Colorful abstract bird illustration as part of the branding for "southwest costume rentals.

Sewing 101 – with Deb Andrews

A group of people attentively watching a demonstration on pattern layout for fabric cutting at a workshop, with various costume pieces hanging in the background.

After co-hosting the first class of the year at SWCR, we can shout from the rooftops that it was a huge success.

All seats were filled with first time stitchers and pajama pant makers.

The class took place over a weekend broken into two, five hour sessions.

Deb Andrews, a Journeyman cutter, fitter, stitcher who got her start in LA working for Bob Mackie – not even joking! – and the owner of Sew Whateva! was our lovely instructor.

Over the course of the class, she and Paula helped the students get to know the sewing machines, working with a commercial pattern, cutting, basic garment construction and so much more. 

Day 1, after a brief orientation on safely using the machines, hand stitching, needles, and irons, we teamed up and took a proper set of measurements. Getting a correct set of measurements is important because without that, the entire project could go wrong. We couldn’t send people home with ill fitting PJ bottoms now could we?

The students then learned how to read the back of their patterns, find their size, what notions they needed etc. Then, they were able to prep and cut out the pattern pieces. 

The rest of Day 1 was all about getting to know the sewing machines.

  • How to thread
  • Wind a bobbin 
  • Change types of stitches
  • Stitch width 
  • Troubleshooting  

To get more acquainted with the machines, the students then practiced stitching shapes on pieces of paper.  This technique got them comfortable with the needle, the feed and the speed of their machine.

Day 2 was constructing their garments. 

They pinned, stitched and hemmed the actual pants. The students took great care with their seam finishes and ripped any booboos out and started over. Lastly, making a casing and hemming the pants made them fit just right and then they sewed a decorative bow to give that finishing touch.

We are so proud of everyone’s hard work and hope they enjoy wearing their handmade creations. 

Here’s a sneak peak into some of our upcoming video content!

What about you?  What classes are you interested in? What would you like to see next? Feel free to reach out on Instagram and Facebook with all your suggestions!

We’d love to hear from you! Let’s make this fun!

PS. Want to know a secret? No board is truly flat until you square it. Next door, Dovetail, the community wood working shop, is holding a Basics: Squaring Boards class next Tuesday! Get to know the basics by reserving your spot here!

Don’t forget, “We’re costumers, we get you!”

Love, The SWCR Team.

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