Is sewing is for everyone? (a past student’s sewing experience)

Damn right, sewing is for everyone! (Just to dive right into answering that question). Now I know you’re probably thinking, because this post is on a blog promoting sewing lessons that has to be the answer, right? I can’t deny that and I won’t; but for a second let’s go beyond that and let me give you a look into what I actually learnt at Create. Hobby.
The first day I walked in honestly not knowing what to expect at all. I was clueless on how to even thread a machine or what any of the many knobs and numbers were for, but my reason for venturing into this unknown territory was my desire to make my own clothes. See, I’m unbelievably short and petite, and I feel like the stores out there are designing clothes for those giraffe size models they’ve got on their runways. I just wanted to make exactly what I like, in exactly my size without all the crazy costs.
Simple enough right? NOT.
I spent ages on YouTube trying to teach myself these skills before I attended lessons at Create. Hobby and I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get it right. I looked at my clothes and I could mathematically string together the composure of it (which I think anyone with a fairly logical brain can do), yet every time I tried to make something it came out rather lopsided or too untidy to be deemed wearable. Frustrated and having way too many holes in my body that should not be there, I attacked my laptop keyboard with my plaster-covered fingers in search of some sewing lessons and alas, Create. Hobby and I’s relationship began.

I wanted to do private lessons as I felt I would get more done with personal training but to be honest, I feel like I should have started with the beginners course. Having known nothing I feel like it would’ve been better to interact with other newbies so that I didn’t feel so alone in my cluelessness and then later on, use the private lessons to specialize in the garments I would really like to make. However, I am glad as I grew a much more personal relationship with my instructor who in fact emailed me the other day asking how my sewing was going.
This wonderful instructor I speak of, Gailene, emailed me before the first lesson giving me a rundown of what I would need and asked me to right a list of things I wanted to learn. I ended up pitching with an empty notepad and 5 various sized buttons, thinking “Oh God, I have no idea what I want to do and the lesson is going to be a sloppy mess of random information”, which really was not something I was keen on paying for. 
I arrived and Gailene was extremely understanding once she figured out that I was a complete dummie when it came to sewing and where to start. Basically, she guided me throughout the entire process. I figured out the reason those YouTube videos weren’t helping me was because they did not teach me the basics or intricacies which I learnt are truly the most essential parts of making any garment. All those little hems and piping were things I’d never even heard of or known exist, but she introduced me to a whole new world of knowledge. By the second lesson I felt super excited, like an upcoming Louis Vuitton! What I was creating was for the first time store-bought quality.
She made each lesson simple and was extremely patient with my clumsy ways. By the end I was able to insert all kinds of zips, do various kinds of hemming, piping, reading patterns and eventually assemble a shirt which I was making as a gift for a guy friend (you know what I mean) for his upcoming birthday. 
I left with this simple knowledge, and use it to create many garments which I am very proud of and wear all the time. More importantly, I now have clothes that actually fit me, thank goodness!
The lessons weren’t at all time consuming, I did one hour lessons twice a week (although you can set them up in any way to suit your schedule) and had enough knowledge each time to go home and practice what I had learnt. The time ranges are super accommodating, ranging from 9am – 8pm on Mondays and Tuesdays leaving time after work to do some calming, rhythmic learning, 9am – 5pm Wednesday to Friday, perhaps these afternoon classes better suited for future young entrepreneurs looking to start their own clothing line or adolescents wanting to learn something in their gap year (like me). There is even a Saturday morning class from 9am – 2pm accommodating all those completely swamped in the week.
Another perk is the sewing shop, Create.sewing shop, which is right opposite the road from the studio. Being the complete loskop I am, this was perfect for me as before each lesson I could just pop in and find all the things I needed for the lesson from the list I received approximately a week before (don’t judge, okay). Not only that, they are also stocked with all the latest Singer machines ranging from the simplest machine for all your home stitching and simple creations to heavy duty industrial machines for more entrepreneurial seamstresses and have the most informed, helpful and friendly staff.
So to go back to the topic at hand, is sewing for everyone? With Create. Hobby it sure is! They cater for literally all ages (even those hyper active kids) who have a skill set or knowledge of sewing equaling zero and really,  I feel like you don’t even need to have some deep desire to become a fashion designer, just a set of hands (clumsy or not), a little bit of time to learn something new and wah lah! No more spending hundreds of Rands on birthday gifts for that special someone, no more going to a party and running into someone wearing the same shirt as you (those episodes of who wore it best? are personally something I never win) and my personal favorite, having someone come up to you and ask where you got those awesome pair of pants from and with a gleaming smile being able to (finally) say “I made them myself.” Believe me, the amazement of people hearing that in the 21st century there are still people out there with such rare, independent skills is truly the most satisfying result and is definitely worth your time and money.

Written by Zoё Dolph

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