Thursday, August 15, 2013

HOW I LEARNED TO SEW AND MAKE BASIC PATTERNS.

Just today, I’ve decided to blog about all the sewing projects I’ve had since I started learning how to sew. Well, it was part of the plan when I started this blog a year ago, but, in the words of Summer in '500 Days of Summer,' sometimes, what always happens...happens--Life. :)

A lot of people ask me if I studied sewing whenever I tell them about my passion in handmade crafts. I tell them I studied sewing on my own—and by studying on my own, it truly meant a great deal of discipline and patience in trying to read the User Manual and instructions that came along with my sewing machine, Zooey. Also, I have to give credit to Ms. Marisa Lynch whose woman-empowering New Dress a Day blog heavily moved me to finally learn sewing. Thank you Ms. Lynch!

I’ve always been the self-reliant type so it was not new to learn on my own. I guess I've had this in my genes also. You see, my grandmother also learned to sew on her own when she was young, and she would make pretty dresses for me and my twin sister as children. Now, she hasn't stopped sewing, and is my proud supplier of fabric all the way from California! :)

Then again, learning on my own was not easy. And when I decided I wanted to sew more clothes and dresses (and finally pursue my dream of creating my own wedding gown in the future), I knew I had to learn how to make patterns. And by patterns, it meant getting acquainted with rulers and numbers and computations and a plethora of body measurements I never knew existed! I knew I could not learn everything on my own, especially when mathematics was involved, and I had little time and even more little patience to understand numbers. That was when I decided to take Saturday classes on Basic Patternmaking.


I asked for this Sewing Book by Alison Smith for our company Christmas gift-giving party back in 2010. It has become my study buddy over the years. I take turns studying sewing and the ukelele, which  was also on my Christmas wishlist. :)

I took the class at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines in Makati. I had a particular inclination to the school because way back in 2009, I met the twin designers John and Paul Herrera (who now have their own fashion school!--Style & Design Academy Manila) for a TV shoot when I and my twin sister modelled their creations. I learned that they both studied in FIP (in Quezon City)..so when I was scouting for a fashion school, I immediately googled FIP and inquired personally at their Makati branch, the one nearest my place. I enrolled in September 2012. J

2009 Fashionistas by Heart shoot with twin designers Paul Herrera (left) and John Herrera (right).
That's my twin sister in violet!

I had the privilege to have Sir Joy Chicano, then a newly graduated FIP student and the winner of the coveted FIP Designer of the Year Award for 2012 , for my instructor. He was later on chosen to participate in the MEGA Young Designers’ Competition in early 2013, and was part of the final three! J

I knew from the first day of class that he was a kind and humble soul who deserved to go places. He might not have that teaching experience to impress the amateur designer but he spoke passionately about pursuing one’s dreams and truly working hard towards it. And more than anything, I admired him for that.

Finishing my final pattern project at FIP back in December 2012. Here, with the person who gave me my first formal basic training in fashion, Sir Joy.

One of my favorite collar patterns- Peter Pan!

So there, I learned the basics—the tools needed when patternmaking and the basic tips and tricks when taking body measurements. When my classes ended by December, and because I only took the basic class, I had to continue learning on my own through lots of practice making patterns, reading, and sewing.

And more sewing.


Since then, my creative world just continued to get more and more interesting by the day. I will always be grateful for my first formal education (even if it was just short!) :) and for inspiring souls like Sir Joy who live to share their creative passion.

Today, I am taking classes in Fashion Design, and later on, in Dressmaking, at Slim's Fashion & Arts School. But more of this new learning experience on another blog!


With handmade love,



2 comments:

  1. How much did you pay for the classes?

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  2. What sewing machine do you use? What can you recommend for newbies like me? Im searching for one...

    ReplyDelete