25 Aug 2011

Sew Excited!

Guess what I did yesterday?

Trimmed your moustache?

Yes.

But I also went to my first sewing class! Relearning how to sew has long been on my list of to-dos for a lot of reasons - capabilities are good, I've always wanted to try to make my own clothes and home decor items, and I don't want to be a total moron when I eventually take on the 40s War Wife Experiment (eeee!), whose mantra of "Make Do and Mend" involved far, far more skills than I currently possess (and I doubt my strongest ability - yelling at the TV during Bachelor Pad while ignoring the little voice inside my head that says I should read a book instead - will be of much use).

Yesterday's was the first of six 'learn to sew' classes I'm taking at The Make Den in Toronto and it was awesome! It's during the afternoon, so there were only four of us there; two of us were the self-employed type, one was a Masters student and another girl who had an employer that basically lets her work from home and on her own hours (if only all offices were like that). In other words, three out of four of us taking the class were modern-day bums. Hurrah!

Along with learning how to thread the machine and checking out the different stitches, we made our first project - a headband with an elasticated back. Here it is modelled on moi - the girl who can't take a front-facing shot of herself to save her life:

Here's a shot that nine out of ten brooding teenage Twilight fans prefer:

Oooo. Can you feel the angst?

Before you know it, I'll be making other crafty headware, like the kind modelled on this lady from the I-shit-you-not-it's-actually-real cover of the July 1974 Women's Circle magazine:


If you thought the 50s housewife was a little nuts, I'm telling you, she had NOTHING on the 70s crafty housewife. The magazines I have from that era are full-on crazeballs (I'll scan some pics from those shortly. Total goldmine.).

I like to think that it's actually these women that got men on board with 'women's lib'; her husband would come home from work to discover his wife had spent the entire day making bizarre skunk hats, shitty teddy bears and a meal made with heaping amounts of 'healthy' margarine and Sweet n' Low.

"Honey, maybe you should get a job," he'd say as he'd bewilderedly stare at the growing collection of macramé owls and aluminium foil sculptures decorating the home.

"Oh, hush," she'd say, as she'd glue a googly eye onto her latest piece of art. "Do you really want a wife who works outside the home? I wouldn't have the time to do all these lovely things around the house. That reminds me, I made you a new vest ..."

Image Source: Handmade By Mother
I promise that this sewing class won't be the gateway drug into bad crocheted items. I hope.

8 comments:

Samantha 4:34 pm, August 25, 2011  

I think sewing can be a gateway into AWESOME crocheted items! Like robots. Or sushi. :D

Congrats on the class! I love sewing, it's so much fun. There's something so satisfying about making stuff.

Angela,  10:38 pm, August 25, 2011  

You're so cute! (But I'm into boys. Hee.)

yosnowden,  12:44 am, August 26, 2011  

I'm looking forward to the 40s War Wife Experiment!

savedbythebrew 11:32 am, August 26, 2011  

OMG. That poncho..... awesome.

Cat 6:29 pm, August 26, 2011  

Jen, You are an inspiration... I can't wait to see what else you sew and what you get up to with the 40s war wife project. I will be following with avid interest.
Cat in Australia

Marsha,  9:13 pm, August 28, 2011  

At a library I worked at, we had a large collection of 70's era craft books (this was in the late 90s). You haven't lived until you've seen all the projects you can make out of panty hose; Christmas wreaths and lampshades come to mind.

We were "weeding" the collection, and the guy evaluating the crafts brought in these things to get rid of. The Director wouldn't let him, cause "people still make these crafts". And Jeff yelled, "We need to stop them!"

Liz 9:14 pm, September 05, 2011  

I keep thinking about taking sewing lessons - for home decor, not clothes. I took lessons years ago but it didn't stick.

You gotta love late 60s - early 70s crafts. I went though a big craft phase with my grandmother. One day we were visiting my great-grandmother - I was in 4th grade or so - and my great-grandmother asked if I had a boyfriend. My grandmother piped up "Liz doesn't like boys. She likes crafts." We never let her live that down.

Ryan, Corrie, Max, and Jack 7:30 am, November 17, 2011  

Is it just me or does the guy on the left look like Ken from Barbie and Ken???

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Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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