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Posts published in “Dresses”

Learn to sew in Boston

Whenever someone finds out that I sewed something, they always say, “I wish I knew how to sew.” Well guess what? There are classes. They’re affordable. You don’t have to own a machine. Just do it! Here are some local resources for you:

(1) Sewing and Vacuum Center

I’ve walked by this place a million times over the past 6 years, but I’ve never been inside. I stopped by the other day to buy some sewing machine oil and learned that in addition to selling and repairing machines, they offer really affordable classes. Beginner classes meet for two hours on Tuesday nights for 6 weeks. Advanced classes meet Wednesday nights. At $85 per 6-week session, this is an awesome deal.

(2) Grey’s Fabrics and Notions

Learn to sew anything from a pillow to a dress in Boston’s South End. Classes take place Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 pm (and Saturdays now!) and range from $20-$50. Private lessons are $16 an hour. This is great in case you’re not so sure about sewing and want to test out the waters without committing to a long class. As a bonus, you can buy your fabric, notions, and patterns in-store for your lesson. And Grey’s has great fabric!

(3) Stitch House Dorchester

Stitch House Dorchester has a host of long and short courses that range from $15-$75.  Full course descriptions are available online.

(4) Boston Center for Adult Education

BCAE offers several beginner and intermediate courses on sewing. Their classes are a little pricier (~$100), but they’re also longer, so the price washes out. You can learn everything from sewing for babies to home decor sewing to adjusting patterns to fit your body better.

(5) Franklin Mill Store

Franklin Mill Store is a little far away from the city, but not everyone lives in town, so I wanted to add this to the list. 3-4 week lessons that cover topics ranging from beginner to advanced techniques run from $75-100. You can also purchase any fabric, patterns, and notions you need for your classes or future projects in-store.

(6) Hipstitch

Located in Newton, Hipstitch has classes for all age groups. I’ve yet to visit, but the classes seem to be geared toward kids, which makes sense given the location. Two great features of the store include open studio hours (pre-registration required) and a fashion show where you can show off your creations. And if you are truly nervous about embarking on a sewing adventure, you can take a free trial lesson. The store also sells fabric and notions.

(7) Gather Here

Gather Here has both sewing and knitting classes for all age groups. Classes are $25 and up and cover everything from pillowcases and alterations ($25) to making full garments (closer to $100 for 2 classes). Virginia displays a lot of great project pieces around the store to help inspire you. Gather Here also sells really great fabric and notions.

Is there anything else that I missed?

I would love to hear about people’s experiences with any of these classes. I’ve heard good things about the BCAE classes and have personal experience with Grey’s, but I’ve never taken classes anywhere else.

Also, if  it’s an option for you, I highly recommend bringing your own machine if you have one. I always get flustered when I use a machine I’m not used to and it takes extra time for me to get in the swing of things.

What to do with old t-shirts

I was in a sorority in college, so I have tons and tons and tons of t-shirts.  I’ve been saving all of these shirts for five years so that I could make a t-shirt quilt.

But let’s be honest, I’m not making a t-shirt quilt.

(1) I don’t know how to quilt. (2) Even if I learned how to make one, I am so anal retentive that I couldn’t handle any square being cut unevenly and it would drive me nuts. (3) I don’t think I would use a t-shirt quilt. To be honest, I don’t like the way it looks, so wouldn’t really display it and my snuggie is oh so much softer than a jersey quilt (and has sleeves!).

Now I have all these t-shirts under my bed and am determined never to move with them again. So what to do? Here are my options:

  • The t-shirt shopping bag/tote. This is incredibly easy. Would it be worth it to line this with a sturdier fabric so I could use it for heavy groceries? This one has a cute strap/closure. I might do this this weekend, and will keep you updated.
  • A t-shirt headband. I wouldn’t use this for the shirt with the best design, but this would be great for the gym. For those of you that like to look cute at the gym. Also, if you put this around your neck it could be a necklace like this one.
  • T-shirt scarf. With ruffles or without.
  • T-shirt skirt. Super cute when you work in other contrasting fabric.
  • T-shirt pillow.
  • Line the jersey with corduroy or velvet and make a case for your sunglasses. You can close it with elastic, snaps, or sew a buttonhole on one side before you sew it shut.
  • Christmas ornaments! I might send some of these to my sorority friends, or you could keep them for yourself.
  • Use it to make a purse, tote, or makeup bag.
  • Reupholster a seat cushion.
  • A laptop case! With the cutest pockets ever. You could sew in a zipper to close it too. Also, you could cut up a shirt to use as a laptop screen protector.
  • Swimsuit cover up. Would this get too wet?
  • A dress! This sounds awesome, actually. And comfortable. This kid’s dress is cool as heck too.
  • I sort of like the idea that my kid could wear a skirt made out of my old sorority shirts. But just the bid day ones, not the crush party or reggae weekend ones. That would be totally inappropriate for a 5 year old.
  • T-shirt weaving. For pillows or placemats or art. Make a loom with some screws, string, and an old wooden picture frame or the Ikea Tyglosa frame.

Happy crafting! I seriously need to get back to the sewing machine this weekend, so might try a few of these.