Friday, July 3, 2009

bernina and the melbourne school of fashion

Two large and costly impulse decisions this week: a pattern-making and garment construction course at the Melbourne School of Fashion and a new Bernina Activa 220. Well, the second wasn't quite as much impulse, because I have been following eBay for a Bernina a while now. It's the model I was unsure of, I had to do some quick web surfing to see if the machine would be a fit for me. It was 'buy it now' and it was brand new (won in a competition and unwanted) and it was at like 30% off the retail price, so I acted quickly.

It arrived a couple of days ago so I haven't had much time to get to know it, but I adore it so far. Runs through thick fabric like it's butter, unlike its clunky predecessor that would chortle and halt and get stuck in a clump of thread half the time. The Bernina is computerised, which is new to me. The manual calls it a sewing computer, rather than sewing machine. I think that's cute.

I found out about the course at the MSoF this morning. I called up, got my place, and it starts next Tuesday. Crazy. I got the last place. I'll have to run around on Monday gathering the required equipment. There are several good things about doing the course:
  • I get to hang out with my new Etsy-buddy, Anne, from Pins and Thimbles.
  • I get to learn the things I don't have a handle on yet (and don't quite have the patience to teach myself). There are a lot of them and it limits the things that I make.
  • I'll get the skills to make my wedding dress!
  • By the end (hopefully) I'll see myself more as a professional dressmaker, rather than DIY-er. I think that's pretty important. At the moment I see this huge gap between myself and other designers who have had training. I remember at the fashion show I did, the other designers mostly made elaborate dresses and I felt so out of place with my casual wear, having only sewn like 4 zippers in my life. (That was mostly my own fault, not doing any research into the show before signing on.)
  • This feels like a defining step to fashion as my career. I've always tiptoed around that, saying that I'd do fashion as long as it worked out, then I'd get more 'realistic' if I had to. I've never said I definitely want fashion to be my career because it didn't seem safe. Well, bugger that. This is what I want to do. I'm treating it more seriously, otherwise how will I expect to make a living from it? Having said that, I'm not sure where, or if, my arts degree fits in. But that's another anxiety-ridden kettle of fish. Might tackle that decision next week.
Who knows, maybe the course won't give me all those things. But I'm still bloody excited.


Anonymous said...

Same sewing machine as me. I've been really happy with it.

Course sounds unreal. Enjoy.

jb said...

congratulations on the course. As someone who is also self taught it took a long time before I actually believed I *was* a photographer (some days I still feel like a fraud!). Follow your bliss!

Cosmic said...

Good for you!


Anonymous said...

Oh, I am sooo pumped to start! I have my pattern notcher and my 10" shears (that weigh a ton) -- let us at it!
I'm also really pleased you're doing it with me. Having a friend there is great, but having a friend there who is equally serious about learning is awesome.

Penny said...

Ooooh exciting!!!

Anonymous said...

Follow your dreams! You'll always wonder whatyou might have done if only you had... go for it and congratulations on the new machine!

JoolzGirl said...

Congrats! Can't wait to see what comes out of the course! I'm sure it will be WOW :)

NeverEverEmma said...

I'm really glad you have decided to take this course! I hope you find it inspiring as well as super educational. And from a fellow Bernina owner - you'll never go back!

Ali-bell said...

well done on taking this step! I hope you enjoy the course and get lots out of it!

michvanetta said...

Such a lovely and creative blog deserves a lovely award :)

Heidi and Seek said...

Tricia - Ooh we're sewing machine chums!

Jess - I'm glad to know it's not just me. I didn't know you were self-taught, your work is amazing. I've been 'trying' to learn photography for a while now but I don't have the patience or the skill, so I'm still crap at it.

Cosmic - Thanks!

Anne - Yessss, I've got all my stuff now, too. I totally agree about friends and classes and learning. It will be awesome.

Penny - Yes! I just hope I'm not disappointed with how much I'm building it up in my head, haha.

CJ - You're totally right. There's no reason why I shouldn't. I'm really lucky to be at a time in my life where I can, so I'm glad I'm seizing the opportunity!

Joolz - Thank you!

Emma - Thanks! I'm starting to dislike my Janome overlocker and would love to upgrade to a Bernina, but there isn't anything technically wrong with it, so I'll make do. for now.

Ali-bell - Thanks, me tooo!

Michelle - I'm so flattered, thank you!

livebird said...

Howdy, I'm thinking of doing this course someday so I will watch with interest to see what you think of it... please, lots of posts! From another Bernina gal...

Heidi and Seek said...

livebird - There will be posts to come! Adoring it so far.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the big study move!
I am also a self taught clothing reconstructer and I understand the frustration of not having the technical skills to achieve all you want to. Learning bit by bit. I admire your work very much and think you have done wonderfully with what you have taught yourself

Heidi and Seek said...

Thanks so much for your lovely words!
It means a lot coming from someone whose work I admire. I have been following your blog and love your take on reconstructing clothing.