Turn Your Handmade Dreams Into Reality

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Last week, I was talking with a close friend while she was hanging out at my studio.  She signed up for a sewing machine introduction class at my studio in November because she really wants to learn to sew.  We were talking about what she would learn in the class, which includes how to use the sewing machine - all the parts, accessories, stitches, etc., and one small beginner sewing project. Usually the beginner project is a pin cushion, mini tote bag, or pillowcase because of the simple lines and construction. Her face kind of fell when she heard that. So I asked what she was hoping to do instead. Turns out, she needs a more intensive workshop series to help meet all her goals.

That conversation got me thinking about what other people want to get out of the workshops at Studio How-To.  So far, I’ve been offering classes on learning basic sewing, knitting, leather working and some other handwork skills.  Each workshop is planned to teach a set of skills and result in a finished project to take home. For example, you might make a leather wallet and learn to cut all the pieces, follow a pattern, hand-dye and hand stitch each piece.  Or maybe you learn each step to making your own quilt. 

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Maybe there are specific projects that you have in mind and want to learn.  I’d like to use today’s post to open that dialogue and get your input on what you want to learn to make and how? Do you prefer an intense workshop of several hours in one day to take you past the very basic beginner stage? Do you know the beginner info, but want to pursue something intermediate and need help? Do you want to work independently for the most part but have someone there for troubleshooting and planning? Do you just want a simple relaxing couple of hours to unplug and make something fairly easy but satisfying?

So please, leave me a comment here, on Instagram or on facebook.  Let me know what you want to learn!

I want to make Studio How-To a place where people are relaxed and comfortable coming to hang out, learn, and create.  I always felt either intimidated or disappointed by classes at traditional craft supply stores or intensive programs at schools. I just wanted to learn specific things when I needed them and learn from someone who wouldn’t judge me or make me feel dumb for my level of knowledge (or lack thereof). To me, Studio How-To is a place to ask the dumb questions, express the far-reaching goals and dreams of your creativity, and find the support you need to learn and grow.

To help illustrate, I’ll go back to my friend and her sewing dreams.  She has big plans for her sewing - skirts, custom undergarments, head wraps, and more. My first reaction was oh my, this sounds complicated. After she left the studio, I sat at my computer and researched the things she listed.  And, as with most handmade projects, it’s just breaking things down into steps.  

When she said she wanted to make a head wrap, I wasn’t sure what one looked like before being tied up all beautifully.  I had actually only seen them worn and never in their unused state.  Turns out it’s a basic rectangular piece of beautiful fabric, finished in your desired method. I was so excited that we had a perfect beginner project that would actually be something my friend wanted to make. I whipped one up this weekend, and will present it to her for approval this week. (Stay tuned on social media for pictures and to see if she likes it.)  I’m thinking this project will be an option for our beginner classes going forward.

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Then I looked up the specific style skirts she likes and the undergarments.  She wants to make a high-waisted long skirt with gorgeous African print fabrics. These skirts are stunning in person - very feminine, powerful, and just beautiful.  With a little research, I realized that it’s a basic circle skirt with a higher waist. Sometimes people throw in some additional accents like belts, belt loops and sashes or bows.  It’s the perfect fabric choice that gives the skirt its stunning results.  So, this will be her second project (maybe third or fourth if we practice on a few head wraps first).

Finally, the undergarments. I’ve seen classes and patterns for homemade undergarments here and there in social media, but always ignored them because I didn’t need that at the time.  Turns out there are tons of useful, attractive patterns, resources and fabrics available.  We’ll be doing our homework on this one.  Maybe we’ll even have an DIY custom undergarment class by next year.

So, please, leave a comment or hit me up on social media.  I really would love to hear from you.  Or, stop by the studio during our open hours, say hello, and ask about your dream projects.