A lot of things make our neighborhood special: White Linen Night, Heights First Saturdays, a pair of yellow-crested night herons who inspired collective community action to save a tree...
I'm personally adding one more thing to the list: a craft studio and sewing lounge that offers hands-on classes that can turn anyone into a bona fide crafter.
I finally got around to taking a class at Sew Crafty on White Oak, just west of Onion Creek and the bicycle shop. It's taken me a while to sign up for a class because I'm trying to save money. I keep asking myself, "Why spend money for a class when I can just find an internet tutorial and do it at home?"
The answer to my question is that it's a whole lot easier (and more fun) to waltz into a craft studio, meet other interesting people who enjoy being creative, have all the materials already sitting out and ready to go, get step-by-step directions for how to do something, and to walk out with a finished piece of art (without being the one who's responsible for putting it all away).
Sew Crafty is a cute and comfortable place to spend a Saturday afternoon. I walked into the main room and the receptionist immediately greeted me with a big smile and confident, efficient service. Two classes were in progress, and she directed me to a separate room where I could learn all about making my own stamp and then using it to print on fabric.
There were five of us enrolled in the class, and the small group size allowed us to connect and get to know each other quickly and easily. Each of us brought a black-and-white image that we wanted to turn into a stamp. I--of course--brought an image of a bloodhound because I'm obsessed with my drooling beast, and I was in a rush to grab something right before leaving my house.
The first step was to rub pencil all over the back of our image. Then the instructor gave us a piece of white, soft rubber. We placed the pencil-side down on the stamp, and taped down the image. We then traced over the lines of our black-and-white image, which transferred the image to the rubber. Next, we used a tool to carefully carve the rubber away from our lines. When we thought we had carved out enough, we tested our stamps using an ink pad. We could easily see where we had to carve more.
When our hand-carved stamps were complete, we rolled a water-based block printing ink onto a piece of glass with a roller. Then we stamped our stamp into the ink and pressed it to the fabric (and held it for approximately five seconds). We repeated the stamping across our entire fabric.
I quickly realized that a piece of fabric stamped with bloodhounds is pretty much only good for one thing: a bandanna for my bloodhound.
I also realized that craft classes are worth the money (I paid $35 for the class). They provide a convenient opportunity to learn something new without investing a whole lot of time or money. They also provide an opportunity to meet new people and to relax and have fun in a unique way. I'll definitely be back.
If you're interested, here's a list of some upcoming classes at Sew Crafty.
- Sewing an Amy Butler bag
- Cable Knitting