Monday, June 1, 2009

Machine Project: Sewing 102

My mother's day gift (aside from a great day at home) was Machine Project's Sewing 102: Introduction to Pattern Making and Alteration. The gracious and capable duo of Annie O'Malley and Lake Sharp, who honed their sartorial skills at the costume department at Occidental College, taught the class.

Sage Chin wearing her sleeve on her arm.

Over three Sundays, they supervised the deconstruction and reassembly of shirts and pants, showed how to make a pattern from an existing garment, and imparted a wealth of information on how to make clothes fit properly.

My pattern and project in the making.

For the final class many students constructed a pattern of a favorite garment and set to work. I'm working on a pair of pajama pants.

Classmate Sage with her newly constructed shirt.

Transforming clothes to fit perfectly is a surprisingly empowering experience. I altered a t-shirt that been originally sewn improperly. The shirt always twisted awkwardly. The remedy was to rip the bottom hem, turn the shirt inside out and pin it to fit my body. I tailored the shirt to fit and resewed the hem. The knowledge gained from the class has me rethinking everything that is hanging in my closet.

Machine Project periodically offers sewing classes. Although a Sewing 102 is not currently scheduled, you can always email Machine Project expressing your interest. The crew at Machine is quite receptive.

And while I'm at it, if you have a few pennies in your change jar and are looking for a worthy non-profit, I recommend Machine Project. If your change jar and couch cushions are combed clean of all copper and silver, visit Machine Project anyway. It is truly a great place in L.A.

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