Some people can say with confidence that they are self-taught sewists. They picked up patterns and sewing books and experimented; eventually, they learned to sew beautiful, well fitting garments.
Not so for me. Certainly, I sewed on my own for a long time. A few things turned out ok but I was usually disappointed. I wondered if sewing was just something I wouldn’t be able to do well.
Then, I took sewing lessons. Next, I discovered the internet. It had been around for quite some time but I didn’t realize the wealth of online sewing help. Sew-alongs, video tutorials, and instructions with pictures have helped through a number of new techniques
Now, I appreciate a sewing lesson or class every now and again to work on a specific skill. When I discovered a group class that would be making the Archer Buttonup Shirt, I decided it was time to tackle sleeves (not nearly as scary as I thought), collars (a little tricky but not impossible), and button holes (more to come on that).
The timing wasn’t ideal: I started taking the class when I was 4 months pregnant. How do you size yourself when your body is changing shape? I opted to make a muslin for the sake of learning the technique. The Archer shirt is not meant to be fitted so I would have some wiggle room with the size.
In another sense, the timing was perfect: this pattern was just enough of a challenge that I was learning a lot but not so much of a challenge that I couldn’t repeat it on my own.
In class, I sewed on a high-tech Bernina. The stitches are clean and the sewing lines are straight. Sewing on my machine at home does not produce results that are quite as nice.
My main goal for the class was to learn the techniques. I don’t wear this muslin. The hem and buttons remain to be sewn. At some point I may do the finishing touches and dye it. White is just not a practical color for me. Too many spills.
My next goal after the class: make another shirt on my own to reinforce what I’ve learned.