For my in-depth project, I have decided to study sewing. I have wanted to learn to sew for a long time and thought that this would be a great opportunity. After ending up taking a fashion merchandising class last year, I have been very fascinated with the way clothing is produced, sold, and recycled. This interest has led to a chronic case of online shopping (here are some websites) which opened the door to some realizations. I first realized that I really liked looking at pretty things. Secondly, I realized that I could not afford anything on the sites I was looking at. It simply was not feasible to buy a $2,000 blouse or a dress that costs as much as a year of university. Thirdly, I realized that most of the garments I admired from afar, were very simple; and then I came to my fourth realization. The realization that if I cannot buy it, maybe I can make it. Maybe I could make it better, with my own designs, with the perfect sizing, with the perfect materials, colours, prints and trims. I realized that I could really make something; something that could make me very happy.
This type of mentality (if I can’t find it, I will make it) is a part of my DNA. It is part of the reason why I chose to learn to make shoes for in-depth last year. It is the reason why my dad makes bags for a hobby, and why my grandmother sews. Through this type of mentality, I have learned that if you really want something, you have to work for it. However, it is nearly impossible to do anything alone.
I have begun to look for my mentor, and after a very good recommendation, I found Pam. She has been teaching sewing for over 30 years and is a very well-versed sewer. I have begun to pursue her as my mentor and I hope that it works out well. I know that last year, finding a mentor was one of the most difficult parts of in-depth. However, I have begun to search for other people that could possibly be my mentor if Pam cannot be. I have not contacted anyone as of yet, but will do so next week if I do not have a more solid response from Pam. I have looked at sewing teachers in Port Coquitlam, and Coquitlam as well as at local classes at sewing shops like Fabricana. If all else fails, I kind neighbour has offered to help me in this endeavour after hearing about my search for a sewing mentor. However, I would prefer to step further outside of my comfort zone and work with someone new, and someone who is a professional in the field. I hope to cultivate a strong relationship with my mentor, as I have maintained with my mentor from last year. I strive to talk openly about feedback, maintain not only a good working relationship but a friendly relationship with my mentor, and to work together to make the best plan for my learning.
I have made some rather ambitious goals for my learning. I am aiming to make a mini-collection of three different looks that each show the sewing techniques I have learned. Ideally I would make one dress, one skirt, one pair of pants, a blouse, and a simple jacket (maybe cape style). All of the garments would be very simple in silhouette as to not complicate myself. This is a rather difficult goal for the allotted time but I feel very passionately about this endeavour and will work hard to achieve it. Some specific sewing skills I would like to learn are: sewing with different stitches, patching old clothing, hemming clothing, installing buttons, zippers, elastics waists, and pockets, as well installing zippers, and adding details like embroidery, piping, and applique. I would also ideally like to learn how to change fabrics by ruching, pleating, and layering. Learning some good pre-sewing techniques like: designing with practicality in mind, choosing appropriate materials as well as treating them, and patterning clothing are also all very important to me.
For the final presentation, I would ideally like to have a mini-fashion show to showcase the clothes I have made. For this presentation style to work, I would need time on the stage to present, models to wear the clothing, music to go with the catwalk portion of the presentation, and a speech to go with the rest of the presentation. To add to the presentation, Ms. Mulder has suggested that I create a few small pieces for the MC’s of the in-depth night, and I really like the sound of that idea. However, if my sewing skills are not at that level yet, or if I have not finished enough pieces at that time than I will make a small station with a poster board showing the steps I took in learning to sew and in creating the garments; showing physical evidence like patterns, designs, and fabric swatches to illustrate the complexity of the project. I would still also continue to display my final products in this scenario. However, I hope that the first option works out.
I have not done a lot so far for in-depth besides contacting a possible mentor, learning some basic sewing terms (enough to make more specific goals), making my learner’s contract, and researching for my in-depth research essay. However, everything has been going very well so far and I am very excited thinking about the final products.
I am very happy with my choice of in-depth project this year; I think that picking something like sewing is good because it is a very good life skill to have. I believe that in the future if I ever have to modify clothes for a job interview and such I would have the ability to. It would also be a great skill because I can then make clothes for myself to save money, trust in the quality, trust in the ethics of the garment, and have clothes that best suit me. I am excited to hear that Emily is also studying sewing this year and I hope that we get the chance to connect and collaborate. In-depth is off to a great start this year and I hope this positivity carries over into May and beyond.
I am looking forward to seeing the in-depth projects of all the Talons this year develop over the course of the next five months. I know that seeing everyone develop all of this new knowledge and skills will be quite the sight to see. Good luck to everyone!
Update: In case you were wondering, I am still working on my in-depth project from last year. I have just finished lasting my shoes and will soon start to put on the soling. I am going in to the shop tomorrow and will upload some pictures for a progress update then. The shoes, obviously, took a lot longer than expected. However, I am very happy that I have stuck with this project; it has brought a lot of great things into my life including a job and a few new friends. I hope to finish the shoes in time for this years in-depth; I hope to wear them on the day of, but am afraid that my feet will have out-grown the shoes by the time they are finished. It is looking like I will finish in March, so I have some extra time before May if anything goes wrong.