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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Teacher's Pets

To really learn a subject, you should teach it.

Isn’t that how the saying goes? I agree wholeheartedly! I learn more every time I teach. Somehow the sharing of information generates more knowledge. It’s magical.

I’ve taught a few sewing classes recently, and I thought I’d share the fun with you.

The lovely NM who helped me cut out 8 kits
A couple of Saturdays ago, I taught One Shirt, Two Ways to eight of my fellow Sewing Guild members. The idea was to construct a sample shirt, with each side sewn with different techniques – two different sleeve plackets, two different collars, two different ways to make pockets, etc. A rather ambitious goal for a 6-hr class, and as it turns out too ambitious, as we didn’t finish to my everlasting dismay. (Note to self: two-day class next time.)
JP likes sewing it this way!

MB assessing this method
Fun for me, as teacher, was listening to the comments the students made as they tried each method. Some adored the new technique and laughed with glee, while other abhorred it and thought I was some kind of sewing sadist for teaching it. Same technique, two opposite reactions. Just proves the point that finding a technique that gives you the results you want without driving you crazy is the key to happy sewing.

SC inserting her green zipper into 8-gore skirt

Occasionally I teach private lessons. These classes are student lead and follow their agenda. This really keeps me on my toes, and I often have to rethink how I do something. Take zippers – they no longer match the dominant colour of the fabric and hide discretely inside a garment.

Recently, SC and I tackled pattern drafting. She’s a woman with distinct ideas of how things should look, and what better way to make that happen than by making your own pattern! For our first project, we made an 8-gore skirt using this draft from The Weekend Designer. Hers rides low on her abdomen, mine hits the waist. Guess which one of us has the mid-thigh length, and which one’s goes down to the knee? Here she is, hard at work. (We swap and she becomes teacher for piano lessons.)

Little T's first sewing lesson
Let's end today's blog entry with one of my favourite students, Little T, having his first lesson. Last year, when he was fussing as only a newborn can, Little T and I would wander over to this splendid piece of machinery (Husqvarna/Viking 6440) and discuss its finer points. He was riveted and it never failed to change the mood. I promised him when he was a little bigger, I would show him all its wonders, and here we are! As you can see, he loved the up-and-down motion of the thread uptake level. I think it'll take a few more lessons before he can be an independent sewist, don't you?

     - Lady T


  1. What wonderful students you have. Little T looks a lot like Lady T... What a great picture. I'm glad you posted it.

  2. Glad little T is such a good helper. He's too cute!

  3. Thank you both for you comments. Indeed, he is a cutie!