Sewing Techniques, FIT-style

I’ve taken a bunch of sewing classes in NYC – there are many – but garment-wise, I always feel like I just never get the full deal from these classes.  Sure, you learn to make a skirt but you end up just sort of knowing how to do that one thing.  So this summer I decided to take a class at FIT, the Julliard of sewing, to hopefully fill in some holes in my knowledge.

Tuesday night was our first class and wow, this actually IS the Julliard of sewing and I feel like I’m now at Julliard as a total beginner violin student.  Yikes, intimidating is an understatement.  The teacher is nice but I can already tell she is going to be tough and push us hard (“I am fussy and particular, there are right ways to do things, you will learn to do things right.”).  Luckily, I immediately hit it off with 3 other women in the class so at least I’m not in the trenches alone.

FIT uses Juki industrial machines, industrial irons (which live on asbestos pads and are so hot they can burn the ironing board if you rest them there too long), industrial sergers, industrial everything.  We spent last night installing our industrial presser feet we bought and then sewing straight lines on paper (no thread) to get used to the technology which is hardcore.  I, who sew many straight (or straight enough) lines making quilts. was all over the place.  We all were.  These machines are like lightning – way faster than a home machine.  They are difficult to control.

We also learned that there is a correct way to iron (no circles, either cross grain or length grain ALWAYS), a correct way to measure, a correct way to cut and a correct way to… well, think – if you believe our professor who repeatedly emphasized there is a right way and a wrong way and FIT teaches you the right way  Alright, then.

The class I’m taking is actually a required credit class if you are a full time student there in fashion design.  The teacher talks a lot about our future as fashion designers, etc. and many students are nodding eagerly as I stand there thinking “really, I’d just like to be able to put in a zipper better….”  That said, I’m going to go as if I am an FD student because why not even if I am taking it non-credit.  Might as well get the full experience and learn what I can.  As a credit class, there are grades, homework and even a final.  It was interesting to feel my anxiety levels rise at this announcement.  I think I thought this was another class to be honest.  I thought we were making pajama pants and that was it.  Instead we are making a skirt and blouse!  Yikes.  In any event, I have to rush home today to iron (not in circles) and cut out my samples of muslin so I can be ready to sew – with thread – seams and practice that all tomorrow night in class 2. Whew!

And we’re off…. I’ll post some photos when I have some.  For now, wish me luck.  It’s going to be a whirlwind.

P.S. FIT classes are a great deal if you live in-state, way cheaper than the other classes I’ve taken for the amount of hours of classtime.  FYI.


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