Thursday, June 26, 2014

An Afternoon with Sandra Betzina and Ron Collins


But first!...
The jersey worn by my team at Google I/O. Not my usual sartorial choice.
We chose what we wanted to be printed on the back, including a one- or two-digit number. I don't have a favorite number, so I used Sheldon Cooper's favorite number.

¡Hola, amigos!

If you want, you can skip to the main event, an afternoon with Sandra Betzina and Ron Collins.

It feels like I've been gone a long time, but I've been busy preparing for Google I/O, our developer conference. Lots to learn, and lots of documentation to write (or update).

I'm glad to report that it's over and it was a success! Or I should say, it's all over except the after party, which I am skipping. I went to the before party, and that is all the party I need for awhile.

I must say, I am enjoying my new Android wearable, which was announced at I/O. It's a watch, a fitness tracker, a remote control for your other Android devices, and it sends you notifications of emails, texts, and calendar events. You can give it voice commands, making me feel a bit like Dick Tracy. :)

I am aiming to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. I mostly manage it.

This Saturday is the blogger event at Britex, and then I hope to have more time to sew! I have been working on a more involved project - a summer coat from denim, but I may interject an easier project or two, just to experience a sense of completion.

I am eager to hit the machine.

An Afternoon with Sandra Betzina and Ron Collins

Sandra and I are both wearing her top-made-as-a-jacket, Vogue 1385. Hers is lengthened quite a bit and piped with a pleated green trim. I blogged about mine here.

Several weeks ago Sandra Betzina emailed me with a unique opportunity. Ron Collins was flying in to San Francisco and they were planning to spend the week recording nearly 30 Power Sewing Web TV shows. She wondered if I'd like to come by for lunch and to watch the process.

Would I!!??

You betcha! But I wasn't sure, until the day before, if I was going to be able to make it, given my work schedule. I am so glad that it worked out.

When I arrived, Sandra and Ron were finishing up an episode on how to sew a fly front for jeans. They broke for lunch and I met their seasoned, professional crew. We enjoyed some food prepared by one of the crew, chatted, and then I spent some time examining garments on a hanging rack. I was quite smitten with several of Ron's garments that used the Babylock Sashiko machine. This machine has a bobbin thread only and creates a stitch that looks like a hand-sewn running stitch, which you can see on Ron's linen jacket:

After lunch, they got back to work. I watched them record two more Web TV shows: one on sewing a camp shirt, and another on "Tricks with Trims"—techniques for using trim and piping. It was very interesting to watch the process. I especially love the rapport between Sandra and Ron—it's fun to watch them interact and make each other laugh. The videos are well planned, but not scripted, and both Ron and Sandra are very easy and comfortable in front of the camera. It was interesting to see how they "block" out the material, and then dive in and let it flow. They do not require many takes. Their process is a combination of careful planning, and going-with-the-flow and being flexible.

A very fun afternoon! Thanks, Sandra, Ron, and crew, for your gracious hospitality!

As I was leaving, I was very taken with the inside of Sandra's front door, so I snapped a picture. It's a work of art.

I know it's only Thursday, but I hope you have a great weekend!

25 comments:

  1. That was great that you got to spend time with Ron and Sandra. I really like the look of the stitching that machine does. Would be nice to have one but too many $$ for my budget. I seen that jacket when I attended one of his shirt making seminars. Hope your work schedule allows you some sewing time soon.

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  2. What a great opportunity! Thanks so much for sharing it with us and have a great weekend, too!

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  3. You do live a fun life! What an amazing segue way, from I/O to SB. Have fun at Britex too and look forward to seeing your coat down the track. Your Android wearable looks pretty snazzy too.

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  4. I am so envious spending time with Sandra B and Ron C. I met Sandra in the 1990's and I have been an admirer ever since. Thanks for sharing this with us, fun time I am sure.

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  5. What fun! I've not seen Sandra in person, but Ron Collins was in Omaha when Hancock's used to do a garment sewer workshop every other year. He's amazing. I love her door too. Your Wearable has me envious, and thinking very hard that I need one too. Could be just the little push I need. :) Can you swim in them?

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    1. Hi Liana! This was the first time I'd met Ron and he's delightful! I have a Samsung Gear watch. It is water resistant, but not waterproof.

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  6. Say whaaaat? I am so jealous!!! Sandra called you! That is awesome. I'd love that kind of invite :) I subscribe to her videos and love them. Ron and Sandra do an awesome job.

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  7. I'm so glad you got to balance out the I/O with something "sewy"! Thanks for all the fun pictures!

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  8. Lucky you! Already weekend here :) you enjoy yours too!

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  9. Congrats on finishing your I/O conference. Having helped coordinate one, I totally understand how much any coordination of a conference takes a huge toll on the organizers. I hope you are able to rest and recoup and... SEW!

    Thank you for sharing the podcast recording experience with Sandra and Ron. I've been watching her Craftsy classes on pants (fitting & constructing) and bias. Today, she is one of my favorite instructors. I really like her easy style and the huge amount of information you receive from her. I've watched her ads in Threads for Power Sewing for years, but haven't jumped in to watch. Now, after having a preview of her on Craftsy, I'm very inclined to watch anything she teaches or talks about. She's so human! As in, she makes mistakes, then shows you how to get out of them. It's refreshing to know she makes mistakes the same as any of us, it's just that she's made enough and learned out to fix them!

    Thanks again! Really enjoyed this post.

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    1. Beautifully expressed, GG! I agree, I am considering subscribing to Sandra's Power Sewing service.

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  10. Wow, you're a busy one! Have fun this weekend!

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  11. Why don't you have any wrinkles: where are the bags under your eyes, or the chicken-skin neck?
    You are truly looking better than ever in every blog post.

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    1. Thanks, Ruth, but I just don't post those pictures! :D

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  12. Wow! What fun! I'm so glad you were able to make it to the recording. How exciting. And Ruth is right...you look amazing!

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  13. So Cool! I've gotten to attend seminars with Sandra a couple of times; love her enthusiastic approach!

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  15. Oops --sorry -- I saw a typo and deleted my first comment. I know it is silly but I love that first photo of you. Great glasses and haircut. Great post -- even for a non-sewer like me. All good!

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  16. What a fun opportunity! So glad it worked out for you.

    I'd love to know more about the android app! What's the name of it? I've been looking for a decent fitness app for a while :)

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  17. What a great opportunity! Thanks for sharing your time spent with the sewing glitterati. I'd love to know what app that is, too! Thanks, Shams.

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  18. Love your first photo, as I never expected to see you wearing a team jersey! It's definitely not your style.
    So wonderful you had the opportunity to watch Sandra and Ron film their shows. It must have been a really fun afternoon.

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  19. Shams - I LOVE Ron Collins! Our Seattle ASG Chapter hosted him for an educational event a few years back, and I think he is amazing! Am trying to figure out some ways to take more classes with him!

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  20. That first photo of you reminded me of a Lucy Ricardo look! I did love Lucy and all the faces she could make! I'm so jealous of your time spent on the set with Sandra and Ron.

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  21. Oh you are so lucky. I attended one of Sandra's week long workshops with Ron Collins and they were both so great. I absolutely loved her on Sew Perfect and was devastated when the show was cancelled. I agree that you look so young!!!

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