Sewing Table Talk with Student Profile: Amy Le Clair

Sunday, August 15, 2010

During the fall of 2010 I am happy to introduce our SEW Moni's Sewing Talk. What is this you ask? It's our monthly, blog post by our own student(s)! This month, we were happy to have Amy Le Clair write and share her sewing journey. Watching Amy learn, as well as share in her excitement for sewing has been wonderful and we are happy that she is pressing on and sewing up a storm! XO Moni

Sewing Talk with Amy Le Clair
I’m finishing my PhD in sociology at New York University and work part time at an HIV research center. I’ve always loved to do creative things in my spare time – crafting, cooking, baking, shopping, decorating – but I’ve never considered myself a particularly artistic person.
I grew up in the suburbs of Boston, and my grandmother used to do little craft and sewing projects with my sister and me when we were little. We made little dolls out of baby socks, Christmas ornaments out of old fashioned wooden clothes pins, and funny faces out of old hosiery. After she passed away at the golden age of 95, we found love notes from my grandfather tucked into the different nooks and crannies of her sewing machine. 
I didn’t decide to take sewing classes until more than a year later. My friend Brooke and I were at a craft fair at the Brooklyn Lyceum in March, and she signed us up for the SewMoni mailing list. I learned how to embroider over the winter and thought sewing would be a great compliment. We signed up for Beginning Sewing at SEW Moni with Taru (Sewing Instructor).
In class we learned the basics – the anatomy of the machine, tension and stitch length, edges and seams. Sewing in a straight line was a much harder task than I’d imagined! Taru was great, though, and very patient (even when I broke two machine needles in one class – oops!). At the end of the four weeks I had one small and two large totes completed, with several more planned in my head. I got so excited by all the fabrics and possible color and print combinations! I added an outside pocket to one bag and divided the inside pocket into two on another to fit a cell phone. I was kind of a one-trick-pony, however, and wanted to branch out. 
Katie’s (SEW Moni Designer / Sewing Instructor) blog post with the instructions for the apron came at exactly the right time. One of my closest friends from grad school was moving to Philadelphia to start a new job. We both love to cook, so an apron seemed like the perfect going away/housewarming gift. She had showed me the color scheme she wanted her place, so I picked out corresponding fabrics. To create the curved edge I used Katie’s tip and traced an inverted pie plate. I added a pocket to the front (just because I love pockets) and also played with zig zag stitching. 

I was so proud of the finished product! I successfully executed pleats and a curved seam. My friend loved it, and I cannot wait to make more. I have one of my grandmother’s old aprons, and I think she’d be proud of me as well. I have so much more confidence now that I’ve completed my first solo project. I even made two zippered pillow covers from the lining/pocket fabric of the apron for my friend’s apartment. I’m hoping to combine my new sewing skills with my embroidering to make some personalized wedding presents.
I’m so excited for Beginning Clothing Construction with Katie. Living in New York City I’m constantly inspired by the clothing and designs I see around me, and these classes are giving me the skills to sew and create in so many new ways.  In the next year I’m hoping to add quilting and knitting to my repertoire. Oh, and finish my PhD. 

Amy Le Clair

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