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Sewing: Cambridge Center for Adult Ed (Sewing Class Review)
Massachusetts, UNITED STATES
Viewed 5478 times
Review rated Helpful by 3 people   
Posted by: Mary Vogt
photo
About Mary Vogt
MA USA
Member since: 11/15/02
Reviews written: 8
Sewing skills:Beginner
classes reviewed: 3
Bio: more...
Report a problem with this review
Posted on: 12/15/02 10:24 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Web site/URL: photo
I highly recommend this class for people, including complete novices, who want to learn solid techniques for making garments. Someone who knows a bit about sewing might or might not benefit from the class - she would probably learn useful techniques but get discouraged by the beginner pace. I would be happy to answer any specific questions you might have about the class.

This was a ten-week class in basic sewing, taught by Linda Faiola. Linda is an accomplished patternmaker and garment designer who has published many articles in Threads. She uses couture techniques in her sewing and teaches them to her students. Linda also teaches a continuing sewing class, where students choose their own projects. Everyone in the continuing class has to have taken Linda's basic class.

The project for the entire class term was a simple camp shirt/pajama shirt, using a Big 4 pattern such as McCall 2478 (unisex pajamas), and a quilting cotton print. You can sew this shirt in any size - men's, women's, kids', but everyone's shirt is basically similar.

Step by step, Linda led us through constructing the shirt. For the first couple of classes, she discussed general topics like fabric selection, giving us time to buy patterns and fabric. Once we got started on the shirts, each class started with the instructions and demonstrations for the next step, generally followed by time to work on them. Notetaking is a must. We did all our machine sewing at home but there was plenty of handwork to do in class. Linda admits that some of the techniques are "overkill" for the shirt, but they are useful things to know about for future, more complex projects.

I learned a lot in this class, and it was great to have Linda available weekly for my sewing questions. She gives very clear instructions, and she works patiently with students to make sure they understand them. Linda has strong opinions on techniques, and while you're in her class you will do things her way. (No fusible interfacing!) This might be a problem for someone who has sewn a few garments and developed her own preferred techniques. An experienced sewer might also be frustrated by the pace, and the required project. As a novice, I enjoyed it very much.

Then when I went to the Polarfleece class at Malden Mills, and started thread-marking the center front and back of my pullover, the teacher rolled her eyes. :-)

[edit 12/16 - removed typo]
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7 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
fractal said...
Mary - you have brought back happy memories for me! I am English, but spent a year in Cambridge MA. I took Linda Faiola's quilting course at the Cambridge Center and learned good technique. Yes, she is particular about how you do things, but that is what I wanted to learn. (I couldn't get on with the quilting stitch though - my passion was for the design/cutting/piecing - and have since explored other methods of securing the quilt layers such as tying and sewing on buttons. This was not because of any inadequacy in Linda's teaching, I hasten to add!) Other (non-sewing) courses at the Cambridge Center were good too; the standards are generally high.
12/16/02 10:21 AM
Everyday Sewist said...
Mary, it sounds like a great class. It makes me think I should try to find one here, just for the learning experience. I agree, sometimes it's good to learn "slower" details and work on things you wouldn't necessarily plan to wear, just to focus on technique. As long as the teacher doesn't claim it's the "only" way. It's easy enough to learn shortcuts, but if you only learn shortcuts, you could miss out on learning some helpful skills.
12/22/02 2:52 PM
Julia Graham said...
I took Linda's patternmaking class a few years ago, and while I don't make all my own patterns (very few, in fact) the class made tremendous improvements to the quality and correctness of the adaptations I make to purchased patterns. There are an incredible number of things to know about patternmaking, and Linda fit an awful lot into our eight (or 10?) weeks... She is, as you say, very rigid about some things, but I appreciated her insistence -- in some cases I wouldn't have tried her way otherwise, and her way was often good.
1/2/03 9:38 AM
horan said...
Hi Mary, I'm a male, and don't know the first thing about sewing, but I want to learn how to make a zen samue, working outfit, on a sewing maching. I can't tell in what year this review of the Cambridge Adult Ed class was published, but it doesn't appear they are offering a sewing class right now. Can you suggest any others in the metro area assessable by T? And I don't have a sewing machine, although I may buy one if I can convince myself that I can do this. Best Mark
7/8/10 9:20 AM
TonyViet said...
I took Linda's patternmaking class a few years ago, and while I don't make all my own patterns (very few, in fact) the class made tremendous improvements to the quality and correctness of the adaptations I make to purchased patterns. http://vienne.co/vi-nu
1/30/13 11:49 PM
TonyViet said...
Mary - you have brought back happy memories for me! I am English, but spent a year in Cambridge MA. I took Linda Faiola's quilting course at the Cambridge Center and learned good technique. vi nu
1/30/13 11:50 PM
TonyViet said...
Mary, it sounds like bop nu a great class. It makes me think I should try to find one here, just for the learning experience. I agree, sometimes it's good to learn "slower" details and work on things you wouldn't necessarily plan to wear, just to focus on technique. As long kinh mat thoi trang as the teacher doesn't claim it's the "only" way.kinh mat
2/1/13 4:13 AM

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