Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let the Sewing Lessons Begin!

I'm pretty Jazzed Up this morning!

I'm giving my first sewing lesson to two neighbor-girls (ages 12 and 8). Both of these girls are pretty shy and very polite. Neither of them "fits in" with the girls who are always out on the streets playing with their older brothers. Both of the girls is looking for a friend AND both would like to learn to sew.

I've taught more people than I can count to quilt, and therefore many have been taught to sew. But, besides Frank, whose grown up sewing on my lap, these are the youngest students I've had.

I'm all a-flutter thinking of what to teach them and in what order. Simple projects first, I think. And maybe, in a bit, we'll do some simple red-work style embroidery (something they can do at home). For this morning, I think I'll do some Reusable Shopping Bags with them, from thrift-store sheets or scrap fabric. These are quick and simple and will show them some basic, straight-line sewing. We'll also talk about what kind of projects they would like to do.

Personally, I grew up sewing, so actually, I'm having a little trouble thinking "simple" for beginner projects. So. My questions to you are:
  • What did you first learn to sew?
  • What kind of projects would you suggest to begin teaching these girls?
  • Any other suggestions?
I'll let you know how it goes!

Now. I have to make pancakes for Jack and then go straighten up my sewing room... I'd better ask Tom to bring my extra folding tables upstairs to the sewing room too. :D


Cricket said...

When does school start for the kids in your neck of the woods?

Have you settled on what materials you will be using to teach the boys yet? How do you go about choosing them? Are you going to be teaching them at the same level or are you going to be doing 2 unique age levels? Or are you just going to be schooling one and not the other at this point? I am just wondering about the whole process in general since this is new to me. You know me...always with the questions! Sorry.

Murray said...

Hhmmm. The first thing I sewed on my own was a quilt! But I quickly moved onto bags and such, quilts are tougher!

I would think a bag, tote or otherwise would be great. I agree straight sewing is simple enough. And don't necessarily think there's a need to teach on separate levels. The younger may need more help here and there, but that's about it, in my opinion.

What about a headband? It is small and quick, and they will be able to use it almost immediately. Next you could do a bag; tote, drawstring or overnight (for sleepovers or toys) and if you're really into it, a pair or pj or lounge pants! I think each progresses nicely in terms of difficulty and will allow them to see their progress/accomplishments at a reasonable pace.

I went to school for Art Education and used to teach home dec sewing (to adults. I was gearing up to teach a children's class just before I got pregnant with Evelyn. I was sick for the whole nine months so ended up quitting before summer rolled around and never got to teach my children's class :(

Can't wait to see what you do!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for your comment on my blog... so kind of you. Plus it was so lovely to wake up here in Aus and find there had been lots of visitors from sew, mama, sew during the night.
My grandma taught me to sew, starting with a simple log cabin block that we used to make a pocket on an apron. Dresses were too hard, though it didn't stop me trying ;)
I agree that a tote and a headband are also great ideas.