By Lisa in Florida (left), and Carol in England
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Sewing Primer



What's included . . .

I wrote the Sewing Primer for those who've never sewn before, those who sort of know how, and anyone who could use a sewing refresher course. Everything you need to teach yourself how to sew well enough to make soft lampshades is covered, including how to buy and operate a sewing machine (with some tricks for learning to sew straight), hand-sewing tips (even how to tie a one-handed knot), fabric info, and how to cut bias strips for making trims. If you think you can't learn how to sew, be sure to read So, you say you can't sew, and men who can't sew, see below. Whether you're still in doubt, or not, be sure to see Unsolicited Testimonials for Lisa's First Lampshade, and first sewing project, ever. Her second project is at the left side of the banner.


Excerpts from intro to the Sewing Primer . . .

"For a very long time, all but the wealthiest women had no choice but to know how to sew. Most women were required to make at least some, and often all, of the clothing worn by their families (among other things), every stitch by hand. Imagine how delighted our multi-great grandmother's must have been when the sewing machine was invented. It not only changed women's lives, but also made manufactured clothing possible. During the course of the 20th century, as ready-to-wear apparel became more and more available and affordable (and seemingly disposable), more and more women decidedly turned their backs on this once-mandatory skill." Learn how to wew, while making lampshades
"Understandable as this anti-sewing stance may be, it's kinda like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Not being able to sew, particularly not being able to operate a sewing machine, can result, for example, in having to pay someone to fix a split seam, or an otherwise-swell piece of clothing ending up in the trash (it will be rejected by thrift shops, and ignored at garage sales), as opposed to being able to do this super-simple, repair job yourself, among many other inconveniences. Acquiring the sewing-machine skills necessary to make stretch lampshades will also give you the ability to create throw pillows and curtains, make simple-construction clothing, repair split seams, and much more."



Men and sewing

"Although men have always been among the best sewers in the world, most men who can't sew laugh at the idea of their being able to learn how, viewing it as a gender-specific ability. Even those who'll actually admit it would be a handy skill to have seem convinced that it's beyond them. My big, strong son, for example, is afraid he'll put the sewing machine needle through his finger (a really hard thing to do), although he has no fear of operating a circular saw, with which he could easily cut off his arm. If you're a man who'd like to be able to make soft lampshades, let me reassure you that you are just as capable of learning how to sew as the women who think they can't learn to sew."




Bact to start of tour Making Victorian-style/Panel shades

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Copyright 2009 by Maude Gold Kiser
The Gold-Kiser Company
Nashville, Tennessee
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