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Inspired by seasons of Project Runway and Singer Sewing's 160th anniversary online oral history project, we're jumping into one of Los Angeles's fun, easy sewing classes.

At cheerful Silverlake shop Sew L.A., we're looking forward to getting our hands on bright printed cottons, including many unique imports from Japan. We'll be refreshing our girlhood skills with the three-hour Machine Intro ($55), then following up with a three-session class on making a '50s-style cocktail dress ($135). Saturday at 6 p.m., there's a free book party for the creator of Colette Patterns, one of the shop's cool, indie brands.

At Mid-City's Sew Modern, there are classes for all skill levels and brilliant fabrics, as well as three-hour classes on how to quilt ($35). We can even rent a long-arm Gammill Vision machine, which makes for faster, more polished-looking quilts.

Once we get our basic skills down, we're buying some of the hip California-made Alexander Henry fabrics sold at both shops and awaiting the next shipment of Singer's retro-styled Singer 160 machines, which sold out in hours when launched in January ($500). Its curved black form and high-tech functionality make us as happy as everything we'll make with it.

Sew L.A. 1637 1/2 Silver Lake Blvd.; 323-665-7097 or
Sew Modern, 10921 W. Pico Blvd.; 310-446-4397 or

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