Why I teach fashion creation skills - learn sewing, pattern making and fashion design skills - The Creative Curator

Why I Teach Fashion Creation Skills

December 21, 2016Eve Tokens

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Learn Sewing, pattern making and fashion design skills - Why I Teach Fashion Creation Skills - The Creative Curator

Fashion Creation Skills – Do They Matter?

Life is scary. One day we can be going about out lives, business as usual, the next it’s completely different. It happens around us, every day, and around the world too. People have life changing accidents. Others are caught up in war. And some of us just get ill.

I’ve seen a lot of people commenting in different forums, about the harshness of the world we live in today, and how they feel helpless to do anything about it. That they feel what they ‘do’ is unimportant when there is so much bad in the world. That we MUST be able to do something more, right?

Well, we are individuals and can not do much in those awful situations, by ourselves. We have to find a way that enriches the world we live in, makes it a kinder world, and makes it better for those that we can help.

My way is teaching. It is n inspiring and equipping people with the fashion creation skills they need to take their wardrobe into their own hands. Those people who no longer want to rely upon high street retailers and the mass production machines in the far east. Those people who understand the true cost of making clothes – the exploitation of women and children around the world – and wish to spend the time themselves, making clothes for themselves and their family.

When Life Gets Scary

I’ve been ill for about three weeks now. It struck me the morning after my good friend came over for dinner. We were chatting for hours as he had broken up with his partner. He left at 3am. The next day I felt ROTTEN. And it has been up and down – mostly down – since.

When you’re ill, even just with typical winter viruses, and one after the other, it feels a bit scary. All the things you want to have done, all the bills that need to be paid, all the plans you had for the holiday season. It is so terrifying to think that it will all fall apart if you stop for a moment, but really, they all kind of don’t matter. First priority is your health, especially when you are the only one running your business. If you’re not well, who’s going to look after everything and teach those fashion creation skills?

Who will write the emails to my readers? Who will crack on writing, editing and taking photos for my blog posts? Who will send the replies to the readers who have taken the time to email me? Who will plan and record the videos for my courses? Who will digitise the patterns for my content library and my shop? Who will keep track of all the new students and what they want to learn more about? Who will do it all if I can’t?

That is the scary, terrifying, part of getting ill. For me, these last few weeks, life has been scary.

Previous Scary Moment

The funny thing is, you would have thought I’d have learnt from a previous ‘scary moment’.

Back in May 2014 I had a FREAK accident which tore the lateral meniscus in my right knee. I was in a full leg brace, and on crutches, until the first week of December that year. That’s six months. I had to have keyhole surgery and physiotherapy for months afterwards. I wasn’t supposed to work – I still looked after my boys two evenings a week anyway as I had bills to pay. But I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t sew. I couldn’t sleep properly.

So much of my life changed in those six months, but I JUST KEPT GOING. I did what I could, and realised afterwards that something would have to change in my life so that I wouldn’t be in that same scary position again.

Fortunately, I’m now ok, and in a better place than in 2014. My business is now less about manufacturing and selling my own brand, and more about providing people with online resources to learn fashion creation skills for themselves. It means IF my knee were to get itself messed up again, in another freak accident, I’ll be ok.

Anyhow, back to now…

Sewing Project Plans

So my plans last week were to sew sew sew. And I got off to an ok start. Thursday was productive. I succeeded in creating pressies for the girlies! I popped off to work with them early on Friday expecting to be there 10-3pm, as I felt ‘sure’ I could handle 5 hours with them. Alas, I was still there at 515pm and feeling ILL. I struggled home and have been curled up, home alone, in my flat since – the other half went back to visit his family for a few days.

It has been an enlightening 4.5 days. I’ve hardly eaten (great for the weight loss plan!) 😉 and I’ve caught up on much needed sleep. I’ve also spent time reflecting; it is really hard to think of anything new to say or do when your head is imploding with pain. Thinking is the most that can be achieved when it has calmed down. 😉

My reflection went like this…

I plodded into 2016 feeling miserable with life. I felt frustrated and lacking in purpose. I was quite miserable most days. Me? Miss Cheery and Game for Everything? Yep…

I was disillusioned with the fashion industry and how it worked, and I wanted time out. I took time in April to think. I pondered what would make me happy, and set a goal of achieving that.

We’re almost at the end of 2016 – eight months later – and my list of achievements is vast. Not made up of Nobel Prize winning achievements, but human achievements. Achievements we each can manage in our crazy busy – and scary – lives. And now I’m sad to see 2016 go. It has been a great year for me.

What I have learnt

I set out to learn once I made my decision to focus not on fashion, but on teaching fashion creation.

There was much I knew already, and in great depth

  • Fashion design
  • Sewing
  • Pattern making
  • Draping
  • Grading
  • Print design and print engineering
  • Textiles
  • Photography
  • Branding
  • Running a small business
  • Event organisation
  • Accounts
  • Editing photos in Photoshop
  • Setting up WordPress sites

See? quite a comprehensive skill set right? Yet it wasn’t enough. Along my journey with The Creative Curator, the biggest lesson I learnt was that I needed to learn more. Not a day went by when I didn’t have to turn to Google to find an answer to my problem. Even after taking a comprehensive online course from someone who teaches all this, I STILL had to learn more stuff.

What I Didn’t Know

All the stuff I didn’t know – but now do:

  • Editorial Calendar – essential for planning content
  • Configuring online learning platforms
  • Presentations in Keynote / Powerpoint
  • Editing Video in Premiere Pro
  • Editing audio for podcasting in Audition
  • Digitising fashion patterns in Illustrator
  • Analysing my Data in Google Analytics
  • Networking (Yep, really)
  • Email service providers
  • Marketing techniques
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Online advertisements using Social Media
  • Website Traffic Generation (is that even a thing?)
  • Search Engine Optimisation

There is an endless list of what I didn’t know. I only now know it, because I threw myself in at the deep end by investing in the course I took. And as I mentioned before, it taught me some of these things on my don’t know list. Then I went out and learnt from other sources. It took me eight months in total and I NOW know what I’m doing, but I DON’T know everything.

What Next?

I’m now working to a 90 day year. Over the Christmas break I will be drawing up my 90 day year – the goal I want to have achieved in 90 days – and breaking it down into two week blocks so that I stay on track.

It allows more flexibility so that when I do get ill again – which is more and more likely as we get older right? – I won’t feel as terrified and anxious as I have these past few weeks. I can just move everything back by two weeks.

It definitely seems to be a much kinder strategy for running my business, and that takes pressure off me having to ALWAYS be ON it.

Pattern Making Plans

I suspect the first 90 day goal will be to have my first Pattern Making Course available, with several of the 2-week blocks made up of getting my patterns online too.

I can see from my emails that you readers are super excited by that, and my research suggests that this is because there are so few places online to learn more about pattern making. There are dozens, if not hundreds of sewing blogs full of resources, but not so much for pattern making.

Which means I need to over deliver on everything. To convince my readers that I AM the person to go to, for your sewing needs and your pattern making needs.

What has been YOUR learning curve this year? What are you hoping to learn or achieve next year? Let me know in the comments below!

And.. Happy Holidays to those who celebrate during this period!!

I’m now going to meander my way back home to visit my awesome family for a couple of days… Love and hugs, as always…

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Comments (2)

  • Agnes

    December 25, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Hi, I watched the video. I would say the quality is quite good, except, perhaps, if you can edit the videos, you could cut out those few seconds while you are trying to focus and it is hazy. But it is not too disturbing.
    I have some questions though. Why do you put the needle down in the fabric before you start sewing? I haven’t seen this before… Is there a reason?
    When I learnt sewing, I learnt that it is not so good to watch where the needle goes, rather we should watch where the edge of the fabric is on the plate and follow one of the lines there. What do you think about this?

    1. Eve Tokens

      December 28, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Agnes! Thanks for your feedback! I actually edited some of the focusing issues out already – this was the best I could get without losing sections of the video… I will definitely work on manually focusing faster though, to eliminate the issue further!

      I always put the presser foot down, and then needle down to prevent snarling. I backstitch right off for two or three stitches rather than sewing forwards, back and then forwards again. Having the needle down in position ready works really well at lessening the potential snarling of the fabric.

      And you are absolutely right about watching the needle when you are sewing. The point of the exercise in this video was to help sewing beginners sew a straight line for things like darts and tucks. That is really the only time you would have a chalked line on your fabric right? Therefore, the chalked line was to be used in conjunction with the centre line on the general presser foot.

      With sewing seams however, yes, you absolutely watch the edge of the fabric and where it lies on the sewing plate. This would be the seam allowance guide, and actually makes it a lot easier to sew don’t you think? Thanks again Agnes for taking the time to give me the feedback. I really do appreciate it!


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