlemen’s Sewing Club — a new monthly night of drinking and sewing that takes place in Glasgow. Male members learn everything from hemming and sewing on buttons, to alterations and simple pattern cutting. They’ll also be “sharing tips and stories about being modern gentlemen.”
Aw, men be doing things for themselves. Seriously, this club sounds totally the cutest. And their official club drink is the whiskey sour. [Gentlemen Sewing]
Okay, not really. This is an art installation by Seattle artist Suzanne Tidwell, who stitches large scale pieces out of brightly colored yarn and then wraps them around trees, sculptures, and light posts. Still, we think it’s pretty magical. [Apartment Therapy]
I am a fairly hopeless seamstress. It’s not for lack of trying: I have a sewing machine, a number of how-to books, and I even took sewing lessons from my great aunt for awhile (which ended when I broke her sewing machine for the third time and she started not-so-accidentally poking me in the legs with pins). If you have access to a sewing machine but lack the skills to do much more than sew a (mostly) straight line, here are few easy project ideas that can safely fulfill your crafting needs. Good luck!
Cutting edge paper thing The New York Times has uncovered a thriving underworld in Brooklyn, full of women who have taken up needles and thread for this thing called — what is it called? — sewing? Apparently, these sewing wonders, make their own garments! At home. By hand. This is a trend, this people making their own clothes thing. Crazy, I know. The Times agrees, and found the time to profile Sarah Kate Beaumont, who sews clothes out of her Park Slope apartment. Sarah Kate, who “majored in English literature at Bryn Mawr College, where she rode a unicycle in leggings and a skirt,” sewed several items of clothing “as an experiment of self-reliance and artistic whimsy,” and now it’s “a way of life.” Some (the Times actually) might say Sarah Kate’s “whimsy” and “self-reliance” are just reflective of Brooklyn’s independent spirit, its burgeoning, itching (like an STD) desire to be seen as an separate entity from Manhattan. Yes, because Brooklynites are always living their lives as a metaphor. But others (again, The New York Times, natch) might argue that the back-to-sewing movement is simply an extension of the “back to the land” pioneer movement. We say: this is not a trend. Women be making their own clothes since the beginning of times, idiots. Next week, in part two of the Times series on The Sewing Trend, a little show called “Project Runway”! [NY Times] Keep reading »
Dying for a new summer wardrobe, but don’t have the cash? Tired of having the same clothes as every other mall shopper? Then, it’s about time you get working on that custom wardrobe you’ve always dreamed about. Make Your Own Clothes will teach you to sew contemporary and classic garments with easy-to-follow instructions. Plus, the book also comes with software that helps generate patterns to fit your exact measurements. With a little practice, you’ll be able to turn any fabric, even old sheets or bargain bin remnants, into a new outfit.