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!