Monthly Archives: April 2016

Filming my Skillshare Class

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My Skillshare class launched on April 19th, which is exactly one month after they first approached me about teaching. Super fast, right? The timeline looked like this:

  • March 22 – 29: Receive e-mail from Skillshare, agree to teach a class, figure out what I want to teach.
  • March 29 – April 11: Research, write script, find location, gather all of the materials needed, practice, practice, practice.
  • April 11: Have a mild freak out about this crazy decision I made to be on camera. Pull myself together. (Thanks, mom.)
  • April 12: Film the class!
  • April 13 – 18: Breathe, review edits with video editor, finalize everything.
  • April 19: Launch and celebrate!!

Truthfully, when I agreed to this, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was a ton of work! But I really loved the process – stressful, scary, challenging, fun, exhilarating, and character building. You really get to know yourself when you have to practice saying the same thing a million times in front of a mirror.

Here are some behind the scenes peeks…

Planning

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The writing and planning phase took the longest, of course. I brushed up on my knowledge with the help of some of my favourite books from the library. I highly recommend Fabrics A-Z by Dana Willard. After writing out a script for the class, I probably edited and cut it down at least ten times. It was really tough to keep things short and sweet – I have so much I want to share about fabric!

The week before filming, I treated myself to a hair cut and colour and manicure. A little pampering went a long way to make me feel relaxed prepared for filming. (Don’t worry – I was parked while taking that selfie!)

For the day of the shoot, I rented an SUV and filled it to the brim with materials and furniture for the class. Thank goodness I didn’t have to do it alone. My mom was in town for the week of the shoot. She helped me with practicing, and all of the logistics on the day of. She even makes a cameo appearance in my intro video!

The filming took place at Atelier 254, a light and airy space in the heart of Vancouver’s chinatown.

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I discussed in advance with the videographer, Louai Munajim, about how I wanted the class to look. He brought a special macro lens so that we could get some great closeups of the fabrics.

Digitano Media did the editing for the class. We got to use a cool program called Frame.io where I could see the class drafts and make comments right in each video. I couldn’t believe how quickly things came together. We filmed on a Tuesday, and by Friday I had the first edits to look at.

The last few days before launch were just finalizing the videos and uploading everything to Skillshare. It felt so good to hit publish.

P.S. The videographer, Lou, put together a little blooper reel for his portfolio. Here it is, if you’d like to see.

Unleash Your Creativity With These 8 Skillshare Classes

Real talk: I often get caught up in the daily grind of running a small business and just trying to get everything done. I lose my sewing mojo (sewjo?), and get into that funk of eat, sleep, work, repeat.

I’ve realized over the past few years how essential it is to go out of my comfort zone and learn a new craft or skill every once in a while. I always thank myself afterwards, because without fail I will come away feeling refreshed and inspired.

One of the reasons why I love Skillshare is because it’s such an easy way to learn something new without a huge financial or time commitment. It works just like Netflix. For $10/month (USD) you get access to thousands of online classes that you can watch whenever you want, at your own pace.

If you signed up for my Skillshare class, you might be wondering what other classes you should check out. There are tons to pick from, so I totally understand that it can be overwhelming!

Here’s list of classes that I think sewists will love (and that I can’t wait to take!).

Sandal Making 101

Photos: Rachel See Snail Shoes

We sew our own clothes, so why not make our own shoes? Construct your first pair of sandals and learn all about making a pattern, working with leather, and basic shoe construction. Taught by Portland sandal and shoe maker Rachel Corry.

DIY Leather Bucket Bag

DIY Leather Bucket BagPhoto: Ada Spragg

The lovely Sophie of Ada Spragg teaches you to sew a leather bucket bag complete with tassels and monogram. I took this class and loved it. I can’t wait to gather some supplies and actually make this bag!

Pattern Cutting & Making for Beginners

Pattern MakingPhoto: Skillshare

If you’re interested in learning more about pattern making, this class is a great introduction with excellent reviews.

Garment Construction: Introduction to Draping

Intro-to-Draping-SkillsharePhoto: Skillshare

Draping! Anya Ayoung Chee, winner of project runway season 9, is the teacher for this class. Her design style is breezy, effortless, and easy fitting.

You guys, draping was one of my favourite classes in college. It is awesome! If you’ve never tried it or aren’t familiar with the concept, you need to take this class. I would love to be able to pick up draping again after all these years.

Hand Embroidery Fundamentals

Photos: @cut_and_rum instagram

I’ve dabbled in embroidery but have never taken the time to learn techniques. I would love to learn more so that I can add embroidery details to my handmade garments or make even some pieces to hang as art. This class by Alice Mitev covers all the basics, and I love her style!

Leathercraft Basics: Create Your Own Leather Wallet

Leathercraft BasicsPhoto: Skillshare

If working with leather sounds intimidating to you, this class is a great way to get started! Toronto designer Robin Fitzsimons will teach you about different types of leather, the basics of hand sewing leather, and how to set hardware. Plus your class project is to create a cool wallet like the ones pictured above! Lovely, right?

Basic Watercolors: Learn Painting with Paper Fashion

Photos: Skillshare

Katie Rodgers is an artist, fashion illustrator, and founder of the website Paper Fashion. This class will teach you the basics techniques of watercolour painting. I would love to apply this to fashion illustration and sketch out my summer sewing plans in watercolour. How beautiful would that be?

Create Your Own Fiber Art: An Introduction to Weaving

Weaving ClassPhoto: Skillshare

Weaving is one of those trending crafts that seems to be popping up all over the place right now. I would love to learn how to weave! This class looks like a great introduction that covers all the basics – taught by Savannah Kurka of Savvie Studio.


Normally you can sign up for Skillshare and get access to thousands of classes $10/month. With this link, enjoy three months for just $0.99 – yay!

My New Skillshare Class: The Beginner’s Guide to Fashion Fabrics (!!!)

You guys! Over the past month, I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to prepare, write, and film a class with Skillshare. It’s all about fabric!

If you’ve never heard of Skillshare, let me fill you in. It’s an online learning platform for creatives. When you sign up for a monthly membership, you get access to thousands of classes in categories like design, photography, business, DIY, fashion, and so much more. Skillshare fosters creativity, and learning by doing. When the folks at Skillshare got in touch with me and asked if I was interested in teaching a class about fabric, I basically jumped for joy and then said heck yes.

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My first class is called The Beginner’s Guide to Fashion Fabrics, and it’s all about woven fabrics. I wanted to create a class that would help beginners to navigate the world of fashion fabrics. It’s kind of a like a map to fabric selection success. I cover some basics like fiber and weave (What do they mean? How do they affect a fabrics characteristics?). Then I walk you through some tips for shopping for fabrics. Finally, I offer some guidance for actually preparing and working with the fabric as you get ready to sew. For the class project, you’ll get to apply what you learned and plan your next sewing project using a design worksheet.

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I am such a firm believer that selecting the appropriate fabric for the project you want to make is the key to sewing long lasting, quality garments. Yes, sewing technique is important, but so often fabric selection is overlooked! I learned so much about this through my schooling and experience in the textile industry. I sometimes forget that beginner or even intermediate sewists might scratch their head through this process. This was the inspiration behind this class.

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It’s a quick and focused class running at just under twenty minutes. My goal was to pack in as much useful information as I could while keeping it practical and digestible. Everything you learn will help you to make confident and informed fabric choices so that you can sew handmade clothes that will last and that you will want to wear again and again.

I’m especially excited that I was able to create a class focused completely on fabric. There are tons of sewing classes and sewing resources online, but not much out there about textiles. I love that I can share my knowledge and experience in this way.

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In the coming weeks I’m going to share some of my favourite Skillshare classes with you, and give you a more behind the scenes glimpse into the making of the class. (Spoiler: I was sick with nerves when I thought about being on camera, but in the end it wasn’t so bad!).

Alright, so now that you’re all filled in, I will be so thrilled if you check out my class! Use this link to enroll and Skillshare will give you three months of premium membership for just $0.99. Be careful though, you may get hooked! I have an enormous queue of classes I want to take and there are new ones coming out daily.

Snapshots

Hi friends! How are you? I know it’s been quiet on this space for the past little while. Things have definitely been busy, and I just haven’t found the time (or made the time) to write. I think in a way I lacked inspiration, and I didn’t want to post to the blog just for the sake of sharing something! After some reflection and brainstorming, I’m determined to update the blog more often, and I have lots of ideas for where I can go with it. I’m excited to pick up where I left off and make this a space where we can share and chat about fabric and sewing.

So! I thought it would be fun to show you some snapshots of the studio and what I’ve been up to behind the scenes.

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Recently I picked up a bunch of remnants and off cuts from a local designer and friend. Can’t wait to get these listed for you guys!

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Typical day photographing new fabrics…

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Some of my favourite corners in the studio. As inventory grows, storage is becoming more and more limited. I’m constantly rearranging and adding more shelving. It will be so great when I can move into a larger space! Maybe this year?

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Had to share this gorgeous rose bush. I took this photo last week – I can’t believe how green and beautiful Vancouver is right now.

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New Colette Selene skirt pattern is now in stock! A modern pencil skirt with classic lines and a little bit of vintage flair.

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I’ve been working hard on a special project that I can’t wait to share with you next week!

What have you been up to lately? Any fun projects planned for the weekend?