No pictures today, as I don’t have any finished projects of my own to show yet (though I’m close to one!) But I do have a sewing story.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my high school classmates contacted me via Facebook to ask if I’d be interested in giving some sewing lessons to her pre-teen daughter, who she said was very interested in both sewing and fashion and was dying to learn how to make some clothes. We hashed out some details about frequency of lessons, payment, materials, etc, and then I told her I’d be willing to give it a shot. Our first lesson was on Monday, so I thought I’d share how it went.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect as far as her experience goes, though I did know she has a sewing machine. So I decided that for the first project, we’d just do a simple tote bag, because it’s all straight lines and no fitting. I got the directions from one of the free Craftsy mini-classes, and her mom agreed to purchase the fabric ahead of time. So when I got to the girl’s house, she had her three fabrics picked out and all ready to go.
I think I’m going to like this girl. One of the first things she did was ask if she could show me her sketches of things she’s designed. And she definitely already has her own style aesthetic! Lots of fitted waists, lots of belts– “I like belts,” she said when I commented on that– some 50’s elements, some color-blocking…she even had figured out preliminary prices of what to sell them for! I’d better start working on my pattern hacking skills even harder, because I have a feeling I’m going to need them! I also found out that she’s taken a sewing class at Joann’s before, and made some shorts and a few other things. So at least I know she has a little experience with patterns and such.
I’ve given plenty of private lessons before for music. Mostly flute, though I did have a year where I taught saxophone to one kid, back when I was teaching for a very small private school band, and I do have a beginner piano student this year. So I think that did help me to have at least some idea of how to proceed. We got her fabric cut out, I walked her through the instructions and showed her a few tricks on her machine (she especially liked the one where you use the threaded machine needle to pull the bobbin thread up), and we actually got her entire bag completed in the first lesson! I was only supposed to be there for 2 hours, but I offered to stay a little longer since she was pretty close to finishing and I’d already had my first flute lesson cancelled for that day. She was very excited about the finished project, and is already planning to take it on an upcoming family vacation.
I’ll have to figure out the logistics after the baby comes–which I’ll have to do for my music teaching anyway, though I already have a very willing babysitter lined up (aka my mother). But for now, we’re going to be doing 2 hour lessons every other week. She’s already showed me a project she wants to attempt, which is an RTW woven shawl with a hood and pockets–kind of a poncho of sorts. So we may be working on some pattern drafting soon, if we can find some good fabric for that. The next project we’re actually going to do (since her mom wanted something a little more straightforward to shop for) is going to be the Delphine skirt from Tilly’s Love at First Stitch. It’s not a book I have myself, but from everything I’ve read about it, I figured that would be a great reference book for her to start with, so I had her buy that as our “textbook” of sorts. And after seeing her drawings and the fabrics she picked out for her bag (very French-influenced), I think I chose pretty well! So now I have to start learning how to install an invisible zipper without the special foot, since her machine has a zipper foot but not an invisible one. I guess this will be a good way for me to expand my own skills, too!