Real Men Sew : Jono's Journey

Out of all my 100+ sewing students in 2016, only 2 were men.  And yet I see so many guys sewing, making, crafting and creating on instagram. The tailoring industry is mainly men so where are they learning to sew? 

When I go to Sydney and visit my boyfriend, I am often greeted with a pile of trousers that need taken up, and trousers that need to be patched. (This often happens when I visit my sister in England).  This time was different.  It was the Christmas holidays so I said:

 'Why don't I teach you to sew and then you can do all these things by yourself?'

And so 'Jono's Journey' began.

We borrowed a sewing machine from a friend (thank you Kristal) and sat down together learning how to thread first the bobbin and then the main thread. As we didn't have access to an overlocker, I went through all the other seam finishes that could be used.  

Getting the seams straight

Next it was buttonholes and sewing on a button.

After a quick demo on how to patch and mend, Jono D.I.Yed his own denim jeans.  

Pinning, patching and zig zagging.  We were limited in thread colours but make doing and mending with what was available.

Pinning, patching and zig zagging.  We were limited in thread colours but make doing and mending with what was available.

 

How to measure and take up tailored office trousers, saving on the alterations bill.  

He then decided to make his own shorts for around the house.  A little ambitious, he wanted to tackle a pair of tailored shorts with a waistband, belt loops, pockets and a fly front zip.  I suggested that a pair of drawstring pyjama style shorts would be best.

To get a good understanding of how clothes are made, I suggest to all my Beginner students: Keep the style simple, and make it well.  

And so we went to Lincraft, the Sydney version of The Spinning Wheel and Craftworld in Belfast combined into 1 handy location.

Choosing the pattern, thread, button and fabric.

Choosing the pattern, thread, button and fabric.

Jono chose the colour (green of course for the Emerald Isle), matched up his buttons and selected his pattern.  The cost in money of making your own clothes is more expensive than buying, but the feeling of achievement is much greater.

The he washed and ironed the cloth, marked and cut the fabric and got stuck into sewing.  As there was no overlocker, he made french seams. 

The shorts have withstood several wears and washes. 

Jonathan says he now has a much deeper appreciation for anyone who sews and makes their own clothes.  He remembered fondly his mum sewing at her machine and the sound it made.  It was a great shared experience and no arguments at all.

 He was a very meticulous student, I give him an 'A' star!

 

Thanks for reading!

See you all again soon, Christine x

 

Dress Transformation: From a Wedding to a Christening

Dress Transformation: From a Wedding to a Christening

The best thing about self-employment is that no day or week is the same.  In the same week I could go from making the wings for the Harp advertisement, to waving a magic wand and transforming a wedding gown into a Christening gown. 

The dress was Victoria's wedding dress, and the Christening gown was for her daughter.  A beautiful sentiment.

Damian's Dress Design

Damian's Dress Design

Making dreams come true

This year I had the pleasure of working with an A-Level student and helping him realise his dream of creating a 1930's bias cut silk dress.  The result of which earned him full marks for his dress, and for it to be exhibited in the Ulster Museum as part of the 'True Colours' exhibition.  The dress will also be used as an exemplar piece of work by the CCEA exam board.

Christine's designs modeled on China's biggest reality TV show 'I, Supermodel'

Christine's designs modeled on China's biggest reality TV show 'I, Supermodel'

I, Supermodel comes to Northern Ireland and showcases the best of our creative talent.

In September 2015 I was approached by The Iconic Golf Group who had won the bid to host and film the 2 finalist episodes of China's most watched reality TV show, I,Supermodel.  Filmed in Melbourne and Sydney in 2014, this year the Lighthouse Nation group who make the show brought it to the U.K.  In London the models wore the designs of Vivienne Westwood.  In Belfast, they wore the designs of Christine Boyle.