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Jul 31, 2017

Sewing Again with Kenneth D. King!

Readers, once again I have had the great privilege of participating in a New York City Sit-and-Sew hosted by couturier and master sewing instructor Kenneth D. King!

Anyone who has been sewing for a while, who reads "Threads" magazine, who is active on Pattern Review, or who owns one of his many instructional books or DVD's, is familiar with Kenneth King.  (You can also follow him on Instagram, natch.)

The Sit-and-Sew took place all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  When you're sewing with that kind of intensity and focus, the rest of the world ceases to exist, which -- as many sewers can attest -- can be a very relaxing experience!

(Future Sit-and-Sews are scheduled for dates in August, September, and October, so do check out the Events page of Kenneth King's website if you think you might be interested in participating.)

One of the things that makes these Sit-and-Sews so rewarding -- besides the presence of the instructor himself -- is that you share him with only one other student, so you get as much personal attention as you need, and you also learn from each other's projects.  My co-student, Mary (below), was working on a beautiful wool coat from a Marfy pattern. 

I spent most of the weekend muslining a men's blazer pattern, adapted from something I'd originally drafted in my menswear patternmaking class at FIT last spring.

You can bring your own sewing tools to the Sit-and-Sews but you don't have to; Kenneth owns virtually every sewing notion out there, along with many he has created himself, and he will share them with you.  You also get to sew with either one of two fabulous Bernina sewing machines.

I took most of my photos on Sunday, when I was crafting patch pockets for my blazer.  

My fashion fabric is gray and white cotton seersucker, and the lining will be a combination of plaid silk taffeta and China silk from my stash.

While I finished my pattern, my pockets, and cut my lining, I'll be completing the jacket this month at home. 

In addition to all the tips related to making my blazer, I also learned about the existence of a pinking-shear type notion called the Florian pinker, which has been around since the late Thirties and evidently still made in the USA.  (You can find used ones for sale on eBay.)  Very cool.

Knowing I am also working on a corseted wedding gown, Kenneth showed me a corset he made himself with metal busks that fastened in front.  I'd never seen these before.  Needless to say, his knowledge of every type of clothing construction (not to mention hats, where he got his start) is extraordinary.

In closing, while there are many people who teach sewing, there are just a few true master instructors.  Whether you are able to come to NYC to participate in a Sit-and-Sew or only can follow one of his Craftsy classes, we're all so much the richer for getting to learn from Kenneth King's expertise.

There's more about Kenneth King on his website here.  (And did you also know he wrote an autobiographical novel?)

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Lucky you, Peter! While I can't make it to NY this fall I may check out one of King's crafty classes. Karen

  2. holy cow, do i love that corset. <3

  3. Be still my heart! Two of my favorite male sewists in one place! I am beside myself!

  4. OMG... I'll bet that was a very cool experience. Is KK as wonderful up close and personal as he seems?

  5. I only know of Mr. King from Craftsy classes. I should have known that you would know him.

  6. Reading this posting was my Brush with Greatness for the year. (A vicarious Brush with Greatness, but a brush nonetheless.)

  7. Of King and corset,
    so little we know.
    A glimpse of a visit,
    how idols doth sew.

  8. Three days set aside just to sew with others sounds a lot of fun!

  9. To work on your own project with a master at your elbow in his atelier for three days straight sounds wonderful, and not chiefly for the usual "tips and techniques." I think you'd be immersed in a whole approach to design and construction that would feel like a way of life. I bet time felt like it passed at a different speed. Also--I can't wait to see your blazer!

  10. If I had the time/spare cash right now OR lived in NYC, I would SO do this. It's in my future plans list. And I did not know about the novel!

  11. I don't know how you can do so many projects in such a short space of time and do them so professionally. Are you sure in your life there is only 24
    hours a day, or are you of another dimension.

  12. I'll admit, I shrieked when I saw the first instagram photo. So happy for you, and thanks for sharing.

  13. All I can say is ... WOW!

  14. How lovely it would be. I have several of KDK's books. An amazing teacher and fun to read.

  15. I have taken several classes with him, but I would really love to take a sit and sew. Sounds wonderful.

  16. His autobiographical novel has an ending that I totally didn't see coming.

  17. I used to take classes at FIT and I have taken several courses taught by Prof. King. He is an extraordinary teacher.

  18. Much success to you! Mr. King was in Michigan at the Sewing Expo teaching a class on faux fur. I couldn't make it and he said that he wasn't contacted for this years Expo. They must be out of their minds. My loss.


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