Sit and Sew with Kenneth King

I recently had the good fortune of taking sewing lessons with Kenneth King in his NYC studio!  This was a dream come true for a self-taught home sewer!

Check out his studio!  (Click photos to enlarge).

Working with Kenneth is such a rewarding experience. He has the perfect combination of talent, technique, and teaching ability.  I don’t want sound like a groupie but I must give credit where credit is due! Simply put, Kenneth King is a master at his craft.  I marvel at his expertise.  Given his extensive list of qualifications, the craftsmanship of his work is no surprise.  What I found most impressive is the accuracy and efficiency of his work.  Only a highly developed professional with exceptional talent and technical skills could produce such artistry.

As a teacher, Kenneth quickly recognizes student’s needs and meets them at their level.  He is patient, responsive, and a wealth of knowledge.  Whenever I had a question or needed clarification, he knew exactly how to help me without hesitation.  This was important to me because that means we maximized class time and achieved impeccable results.

The sit-and-sew is for two people.  I didn’t have a partner so Kenneth paired me with a charming woman named Mary. We became fast friends. After three days of sewing together, I declared Mary and I kindred spirits. On my last day in NYC, we met for dinner and shopped the garment district together. (Click photos to enlarge).

One of the best things about the sit-and-sew is that you get to work on anything you choose. Kenneth provides direction and feedback as needed.  He answers questions and demonstrates new techniques that are relevant to your project.  Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced sewer, Kenneth can teach you techniques for increasing the quality and craftsmanship of your garments. (Click photos to enlarge).

I chose to work on drafting a princess seam sheath dress.  I know very little about pattern drafting but the more I learn, the more I enjoy it. So, I experimented with my moulage and drafted two bodice styles before attending the sit-and-sew.  I brought these to Kenneth for feedback.  When I arrived at his studio, I had a list of goals:

  1. Improve the fit of my self-drafted princess seam bodice
  2. Improve the fit of my self-drafted two dart bodice
  3. Modify both bodice patterns to be made with and without sleeves
  4. Draft a sleeve
  5. Construct a princess seam dress with a lining

This was an ambitious list but I’m happy to say we accomplished everything I wanted!  Did I mention Kenneth is one of the hardest working people I know? (Click photos to enlarge).



On the final day of the sit-and-sew, I hand basted my dress together so Kenneth could evaluate the fit and provide feedback.  Naturally the wool gabardine fits slightly different than the sturdy cotton muslin.  When I left NYC, my dress was ready to be permanently stitched together.  I’m working on the lining now. Progress pics can be found on instagram and I will post an update once the dress is completed.

I’m beyond thankful for the opportunity to learn from the esteemed Kenneth D. King.   After a 10 year hiatus from sewing, everything is new again and I’m working on building a better repertoire of skills in order to produce better quality garments.  It’s extremely helpful to be able to connect with a teacher of his caliber. I highly recommend Kenneth to anyone who wishes to take their skills to the next level.

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