Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sewing Classes in February

Paul went on a cruise with some folks in our marina for a week (see next post on our blog for story). While he was gone, I finished up a sewing course that I had found out from a friend through a friend through another friend. It's amazing how one thing leads to another and to another and another? That seems to be how we have met all our "helpers" on the boat since we've been here. It's also how I found my wonderful sewing teacher, Barbara.

It was the perfect timing and opportunity for me to start a class, which is what I had been wanting to do for some time.  I finished Level 1 and will return for Level 2 later. For many women, this class would have been a "no-brainer"...because it was the basics. But it was exactly what I needed, to review all of the things I supposedly learned in High School Home Eck. I spent most of the time in my high school class with the seam ripper in my favorite tool. UGH! Hated ripping out seams!! Needless to say, it wasn't my favorite class.

Barbara and I had an enjoyable time together before, during, and after the classes, yet we diligently followed her very thorough agenda and focused on the lessons. It was definitely a well thought out class, and a fantastic learning experience for me. She has been teaching sewing for a long time, and is very good at it. Beginner's class included such things as how to care for your sewing machine, how to clean and oil it, looking at different and appropriate sized needles and bobbins for the sewing machine, choosing the correct types of material (not just the pattern, but the length and width of material, the grain, what it's made from, how the print will be cut, etc.), and choosing the correct thread for the this case, Coats and Clark "all purpose" polyester thread. We covered Shears vs. scissors, vs. snippers, and I never had known the difference. Now I know that Shears are ONLY for cutting materials, scissors cut paper, and snippers cut thread. (How bout a new game of "Rock, paper, scissors, shears, snippers, thread, and material"??) I splurged and bought a really good pair of Gingher Shears that were on special at Joann Fabrics, and bought the other things as I went along in the class. I got me some pins and a magnetic pin holder which works very well, but there's a caveat to this...don't leave the magnetic pin cushion near anything electronic ie: computers, radios, etc.) Glad I learned about that. Also, don't ever leave the iron down...always set it back up, even if you're just leaving for a second. (Right, Barbara??) :) (inside secret...only she knows my bad habit...but maybe you're guessing correctly right now.) Here's what some of my new gewgaws look like:

Ended up with a nice, medium sized tote bag, complete with interfacing, lining and some craft canvas at the base of the bag to make it a firm bottom, (unlike mine). /:'(  I've decided to use it for all my sewing gear.

I had bought a sweet little sewing box (a vintage box, that I found on which is a great site for vintage items and all things handmade). I highly recommend etsy for jewelry too you can type in the names Serendipity Rose or Amaria in the search bar and find some amazing jewelry. I bought some creative home made soaps on this site that had a variety of luscious scents and colors and were good soap. There are a multitude of homemade items to look at and inspire you on this site. You can also go to the category bar and click on a category you're interested in, and it will take you to that particular link on the site. Maybe you make something you'd like to sell? This is a cool site to sell your items on. It's inexpensive, too. I used to sell my stained glass and mosaics on that site. Fun place to shop! Isn't this little box's an old Dritz sewing box, probably from the 50's. Unfortunately, not big enough for all the paraphenalia that I bought that has to go in there. Which is why I'm using my newly made tote for the rest of the gadgets.

If you live in the Galveston, Kemah, Friendswood, Pasadena or any area close by there in Houston, you might be interested in contacting Barbara for classes at her email address She will happily send you information on what she teaches. I'm definitely glad I took the first course, and am starting to use my machine with more confidence. Paul and I have to focus on some other things for awhile before I get to take the next class. Barbara is completely understanding and will work around our schedule (and yours, too, if you're so inclined).

With my new skills I hope to make some things for our boat. I'd like to make some covers for our "noisy" items (pots, pans, bottles, etc.) which I learned about from our neighbor.  That way they'll not only be protected but also quiet under sail. I'll be making some pillows for our new, updated settees (when those are completed...and no, I'm not making them; not THAT good yet). Sewing skills will come in very handy on a boat, and if anyone else knows why these skills are handy on a boat and has some good ideas, please let us hear from you. I know you have ideas, Barbara! Anyone else?

Happy sewing!


  1. High on my list is a set of "pockets" (think, hanging shoe organizer) custom sized for binoculars, hand-held VHF, and other underway essentials. Same skill set as the cute tote bag in your photo. Cylindrical bolsters can be used to hold off-season clothing and increase storage (they only "look" like pillows but you know their secret additional use.) Basically stuff sacks with draw cords, again, same set of skills you already used in the tote bag.

  2. LOVE those ideas!!! Fantastic. Paul and I have been searching our brains for an idea for all our shoes. I did find a little WalMart special; plastic 3 drawer set with rollers...fits perfectly into one side of our closet space. (We find that we need more drawer space than closet space). One drawer holds three pairs of shoes. But they don't hold Paul's since his feet are bigger.

    I really do love the idea of making a customized utility holder. That will be on my list. Will design it to the space in our boat. And the bolsters can go on our bed.

    Your ideas are great...and I thank you for sharing them.

    Diane and Paul

  3. From one kinda seamtress to another, it's great to have that skill! I'm so glad you got some new skills with your sewing class! I just wish I could sew like a pro!!! :)
    Love, Linda

  4. Hey lady! Yes, from one seamstress, to another...however, I'm still a green one. However, it appears I'll be working on a huge canopy to put over our boat for the hot summer months. It's a major job, and there's no way I can do it on my a very nice neighbor, Maggie, is going to help me. She's got the right sewing machine for this job (it's called a Sailrite sewing machine, and it's used for heavy canvases and sail materials, etc). Bet I learn a lot doing this job! I bet you can sew a whole lot better than me!! I'm practicing by making pillows for the boat.

    Thanks for writing and for letting me know I forgot the name of the movie! :) Seems I get more and more forgetful in my older years. :/