All posts tagged: teaching

The ‘Serendipity’ Underbust corset

I love my underbust corset pattern, and I keep making it up.  I also keep making up versions of it and not quite finishing them.  For once though, this served me in good stead.  Five Sew Weekly challenges ago I was sewing like mad, desperately trying to get everything made the four challenges I would miss while I was in Hawaii, where I wouldn’t much in the way of sewing accoutrements or internet access. Other than being frantically busy, I had one massive problem: Mena hadn’t put the Sew Weekly challenges past the 8th of Sept up before I left, and I would get back Friday the 14th Sept, with the next, unknown, challenge due on Sunday night. Not a lot of time to sew, especially since I would kinda need to spend time with Mr D too! So I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, prayed, and tackled my UFO pile, hoping that I’d get something finished that would fit the challenge due on the 16th. After all, we’d had so many specific challenges …

How do you describe your sewing level?

I’ve been thinking about how we define ourselves as sewers/seamstresses/seamsters, partly as a personal thing, and partly as a teacher. I started considering this when I signed up for Sewing Pattern Review.  They ask your skill level – beginner, intermediate, advanced, couture. What on earth should I put?  I make garments that many seamtresses would never dream of without batting an eye, and my fabric knowledge is considerable, but when it comes to some modern techniques, I don’t have much experience. Now that I’m teaching I’m working on a way for students to categorize their skill level for classes. We start out with Absolute Beginners, but the next class they take is Intermediate, which many of the students find amusing and flattering.  They say “surely I’m not an intermediate sewer!”.  Sure, they’ve never tackled a pattern or made a garment, but student come out of my Absolute Beginners class knowing how to set a zips, construct a basic garment, sew a number of stitches precisely, and how to choose fabrics (which I firmly believe is …

The Joy of Sewing – and Teaching

I’ve been teaching sewing at Made on Marion for the last 3 months – a quarter of a year. Teaching historical sewing is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’ve also ended up teaching something that I didn’t expect to teach: beginners sewing. I taught beginners sewing years ago, and I loved it at the time.  I’m loving it now. I sometimes get funny reactions when I mention that I teach basic sewing classes.  The reaction is basically “Isn’t that a little beneath you?”  It’s phrased differently, depending on whether the person means it as a compliment or a snark. The answer is “No, absolutely not!” for many different reasons. First, everybody has to start somewhere as a seamstress.  When I teach advanced classes like corsetmaking and coats one of the worst parts is when I have to untrain and correct bad habits that advanced seamstresses have picked up over the years.  Teach a beginner correctly, and they will have a good foundation for all future sewing. Second, it’s a great …