Our first ever underwear sewing class!

It was so awesome hosting my first lingerie class at SEWN this past Saturday. Most of the students signed up within a few days of the class starting, so I was pleasantly surprised to have a full class of eager seamstresses. I began our 3-hour class by showing Brittany, Rachel, Louisa and Natasha how to take their measurements and trace a commercial pattern. Then I asked each student to choose their fabrics and elastics from my stash, and we played around with altering the designs. Students customized their panties by adding panels, making it a little more cheeky, or turning the high waist style into a brief. I loved seeing my students think like designers!


After hacking the patterns to reflect their design ideas, I showed each student how to lay out the stretch fabric and cut panties out of it. Then we all conquered any fears of using the serger by sewing samples and getting comfortable handling such a fast, amazing machine (I absolutely adore my serger). Once the panties were all sewn together, each student sewed their elastic into the waistband and legholes. 

At the end of the class, each student tried on their creations (over their pants) and got to take them home. I hope they felt super beautiful and sexy in their handmade lingerie. I'm so happy that we had our first lingerie class at SEWN! I definitely learned a lot and am eager to offer more lingerie classes to my students.

Embroidery Workshop with Nico Mazza

Last weekend, SEWN hosted our first workshop with a guest instructor, artist and embroideress, Nico Mazza. Nico holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has been utilizing embroidery in her art practice for seven years. Nico is one of my nearest and dearest friends, so I've watched her embroideries evolve from tiny miniature "rug" necklaces to large scale and highly intricate fine art pieces. Embroidery is also super popular right now in fashion, with many applications for seamstresses and designers, so it felt like a natural fit to host an embroidery for beginners workshop at SEWN. I was lucky enough to take the class along with three other students, Nina, Alicia, and Stella. Each of us had a different reason for learning embroidery, but were all equally excited to learn from someone as skilled as Nico. Below are a few examples of Nico's recent embroidery explorations. These, among others, were on display for our students to get inspired.

During the first half of our 2.5 hour workshop, Nico taught us numerous embroidery stitches including the basic stitch, satin stitch, chain stitch, couch stitch, feather stitch, french knot, backstitch, and cross stitch. She had a large embroidery hoop with each stitch that we could reference, and she also carefully explained and demonstrated each stitch until we were all confident in our ability to sew it. I took notes on mine so I wouldn't forget my new skills. 

After learning the stitches, Nico provided us each with a piece of muslin fabric on which she'd drawn a hand holding a flower. This gave us all a template to practice our stitches on and gave us time to pick Nico's brains about embroidery and her process while we all sewed together. I mostly used the chain stitch, satin stitch, and the french knots to finish my piece and was really happy with my finished work of art! 


So all in all, our embroidery workshop with Nico was a great success and such a fun time with a wonderful group! Thanks to Nico and the students who participated for supporting SEWN.