Monday, October 26, 2009

Think Sewing is What Moms Are For? Think Again... BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Ever pick up a pillow or blanket and think “That’s just a little material and a few stitches—how hard could it be”? Have you started a sewing project that you just can’t seem to finish? Do you walk into the fabric store and find yourself in a foreign terrain?

For those of you that follow my weekly blog, you’ll notice that I often prefer to make decorative pieces for my home, instead of purchasing the mass-produced, in order to give a one-of-a-kind touch to my home. I consider myself quite crafty and innovative, and am always trying new techniques. That being said, I have a confession to make. While I took up sewing briefly at the ripe age of 11 in my home economics class, I have since yet to finish any real sewing projects. My mother passed down her sewing machine to me, a beautiful, fully functioning Singer, but how does that saying go? “The machine is only as smart as the person operating it”? Something like that. Needless to say, when it came right down to it, I knew nothing about sewing.

So, I did what anyone would do to get more information. I Googled! I found a couple of YouTube videos that were useful only if you actually had a machine that was not out to get you (as I thought mine was). It never seemed to work quite right, and I struggled to even mend a simple seam on a pair of pants. I thought it must be the machine’s fault, because again, how hard could sewing be?

It turns out, it’s really not that hard! But wow, did I ever have a lot to learn about sewing. So, with Google having failed me, there was only one thing left to do—I signed up for lessons. Now I had looked into this previously, and found a couple of places that offered sewing lessons, but they wanted you to learn on their fancy new sewing machines. The problem was that I already had a good quality machine, so I didn’t want to spend the money on a new one. Then, walking through Frederick Mall one day, I was drawn in to K-W Sewing Machines Ltd. when I noticed a woman being taught how to use a sewing machine in the store.

K-W Sewing Machines Ltd. has been around for over 30 years, previously located at Conestoga Mall. Steve Fereiro began managing the store in 1980, and purchased the store in 1984. He was later joined by his wife, Sonya Fereiro, and the two have made a great team ever since. Steve repairs all makes and models of sewing machines, regardless of age. As well, they sell a variety of sewing machines, from basic starter models, to top of the line embroidery machines, they feature the largest selection of Singer and Janome Sewing Machines in the area. If you are in the market for a new sewing machine, they will help you find one that suits your sewing needs, as well as provide you with free “how-to” lessons, so that you are comfortable using your new machine. They also offer a variety of classes, where they will teach you how to sew on your machine, regardless of whether you purchased it from them. The class that I signed up for was the beginners class, for those with very little to no sewing experience. Other classes available are Beginners Sewing for Teens and Beginners Quilting, plus a variety of project classes that consist of one or two evening sessions, for those that already have the basic skills.

The 6-week Beginners Sewing Class I signed up for was taught by Gladys Turnbull, a sewing pro. The class consisted of 6 students and, as a former teacher, Gladys was incredibly patient, and managed to balance the class time between teaching, as well and answering all of our ridiculous questions. Not only did I manage to successfully make a pair of flannelette pyjama pants, I also got to choose a new project for the last couple of weeks, and learned how to create beautiful decorative pillows. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to sew, I urge you to check out KW Sewing Machines Ltd. For a complete list of classes available, check them out online at

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

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