Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

Adventures in Costuming: The Sewing Arts Center!

It’s been a crazy week, guys, and I finally killed my #1 sewing machine, the White.  I’ve had the White since 1992, since the great El Nino flood killed the original Brother machine I bought in college.  The White was my main battle-axe, and he delivered beautifully in his seventeen years.  Rest in Peace, White.  I will miss you.

I discovered that I had killed the White because I took him to the Sewing Arts Center in Santa Monica, aka the sewing machine hospital.  He was on life support at the time, and they later called me to let me know that it would be better to put him down than to try to resuscitate him, so… (sound of beer pouring out on the floor)… this one is for my homie, the White.  The Janome has now ascended from the #2 position to the #1 spot.  We all (including the #3 machine, the New Brother) mourn the White’s passing.

I would like to point out that the Sewing Arts Center (located at the intersection of Pico Blvd. and the 10 Freeway) is one of the coolest places in LA. In addition to machine sales, fabric sales, and machine repair, they also offer SEWING CLASSES!

They sell machines of all kinds here at the Sewing Arts Center:  overlock machines (also called sergers), free-needle quilting machines (swoon), embroidery machines, and light industrial machines, which is definitely something I should consider, in light of the death of the White.

They have fabrics (mostly cottons, quilting weight) for sale, in neatly arranged, color-coded wall displays.  Pretty awesome.  In the back, they also have a smartly stacked cabinet of just fat quarters for sale, quilter’s delight!  And buttons?  Need a button?  You can find a button here.

But the real beauty of the Sewing Arts Center is its abundance of sewing lessons at all levels, in all techniques.  I love these people.  If you need to learn how to sew, and you know who you are, 😉 check this out:  HERE IS A SCHEDULE of all of their classes offered.  They have beginning sewing classes on Fridays and Mondays, in the mornings from 10:30 – 1PM, and also in the evenings from 6:30 – 9PM.    They offer a series of classes on making specific garments: skirts, shirts, dresses, pants; a series on stretch fabrics: yoga pants, sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, and even underwear.  They have entire series devoted to quilting, and to home decorating.  But most importantly, THEY ALSO OFFER PRIVATE INSTRUCTION if you cannot make the preordained times.

Look at this sweet classroom, by the way – you don’t even need to bring in your own machine.  They have extra machines here for student use if you don’t own one.  The Sewing Arts Center will throw in free classes, however, if you buy a machine from them, a huge plus if you get something like a serger or an embroidery machine, complicated and computerized.  VIVA the Sewing Arts Center!

Dear Santa, this is what Kristin would like.  A free-needle quilting machine.

Dear Santa, this is what Kristin would like. A free-needle quilting machine.

This place positively makes my heart sing, and I hope that you can check it out some time.  Again, if you need to learn how to sew – and that means anyone who wants to work in the costume department – the Sewing Arts Center in Santa Monica is an excellent place to start!  They are friendly and professional, willing and able to help you!!!

fat quarters in the back.

fat quarters in the back.

Sewing Arts Center

3330 Pico Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 450-4300


Open Mon-Sat 10am-6:30pm, later for classes


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