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Learn to Sew

Friday, January 29th, 2010

I’d like to introduce a new forum for sewing educators. eXpresSew was formed to address the needs of new young designers and crafters who want to learn to sew. As interest has grown, we’re shifting the focus to sewing teachers who generously share their knowledge with kids and adults, alike.

I have a small sewing school in my studio. Classes are held twice a month for 2 hours each session. This is enough time to really accomplish something. At the moment, my three classes include mixed adults, teen beginner designers and cosplayers. What a great mix!

My mixed adult class is small enough that each student can work on whatever they want, ranging from quilts, clothing, home décor items and crafts. It keeps us all fresh and interested in the creative process.

My teen beginner design class started with an intro project to get everyone warmed up. We covered plastic headbands with ribbon and decorated them with rosettes, bows or buttons.

By the next class we jumped right into a more ambitious project starting with a visit to the Goodwill Industries Thrift store. Each student purchased a shirt or pants to repurpose the fabric for a vest. For the next 2 months, they created their own vest design, made a muslin mockup and corrected the fit. Students used the finalized pattern to cut and construct the vest front adding lining fabric for the back and lining.

My cosplayers make costumes for comic book conventions and the designs are all very different. I’ll save comments for another entry.

I’d like to invite other sewing teachers to share ideas and check in frequently. There is little financial motivation for teaching others to sew. More so, we share an activity that we love and want passed along to students, children, grandchildren, homeschoolers, and friends. My student, Mary, a high school sophomore, commented the other evening, that sewing was very satisfying.

Yes, Mary, that it is.

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