Wednesday, April 20, 2011
When I first started to learn sewing, these were the things I looked for:
1. someone to teach me, eg. proper sewing classes, either private or commercial
2. learn from online or books
3. sew DIY from sewing patterns
I was very dissapointed with what I wanted to start off with. Firstly, there are hardly or none private sewing lessons offered. At least not anywhere near where I lived. Taking a professional class was out of the question as I work full time, manage my home and travel extensively. Secondly, books on sewing were limited at the bookshop nearest to me, until I went to Kinokuniya at KLCC. This is the only place with the most extensive books on sewing ever, dont bother anywhere else. Thirdly, while sewing patterns have been around for such a long time (I have one dated 1944!), they are not available anywhere on planet Malaysia. So, that made me think. It means many people are not interested in sewing DIY.I mean why sew when one can easily buy off the rack, right? Just go into any bookshop and you find a humongous amount of books on knitting. So, I am of the opinion a LOT of people knit, I mean in our hot weather, what's another sweater or two.
So, option no. 1 was out.
Option no. 2 is available, but self learning in sewing is a process. Not something one can master overnight, but still, there was this option available. So, I blew my budget off track after a few trips to Kinokuniya, but I have now some very good reference books to help, plus online information has been very helpful.
Option 3 is NOT available here. Except for one shop in a shopping mall and those patterns are nothing cheap and very limited.
The English sections has very good sewing guide books, so browse around.
However, the Japanese section is a totally different thing-y! Many Japanese books with patterns! The only thing is - they are all in Japanese. However, the illustrations are very clear and easy to follow. I do think you need to have some simple sewing skills before you sew.
I have a huge selection of Japanese sewing books and they dont come cheap at all. However, if you look at the bright side....one patterns can churn out unlimited dresses and blouses! That's what I kept telling myself when I invest in a few of them whenever I am in Kinokuniya.
Finally, the sewing patterns. I have way too many of them. It started off as a vintage collection (like the picture above) and that grew to more than 80, and am still collecting. I am now waiting for my Simplicity, New Look and Vogue patterns from the US. This is the other down side of ordering overseas, postage takes a long time. Though, I've been very lucky to have all the patterns coming in good order via different batches, I always worried if they do arrive at all as I've had missing parcels from the US in the past, so this is one thing I have to bear with when ordering overseas. Sewing patterns are GREAT for sewist like me. The instructions are very clear, everything matches up and so far, the sizing had been very close to me. I'd like to do another post on the pattern instructions soon.