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Learning how to sew, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Thread

One of the most expensive things when you’re a lady is clothing (or a man, too, I imagine, but ladies tend to tip the scales in this regard). I wear my clothes til they fall apart and beyond—recently I decided to keep a holey pair of black jeans because I figured I could wear them with black tights underneath in the colder months, for example.

But no more! At least, when I’ve mastered the art of sewing stylish and amazing clothing, which shouldn’t take more than a few months, right?!?!

Um…you are dealing with someone here who pierced through her fingernail with a  sewing machine needle in grade 8, which meant I bled on my future pencil case and got a pity B from the teacher. And yes, that does hurt as much as it sounds like it would.

But nonetheless! I resolved to super seriously learn how to sew, because saving money is worth it. Plus, sewing classes are happening in my most cities by the plenty these days, and it’s become a bit of a cool, hipster-y trend. So why not?

Recently, I decided to try out a sewing class in my neighbourhood. It cost $45 for a 3 hour workshop, which included the machine and the material. In it, I made a super awesome tote bag. Or…I tried to anyway (more on that in a minute).

The actual experience of the class was a fun one. The instructor, Sara, was super nice and knowledgeable, and when I related my fingernail-piercing story she looked at me with warm sympathy and said, “I have heard of that happening but I’ve never met anyone who it’s actually happened to. Congratulations.” I am a legend in my time!

The workshop was a cool, open plan space with long tables and new machines. We spent the first 30 minutes or so getting accustomed to the machines themselves (was it my imagination, or did Sara watch me closer than the others?). Then we tried sewing on scraps, as well as attempting some fancier moves like turning corners and attaching interior pockets (oooh!) before we measured out, marked, cut and started in on our totes.

I was doing really well until the point we actually started sewing the tote. Then, for whatever reason, I screwed up my stitching five times in a row. I then started to get flop sweat, at which point Sara came over and helped me. By this point, most people had finished their tote and were ironing it in the corner; I was still struggling to get my handles sewn on to the weird sack that was supposed to be my tote bag.

At this point, I had started laughing uncontrollably—a mixture of embarrassment and genuine mirth. Sara followed suit, and the rest of class was equally amused. One woman clapped! I’ll say it again: I am a legend in my time.

In the end, my tote was so lopsided that it was unusable—the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of tote bags. I am embarrassed enough not to share a picture of it, but Sara has kept it as a memento of our time together, and to show other classes what not to do.

So…to conclude, I am not making my own clothes anytime soon. But community sewing classes are very fun, and I highly recommend them!

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