Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mentored by a Master.....

We're a little over a week from the end of February and the Fearless February Challenge and I have to say that I'm extremely happy with all I've experienced this month. That may seem a little odd to declare given the fact that I only have one near finished coat under my belt and still have a jacket for my Hubby, something for my daughter, pants for myself, a draped piece for myself and a draped gown on my half scale form to churn out between now and then. But I have to admit things were a bit different with this year's challenge. Usually my agenda is to work as fast as I can and get as much done but I've actually been in the opposite mode. I'm nearly finished with my coat and have delayed finishing in order to be meticulous with the details and expand my understanding of the tailoring process.

(Mr. Jim helping me correct a sewing mistake on my coat)

 As most of you know I have the privilege of training with a Master Tailor (over the last 8 months). I've talked about Mr. Jim, who's affectionately known as Gentleman Jim. For those who've never heard me mention him then allow me to say he's one EXCEPTIONAL Tailor. I guess after 53 years in the business he's earned his mastery. You can read all about him on his blog HERE and of course he's a teacher with his own sewing studio (all of his students adore him) and sells instructional DVD's which I'm glad to have in my possession as well. His work and instruction are hands down phenomenal!!!

Anyway, I've been working with him on the in's and out's of my tailored coat---sneak peek at Flick page HERE. Now true enough the coat I've made didn't require any intricate tailoring--- just some interfacing and the fancy shoulder building supplies (sleeve head, tie interfacing, shoulder pads). But I have enjoyed working along side of him learning his techniques which are surprisingly (or probably not surprisingly) quite different from what the average home sewer does. They're industry standard with his signature "time-saving" changes. So I've enjoyed just "drinking in the information". I've learned so much!!!. Mr. Jim's been EXTREMELY helpful. He's corrected my mistakes, applauded my accomplishments, dispelled alot of those crazy myths I believe about sewing (serger threads have to always match clothes), looked at me crazy when I came up with some lame excuse for a mess up  and gently nudged me when I had moments of doubt and reservation. So believe it or not, at about 19 days into this challenge, without a stack of finished garments to show for, I feel truly ACCOMPLISHED. I feel like I've grown alot and matured in my view of my craft. And I have Mr. Jim to thank for that.

I say all this to stress one importance---Mentorship. I hear countless of sewers express their desire to know more and sew better. I see the efforts so many put forward to gather information to improve in their craft. The blog world and online capabilities have brought information to us in an unprecedented way. All of which I'm thankful for. But I want to encourage those of you who want to grow even more in your sewing to try and find a mentor. I know that may be hard for some of you and I can totally understand that. But if you can directly connect with someone I encourage you too. It doesn't have to be a professional it could be a skilled family member or friend---someone who is better than you and can help you grow. Because a good mentor does just that----they help you grow in ways you can't imagine. They can see the best in you and help weed out the worst. Also, mentorship is a two-way street. Look for ways to pay it forward to others. Get behind someone with a little less experience and help mentor them and push them to their best potential. I truly feel so blessed for all I've learned and continue to learn. I'm thankful to have a wonderful mentor and I appreciate how I can play that role in the lives of others now and in the future. What about you, have you had a  mentor (sewing or otherwise) that made a big difference in your life? How did they impact you?


  1. You are so fortunate to have such a wonderful mentor, teacher. Enjoy it all!!

  2. Your are very blessed to have found a mentor.

  3. What a blessing Mr. Jim is! You, in turn, are a blessing to us. Seriously!!! I can't begin to tell you what a blessing you and several other sewing bloggers are in my life. I retired from the telephone company in 1997 to take care of my parents. My dad went to be with the Lord in '98, my mom in 2002. We were not from here originally and my plan was not to stay here after they were gone!!! All I can say is...I am where God wants me to be right now. I never expected to be contented, which can be good or bad, but for me it has been and is good. Excuse me for rambling on!!! I just want you to know how much of a blessing you are!!!

  4. I would love to have a mentor! I am self taught, but I have been thinking it would be nice to go to sewing lessons or have mentors to get some real help in questions that I can't otherwise get. Great post!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and for following me on my 10,000 Hour Sewing Challenge:)


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