Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 10: The Sociologist Learns to Sew Part Two

So last night I attended the Learn To Sew class put on by The Makehouse. The Makehouse is a labour of love created by Jenny, the proprietor of this funky little shop located in the Antique Row section of Fort Street in downtown Victoria. They call the area Antique Row due to the high concentration of antique shops on this block.

Personally, and it is not because I live there (although it was one of the reasons I chose to live there) I think Fort Street is one of the best streets in Victoria. Between Antique Row, and the coffee shops and book stores and other cute boutique stores, it is an area pretty much designed for me to live there. Well the section of Fort Street between Wharf and Cook is anyway. Also I just found out that I now live in the area of Fort referred to as Mosaic Village. So cool, I live in a village now! Wow, sorry totally went on a justified tangent there. Back to The Makehouse!

The shop is like a cross between your cool Aunt’s vintage styled basement and an art school gallery. Art from local artists line the walls and local sewing creations are on display for purchase. The sense of place in this store is welcoming and comfy and it doesn't take long to feel like you are at home. In all seriousness, it is a hard place to describe because it is so damn unique it is best experienced in person so you can feel the place with all your senses. 

If you’ve been following my blog you have read about how my recent foray into sewing came to a grinding halt pretty quickly. To sum it up for you, if you don't have time to go back and read the previous post, I have little sewing knowledge except for the fact that I could pick a sewing machine out of a line up. Yeah, so it may be more accurate to say I have zero sewing knowledge. Despite my small problem of not knowing how to sew, I still have a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm for the craft.

So this Learn To Sew class was held from 6pm to 9pm, likely so people could eat dinner before hand, not that I got around to that. But I did manage to acquire myself the next best thing!  A Starbucks decaf Americano which I bought at the nearest Starbucks, conveniently located 200 feet away from The Makehouse.

When I arrived I was greeted by Jenny, who would also be the instructor for the class. I sat down with the other students (who ranged in age but not gender, yeah we were all women) while Jenny offered us something to drink and brought out some banana bread left over from the previous night’s Christmas party. Which I appreciated because I was starving! 

My cushion at home in my living room!
We all introduced ourselves and bonded over how we ended up taking the class. Most people inheriting sewing machines and did not know how to use them and then there was me. The token compulsive one of the group who relayed to them my tale of how I went out and bought a machine, pattern and fabric and tried and subsequently failed to learn how to sew. I’m sure they all found the story highly amusing and at the same time no doubt prompted internal sighs of relief that they weren’t as impulsive as me- my impulsivity can get little out of hand. However, I make up for the impulsiveness with an equal measure of enthusiasm!! While we talked to each other we perused the different fabrics provided to make our cushions. I settled on green rich pattern that I thought would complement the d├ęcor in my living room.

Next we cut our fabrics. And let me just say if anyone present that night was unsure of what a perfectionist was like, they got a pretty good idea after watching me cut fabric for 30 minutes. Actually the cutting part was the least time consuming, it was mostly the obsessive measuring and lining up the fabric that took 95% of the time.

After that and the 15 minutes it took for me to thread the needle in the machine, I was ready to sew!! And let me tell you, the sewing part was easy. It only took me 10 minutes to actually sew the cushion. I was so impressed with my finished project I had to take a picture. As you can see I was pretty happy. Besides me actually having completed a successful sewing project the next thing about this night was Jenny.

Happy Andrea & Awesome Jenny!
Jenny loves sewing and it is impossible not to see or feel that when you walk in The Makehouse. It is always a pleasure to be around someone who is passionate about what they do and Jenny exudes passion. She even got me more excited about sewing, hard to imagine I know as I seem to be able to do excitement all on my own. After taking this course I definitely feel ready to tackle my running dress project again.

And if I run into any more problems, in January, The Makehouse offers a 4 week session where you can get help with your sewing projects. So Jenny and I will likely be spending some quality time together in January. Especially if it means I get access to her brain for the duration of the session! 

 Even if I don’t need as much help as I think I do, it will just be cool to have a place to hang out with creative peeps who are doing what they love and loving what they are doing. And let me tell you, there is nothing more inspiring than that.


  1. Do they let you use machines there? Just I need a few drawstring bags...

  2. Yes they give you use of machines. Depending on the class you sign up for they give you materials too!