Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A full Course Load = Not Much Sewing... :(

I have had my first class for all five of my classes at FIDM. I've had lots of homework so I haven't had much time to sew for myself.  The same night I made the Kwik-ie I made 2 infinity scarves, but thats it.  (Pictures to come.)  I do plan on entering a Pearl costume for the PR costume contest!  I'm not going to say what she will be though.  It's a surprise!

So Monday I had Sketching and the Business of Fashion classes.  In sketching, I had a substitute teacher.  It was Mrs. Riegelman herself, author of our textbook,  9 Heads: A Guide to Drawing Fashion (3rd Edition)!  She is a lovely woman and an amazing fashion illustrator.  Her work is beautiful!  If you want to learn how to draw fashion sketches quickly, you must buy this book!  I've only drawn 10 of the basic front view croquis so far, and I have already improved!  This text is used at all of the top design schools, so it must be good!  I will definitely take pictures of my work as the quarters go by.

My business class instructor is amazing as well. Her name is Carol Pender and she has had some amazing businesses in the fashion industry. She is/was? the President of many management companies including CP Management Services, Inc., Global Technology Resources, and CAL Safety Compliance Corp. She even consulted for Homeland Security. She really knows her stuff when it comes to buying, manufacturing regulations, distribution, imports/exports, and the list goes on and on. This class is completely out of my confort zone because I am not business savvy. I've taken many college courses before, but nothing like this. It will be a completely different experience. The textbooks for this course are interesting.  A intro business book that's informative, but easy to read and this AWESOME book/CD with every form you will ever need to actually have garments manufactured.

And my industry sewing class! My instructor sounds very strict, but knows her stuff too!  She has been a costume and pattern maker.  The industrial machines we use are Jukis and sort of look like this, just older:

I had no problems winding the bobbin or threading the machine, but sewing was another story.  I can sew pretty darn well on my home sewing machine and have good control.  With these machines, I was all over the place. Granted, I was sewing on paper using a basting stitch to not shred the paper, but jeez, I sucked!  Sucked, sucked, sucked!  Anyone out there with an industrial have any tips for me? (Gigi, do you read my blog? :) )  Do I use one foot or both on the treadle?  Any tips on keeping control?  The book we use for the class is A Guide to Fashion Sewing (5th Edition) by Connie Amaden-Crawford.  Doesn't she design Big 4 patterns?  I haven't really read through the book yet, but the reviews say its a basic beginning sewing book.  We also got a cool fashion term dictionary!

I have tons of reading to do, a marker to cut out, a newspaper article assignment on demographics and psychographics, images to find, sketching, and a tedious project on tints and shades.  I'm going to try to get Pearl's costume done too.


  1. I'd love to go to design school. But at 52, mortgaged and private schooled to the hilt, it may just have to wait until I retire.

  2. Hi Rebecca,
    I have this exact machine. It can be a little intimidating when you first start sewing on it because of it's super speed. However, you'll get use to it. But, you use one foot on the pedal, just like a regular machine.Just remember to take it slow~ it only takes a slight touch of your foot to get it moving. And, please watch your fingers. I'm sure you've noticed the knee pad for your take up lever. You can use your hand or knee for your take up lever. As the old adage goes, " practice makes perfect". And, so it is true. I'm telling you, once I started sewing on it, I fell in love. :)
    I hope this helps.
    BTW, congratulations on following your true passion!

  3. Okay, so what I've noticed is that every machine runs a little different -- some run slower, some run faster (and they all have some DIFFERENT crazy personalities). Keep hopping from machine to machine until you find one that runs at the speed you want it to. I like to sew with just socks on (or a thin soled shoe so you can feel how much pressure you're putting on it). It takes time and practice! (PS. stake a good machine! ;D)

  4. I just thought of this -- my tailoring teachers (they're master tailors from italy) pressed down on the gas steadily on long straights, but as they approached detail work (curves, ends), they stomped kind of in a quick press-release-press movement so the needle would move in short, fast distances.

  5. Good luck! And if you have a course with Nick Verreos, make sure you take a photo for me! ;)

  6. The speed depends on the size of the motor pulley. Smaller pulley=slower machine. However, these just take some getting used to, that's all. Once you get used to the speed you will hate sewing on a home machine! I use my left foot to sew, keeping my right leg free for the knee lifter.