[In the fall, Jonathan Vatner, Hue staff writer, took an introductory menswear sewing class. A diary of his experiences will be posted weekly on Hue, Too.]
When I was a boy, my mother taught me how to sew. We disemboweled old pillows and stitched up the contents into cases made from Victorian-style prints, using an ancient Singer that weighed at least five tons.
In eighth-grade Home Economics, while everyone else was patching together drawstring bags, I sewed an elegant fanny pack. That, combined with my talent for the sauté, netted me the award for excellence in Home Economics—which I accepted in front of legions of snickering students and baffled parents whose daughters I had bested.
But in the years since, I forgot everything except how to replace missing buttons. Recently, I lugged out the old sewing machine—which had miraculously reduced in weight to a mere half-ton—and I couldn’t even figure out how to thread it.
Maybe, then, it was nostalgia that drew me to an introductory sewing class here at FIT. Or maybe it was the course description, which promised that I would learn to sew a men’s dress shirt from start to finish. Either way, I signed up. At the very least, I’d get a nice shirt out of this.