Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kaitlyn's first sewing machine

After months of patiently waiting, Kaitlyn has her very own sewing machine. For those of you that don't already know, Kaitlyn is a high school senior I'm mentoring. I'm teaching her how to sew along with basic garment construction. For her senior project, she chose to create a line of 12-15 outfits, made by her, using only recycled materials, and by repurposing old, discarded, thrifted clothing.
She could barely sit still! She waited to take it out of the box until she came over to my house.

Kaitlyn and I met in August. Started sewing in September. In only a few months she has gone from barely able to sew a straight stitch to putting in zippers, interfacing, pleats, and all kinds of hems. I'm so proud! And now that she has her very own machine, we can sit and sew side by side, and I'll be able to work on my own projects, and simply advise her on her sewing questions. 

Last week we started on this new piece. An old skirt, about a size 10, with front pockets, fully lined. She wanted to turn it into a strapless dress. This meant making the waist the top of the bodice, and the hip area would become the new waist. 
First, she removed the original zipper that was in the center back. Skirt zippers are maybe 7-8 inches, not long enough for a dress. She sewed in a bright yellow, exposed zipper, about 15 inches long.
We then fitted the dress at the front, back and side seams. Because the old hips became the waist, there was a lot of fitting to do. Before we pinned these seams, Kaitlyn sewed the pockets closed. The detail still remained, giving the dress extra character. How fun, when someone wears this dress and says, "Look, these were once pockets!"
At the end of the first day of working on it. All the fitting is complete, interfacing roughly sewn in. And time for me to head to work meant time to be done for the day. It was only an hour into the dress so far. Kaitlyn was flying through this reconstruction.
AND NOW WITH HER NEW MACHINE! We set it up on top of my Kenmore sewing machine cabinet that I don't use (still have to get it properly serviced). She started by "stitching in the ditch" on the princess, side, and back seams to keep the interfacing in place.
The new set up in my sewing room. Kaitlyn between the windows, and my two machines on the right. She was joking about us sitting there, both sewing, in silence for hours and how silly it was. Reminds me of work at David's Bridal on sewing days. Hours and hours of sewing. I seriously have the best jobs ever!
After some funny mistakes with the hem, Kaitlyn had a white bobbin and didn't realize until she finished the hem, ripped it out and redid it, she finished the dress. Where the one pleat was in the original skirt, she sewed in her signature fabric to tie this dress in with her collection, a little peak of brown.
She's so cute with her little sewing machine case. My little protege!

For more on projects with Kaitlyn, click here.

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