Sewing 101

The first 10 videos of our new Youtube channel Sewing Vintage with Tara Moss are live! Creating these little Sewing 101 vlogs and tutorials has been a labour of love over the past few months – they are shot by my husband Berndt Sellheim and feature family, sewing bee friends and words of wisdom from those who know their craft.

I’m new to sewing, and passionate about learning, sharing and preserving the valuable knowledge of stitchers, seamstresses, tailors, sewists and craftspeople. These vital skills are too often undervalued. I came late to sewing, and as I wrote in my blog last year, ‘My inability to mend my own things had become distinctly unhelpful to me, particularly considering my love of vintage and the tendency for even the best made vintage clothing to come apart at the seams, thanks to ageing, 60-year-old thread. It also occurred to me that I’d downplayed the importance of these skills in my younger years in part because sewing, mending and dressmaking have been considered ‘feminised skills’… It is ironic, in a way, that a feminist woman would avoid things precisely because they are considered feminine, and in doing so, become less self-sufficient. In time this imbalance became impractical, and though I took a while to recognise it, recognise it I did.’

It’s been a steep learning curve since I picked up needle and thread for the first time last year, and I’ve enjoyed the journey. We are so happy to have the support of our viewers, the Australian Sewing Guild and the folks at Bernina. Thank you for all of your comments and requests. Keep them coming. We are taking a month off from the show now, to work on other projects and create some new content, but please, if you are enjoying these tutorials let us know what you’d like to learn and see in upcoming videos, and please Subscribe, Like and tell your friends about the show. We’ll be back with new Youtube videos in June. In the meantime, say hello in the video comments or follow my sewing journey on Instagram at Sewing Vintage with Tara Moss.

Some highlights so far:

Above: Getting To Know Your Machine. Kerrie Hay from Bernina kindly comes to my home to talk me through my Bernina 350PE. I’ve been using my machine for nearly a year but as I suspected, there was still a lot I didn’t know. Plus, I learn about the perils of putting pins in your mouth…

Above: Sewing Diary – Making a Corset, Day 3. In this episode, we finish our underbust corsets in a beginner’s course with Lowana O’Shea of Vanyanis. Plus, we have our first Viewer Mail segment, including some interesting comments…

Above: How to Sew On A Button. In this episode, Kerrie Hay from Bernina teaches me about the doing shanks when sewing on buttons, so they don’t crack or fall off again. No wonder I’d been having problems!

Above: How To Put In A Zipper – the Easy Way. In this episode Loretta Maurencig from Bluebelle Vintage Clothing teaches me an easy way to put in a zipper, which is invaluable for dressmaking and for repairing vintage clothes. Those zips are often the first to go.

These once common skills are rapidly being lost as more and more of us rely entirely on commercially bought products and clothes, and lose the knowledge needed to accomplish basic repairs that extend the life of those items. I see sewing and mending as important life skills, and a part of my own journey to greater self-sufficiency.

‘When I went away to college, she (my mother) gave me a sewing machine, a typewriter and a suitcase.’
Alice Walker.

Sewing Vintage will be back next month. In the meantime, may your tension be just right and may your bobbin never run out.

x Tara

1 Comment

  1. Abrinth

    Hi Tara,
    I’ve really enjoyed all of these vlogs, thanks!
    I like your idea of doing some future episodes on craft room and wardrobe tours. I would also enjoy seeing any info on storage and laundering of fabric and clothing for longevity. I’d be really interested to see how a museum or collector looks after their old garments/fabric.

    For craft rooms, I seem to naturally think of a small spare room or corner, but this is how a guy does ‘craft room’:
    Do you think being so unashamedly entitled to a purpose-built huge space could be related to gender?