• Rachel

Safely Sewing Sequins, Beads, Buttons

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

If you‘ve ever wanted to chat about stacks of barbecues falling on people at work, people slipping on water in the bathroom, and workers falling out of windows – this week is for you! All these “interesting” stories were thankfully tempered by a basic sewing class, for all your garment mending needs.

Workplace Health and Safety

Not the most interesting subject, but definitely needed (and useful) from a business perspective. Fashion school isn’t all glamour, and if you want to run a business, there are important legal and operational things that you have to know. Thousands of dollars, business reputation, and people’s safety are at risk – a very costly process if this topic is left uncovered!

The great thing about the business subjects is that they’re taught by the same person every week, and she definitely understands how tedious it can be for creatively inclined people to listen to content about law, administration, and operational parts of business.

A classmate who, having worked at a large company, had a stack of barbecues fall on her at work. A very useful conversation which we analysed as a class and discussed. Other scenarios included a worker slipping in the bathroom and how to mitigate risks involved, and another scenario involving a worker falling out of a window (from memory, they were okay!)

In terms of the fashion world, workplace health and safety issues include things like shifting stock, safe warehouse management, and effectively addressing employee safety concerns. The content may not have been the most exciting, but from a business (and legal) perspective, they were definitely useful conversations.

Note: Each business topic is covered over a two week period. So, next week will be a repeat of Workplace Health and Safety.

Sewing 101

Beads, buttons, and sequins, we covered the basics of embellishing and repairing garments. From my own experience, this is such a useful skill on shoots and in situations where quick repairs are absolutely vital (and no seamstresses in sight!)

Small boxes of fabric squares, buttons, beads, sequins, hook and eye closures, thread, and sewing needles were passed around, and we set to work for two hours learning the basics of garment repair. Some of us enjoyed the class – I loved it since I’ve been sewing since I was 5 years old – and some of us, well, not so much! But understanding the elements of basic garment repair is vital. Coincidentally, the day before on a shoot, a hook and eye closure fell off an evening dress that my friend was wearing. Now that I know how to sew a hook and eye closure correctly, this problem can be fixed in a flash without having to improvise and potentially compromise the shoot.

Sewing is definitely a dying art, in my opinion. How many people know how to hand sew? In my experience, not that many! I love it and find it extremely cathartic to see something I’ve repaired to the best of my ability look like nothing ever happened at all! I highly recommend giving it a go, and if you can’t make it to a class, a YouTube video might just give you the tips you need to get started.

Stay tuned for future weekly fashion school posts, and check out my other blog posts for freelance modelling tips, stories, and advice!

My completed fabric squares from class, including beading, sequins, buttons, and different ways of doing a hem.

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