FIT Class #2

15 Dec

After I finished my last class at FIT I knew I’d be coming back for the second one on my list, a hand sewing class.  As I have made blatantly clear in almost all of my posts, I HATE hand sewing, but it’s something I need to learn how to do, so I took this class as a challenge.  And boy did it almost win.

Here’s a rundown of what we did in 4, four-hour long classes.

Class 1

Got to the train station super early only to find out train was cancelled.  Jumped into car, raced to Manhattan, no parking!  Pay for parking garage, SPRINT 4 blocks, get into class 20 minutes late and get reamed by the professor.  Awesome start.
For this first class we learned a bunch of hand stitching techniques, which you can see in the picture below.

So what does each one do you ask??  Well..Blanket stitch is for, you guessed it, blankets.  Basting stitch is used to hold pieces of fabric together (you take it out at the end).  No Knot is a way to make a starting knot look nice.  Running stitch is used for a decorative, top stitch.  Backstitch and half-backstitch are used for seams.  Prick stitches are for zippers.  Whip stitch and blind stitch are for hems.  And oh look!  Its the slip stitch I always talk about how much I hate!!  That one’s used for hems and linings and ruining my day.

Class 2

I have to drive into Manhattan again, but at least this time it was planned.  I left myself plenty of time to find parking, wrong.  I got to a parking garage 15 mins before class – no sprinting this time!  Wrong again.  The lovely guys at the parking garage blocked about 8 of us in, refused to give us tickets for our cars until they parked the other cars, and after about 25 mins of people screaming at them, I was sprinting to class again.  Greeeeaaaattttt.  Luckily today was a different teacher, so I did not get yelled at.
Onto the class….Buttons.  Lots and lots of buttons!  2 hole, 4 hole, shank, big, small, pink, black, yellow and a few snaps for good measure.  Buttons aren’t too difficult, in one hole and out another, but they’re tedious.  Especially when your teacher wants you to make it look professional.  Here’s the one good thing I picked up from this class, for every hole on the button you only need go to in and out three times, then when you’ve finished all the holes, wrap the tread around the bottom of the button three times.  I like this because I used to always just stitch a button a million times to make it secure…apparently 3 is good enough.

Class 3

NO MORE DRIVING!  Took the subway, got a coffee, relaxed, much better.
Today’s lesson – zippers!  I already know how to sew zippers using the machine so I had a pretty solid grasp on how to line up the fabric correctly for zippers  What type of stitch do you think I used for the zipper?? (hint – go back up to class 1) That’s right!  Prick stitch.


A hidden zipper using overlapping fabric.


Lining added to the back of the zipper using a slip stitch – which at this point I’m actually getting good at!  Its a Holiday Miracle!!!!

At the end of class, the nice teacher took us to the Goodwill Store to get a jacket with a mitered sleeve for the final class.  By the way, Manhattan thrift stores are AWESOME!  Holy crap, they have designer clothes in there.  Thank you rich people of Manhattan.

Class 4

Here is the jacket I picked up form Goodwill.


See how the sleeve to the left is about 1-2″ shorter than the one of the right?  That’s what we did in the last class, learned how to shorten mitered sleeves.  I should probably explain what a mitered sleeve is.  Basically, instead of having a sleeve cuff that goes straight around, there is a split – one edge is straight, the other has a diagonal triangle stitch.

Here is the original, professionally done, mitered sleeve:


And here is mine:

Not too shabby, huh?

Since we took the whole sleeve apart, I had to reattach the lining using a slip stitch:

And put the button back on:

In the first class I was late, stressed and hating hand stitching.  By this last class I was flying through the project and finished a half hour before everyone.  I’d say that’s a success.

Final Project

My teacher sent us an email a week before the last class, while we were on Thanksgiving break, that said we needed to make an entire piece of “anything” by hand.  So I went for the easiest thing I could think of, a make up bag!  I found this great tutorial online and just swapped in hand sewing for all the machine stitches.  If you want to read all about how to sew it, click here.  If you want to see pictures of what I made with short captions, scroll down.


Final piece made with leftover fabric from my blouse and the red/black dress from Diana’s wedding.


Fancy lining, no stitches to be seen!  I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I actually like the slip stitch now.

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