Yesterday, I started my Sewing Summit recap with highlights of all the extremely talented sewers and bloggers that I met and some of the fun things that we got to do outside of the official Sewing Summit event. Today I'll be sharing the No. 2 highlights of my Sewing Summit adventure:
Learning new sewing and pattern-making skills as well as a ton of information on web design and how to improve my blog.
Apparently, I was one of the very lucky ladies to get both the $50 registration discount for being one of the first 50 to register (actually, I was the 3rd person to register) and get all the classes I wanted to take! I have to thank my husband for using his Ebay sniping skills to snag my discount and slot of 3rd person to register for the conference. Because of that, I also won at the closing banquet a fat quarter bundle and an assortment of quilting patterns!
Anyway, I did manage to secure all my first choices for classes. I'll try to give a quick run-down of each class and a thing or two I learned.
Friday, I started the day with the much desired metal frame pouch class taught by Kelly of KelbySews. After switching back on a blown power breaker, our entire class was up and sewing away on the wonderful BabyLock sewing machines. This was my first time using a computerized sewing machine, so it took me a few minutes to get the hang of it.
It was much easier to make the metal frame pouch than I had imagined it would be. I barely finished gluing mine together before it was time to rush off to the next class, but I know I'll be making some more of these beauties in the future for sure!
Immediately following the metal frame pouch class, I attended the seminar on Creative Fabric Selection by Jeni of In Color Order. Jeni gave a fun and informative lesson on the color wheel, how to pick complimentary shades to use together, and how to combine fabric patterns of varying sizes.
At the end of class, everyone was given a Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabric color booklet that included tons of fabric swatches. So cool!
|Source: Sewing Summit|
Here's everyone holding up their Michael Miller Color Couture cards
Vanessa from LBG Studio taught the very well attended class on photography. Although I only have a point and shoot camera, Vanessa was able to teach me a few things that I didn't know I could do with my camera. I learned about aperture, the best lighting to use, ways to diffuse and reflect light, inexpensive prop ideas, and interesting ways to frame my subject matter.
It was fun to see her finished photos and then see what the entire space looked like where she took the photos. Oftentimes, she uses her daughter's room to take pictures because that is where she can get really good natural light!
The last class I took on Friday was Pattern Making for Children's Wear with Carrie from This Mama Makes Stuff. Let me just say that this woman has way more energy than I do! And she is living a dream! She not only has a degree in fashion design, but she also was a clothing designer for Old Navy at one time. She now has four kids, runs marathons, sews, blogs, and has a business selling sparkly skirts (Team Sparkle) that women wear when they run! Oh, and she has a talent for finding great items at the thrift shop, too.
Carrie's class covered some very basic concepts of how to create your own children's clothing pattern by using standard pattern pieces as a go-by and then modifying them to include pleats or gathers. She showed us how to draw up sleeve patterns for various sleeve styles, and she discussed the types of tools like paper, curves, and rulers needed to draft a pattern (for example, she likes to use a roll of white paper that doctor's offices use to cover examining tables). I know I will definitely be referring to her tips on how to add pleats to a pattern!
Saturday began with Melissa's class on Website Design. Here's a link to a condensed video version of her presentation. Melissa gave tips on maximum header and photograph sizes you should use on your blog, how to best layout your content and sidebar sections, and suggestions on what fonts and colors to use and those to stay away from. This class was one that I really wanted to take, and I'm so glad I did. I learned I need to do a lot to improve the look and flow of my blog! Now, it's just a question of whether or not I have the knowledge to do it myself or do I need to hire a professional.
Anna's class on Finishing Details was filled with examples of ways of taking your project to the next level. She passed around examples of her own work showing various seam finishing techniques, and she discussed decorative details like piping, interesting pockets, pleats, buttons, contrasting thread, embroidery, and the list goes on and on. I was most interested in the decorative details, and I've already started thinking of ways to add a little extra cuteness to my future projects. Although I see pictures of great projects every time I surf the web, having someone point out little details and talk about them helped me really "see" their significance to the final look of a piece.
After a delicious lunch, Tauni gave an excellent presentation on how to improve your blog. If you are interested, you can read her tips here. I'll admit, I had no idea who Tauni was before this session, but I'm definitely following her blog now! She was such a fun, confident speaker with a wealth of information. What I learned most from Tauni's class were a variety of tools, or tricks, on how to get readers to read more of my blog, how to get higher rankings in Google searches, better ways to promote my blog, and new ways to get statistical information about what readers are viewing on my blog. I can't wait to start implementing these things!
The Perfect Pockets class with Deborah was so much fun! This was my last class at Sewing Summit. Deborah has a great personality and was so entertaining! Besides the metal frame pouch class, this was the only other hands-on sewing class that I took. Deborah gave everyone a very detailed handout loaded with instructions and pictures on how to make a variety of pockets. She quickly reviewed the different styles and passed out examples for everyone to see before letting us sew up two pockets of our own. The first pocket I sewed was an inset pocket and the second was a welt pocket.
As you can see below, my welt pocket didn't turn out quite right. We ran out of time in the class, so I didn't get an opportunity to fix it and finish the actual pocket, but at least I know the steps for making it and can try again at home.
Come back tomorrow to read Part 3 of my Sewing Summit journey:
Networking with corporate sponsors and participating in open discussions with them on how they can better serve our online community.