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i’m a sewing teacher???

kaitydid | Posted in General Discussion on

so i am going to teach a fellow teen how to sew and i am really nervous. it’s not a huge deal, but i just don’t want to look stupid. and i have no idea what sewing machine she has, so i don’t know what i’m doing with it if i go do her house. hopefully she will agree to come to my place so we can stick with my good old singer stylist. i am also excited though, because i love to share my passion for sewing (something i’m sure you can all relate to!). wish me luck!


  1. Gloriasews | | #1

    Good for you!  That will be a new experience for you - who knows?  Maybe you'll soon have a whole class!  Good luck, good luck, good luck!  What will be your first item to make with her?  Keep us posted on your progress - we're rooting for you.


  2. sewelegant | | #2

    You needn't worry about feeling stupid.  She wouldn't be wanting you to help her if she didn't already admire your talents!  Take your sewing machine with you.

    There is a lot more to sewing than operating a machine, so you might not even get to that stage the first time you meet.  On the good side... I have encountered many machines in my day and they are all unique in how they choose to operate, but in the final analysis they are all the same and it doesn't take long to figure out how to sew the basic stitches.

    Good luck.

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    You can always say "I'm not familiar with this machine, do you have the manual?"

    You'll do fine, appearing confident counts for alot.  As someone else said, she must admire your work if she asked you for help.  We're rooting for ya!  Mary

  4. katina | | #4

    This sounds super for both of you.  My suggestion is to check her sewing machine first and make sure it's working properly. Nothing is more likely to put one off for life than a temperamental machine. My friend was about to give an Elna Supermatic she'd inherited to the thrift store, because "it just won't work." I checked, and found that the bobbin was almost welded in because of thread and lint and old oil. A little brush, some surgical spirit, a pair of tweezers, about half an hour of gentle tweaking and cleaning, followed by new oil, a new needle and presto - a beautiful stitch! The machine continues to sew beautifully.

    Good luck - Katina

  5. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #5

    This is wonderful. I'm positive you will do fine. I taught my friend to sew when I was in high school. We started with making the same pattern for a pair of simple shorts and top, in different colours of the same fabric. That way, I could show her what to do as we went. We both ended up with outfits we were both proud to wear. There are some excellent beginner patterns that would be a great start. She still sews, and still asks for my help once in a while. You will have great fun with this. Cathy

    1. kaitydid | | #6

      thank you all so much for your support. she wants to make a purse, but of course she will need to learn how to use the machine and see how it works before we do that. i am thinking maybe we should start with something a bit more simple. i have a cute pattern from a magazine for some box pillows that are big enough to lounge on as floor cushions. whatever we do, i will definitely be doing my own alongside of her.

      1. Lilith1951 | | #8

        Woo hoo!!!  I'm proud of you for doing this with your friend.  Helping another person learn something they really want to do is a most satisfying way to spend your time.  You will enjoy each other and she will learn things.....and so will YOU!  (Good teachers always learn from their students.)  Good, good, good!  Doing a happy dance for you both.

        All that excitement out of my way....I think your simple pillow idea is a great one.  No fitting details, straight seams...good idea.  Some purses are simpler than others, so you might want to find a really simple one for the next project.  Definitely, as the others said, check out her machine and make sure it runs well, so she won't be frustrated, but bring your own, too.

        We all will want to hear how this goes, so please keep us updated.

        1. nanerby | | #9

          You didn't say how old this girl was.  I taught 13 year olds for several years.  They were so enthusiastic and were a lot of fun.  If you don't know something, just tell the girl you will find out and you can both learn together.  I wanted to go back to teaching but because of discipline problems in schools now, I would love to do it on individual or small class basis.  Have fun and enjoy. 

          1. GailAnn | | #10

            I've said it before.  I owe a giant debt of gratitude to my Home Ec teachers, for every success, in my life.  My cooking teachers were excellent in the 'scientific' aspects of homemaking.  My sewing teachers taught me to live with integrity, not to settle for less than the finest work I could do, and to always reach as high as possible.  Gail

            Edited 6/12/2008 12:32 pm ET by GailAnn

          2. kaitydid | | #11

            she is 13- just like me!

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #12

            All the more to you young lady!:)  Sounds like you have a good idea of what you want to do and how to approach it.  I'm sure the two of you will have fun.   Good luck.  Cathy

          4. kaitydid | | #13

            yes, i love sewing, i'm always thinking of things i want to design, even when i'm in bed and supposed to be sleeping!

          5. Susan -homedecsewing | | #14

            Great to keep sewing alive ! I made a suede purse with fringe when I was 13. It was so cool. Then a purple suede fringed vest with 30 inches of fringe that I also beaded ! Ok so I was a hippie. Then on to a corduroy maxi coat . What a blast from the past. My only regret is that I didn't continue and go to design college.So you might take that into consideration as you continue in school. Go to college. Then you can really make a living doing what you love . 

          6. kaitydid | | #15

            i am thinking about going to college for fashion design, but of course i still have a few years to decide.

          7. Gloriasews | | #16

            We're dying to know - so tell us, already - how did the lesson go & what did you make?


          8. kaitydid | | #18

            i have not seen her for a week (we only see each other at youth group on fridays) but we have talked about what we are doing and we are trying to set up a day. unfortunately i will be away for the weekend so we will not be able to see each other friday. i have to call her sometime.

          9. Gloriasews | | #20

            Thanks.  Sorry I asked the question on your other comment in "prom dresses", so just ignore it.  Have you decided yet what you will make when you finally get together to sew?


  6. GailAnn | | #7

    Kaity, just do it.  Congratulations you are about to embark upon one of life's great and most rewarding adventures.  Gail

  7. rekha | | #17

    This might be a little late for you but Kwik Sew publish an online manual on how to teach:

    Sewing Educator Materials

    Thank you for being a Sewing Educator!

    What a delight to hear the words, "I made this!" Your willingness to offer a prepared environment as well as patient encouragement to interested learners grants rewards to each of us.

    Aside from the obvious reward of successfully constructing a garment or craft item, sewing encourages growth in many ways. Through clear and patient instruction, students grow in independence. They learn to organize and manage their time well and also begin to form a network of peers that share their same interests. We as teachers, reap the rewards in watching these positive characteristics develop. These students are our new customers as well as our next generation of mentors. We all benefit from sharing our gifts of knowledge and talent.

    KWIK SEW is proud to play a part in the achievements of students new to this craft by offering "Learn to Sew" lesson plans paired with a sampling of our KWIK Start¯ patterns. These patterns are geared toward the beginning sewer and have special easy-to-follow sewing instructions. We at KWIK SEW invite you to be an active participant in sharing the wealth by offering these classes to our world's budding artists.


    KWIK SEW Sewing Educator Guides

    Whether you are a first-time teacher or an experienced teacher, KWIK SEW offers valuable information and instructor materials that will assist you in preparing for sewing classes. Available in a PDF format, the Sewing Educator Guides may be downloaded and printed by clicking on the following links.

    Getting StartedInformation particularly useful to the first-time teacher about how to establish and prepare for sewing classes.

    View Image Teaching Classes

    Lesson PlansStep-by-step sewing projects for beginning students of all ages, using simple to follow instructions to achieve positive results in a hands-on learning environment.

    View Image Fundamentals of Sewing - lesson geared for before students use patterns or fabrics

    View Image My First Project - 3525 Pillows & Pillowcases

    Misses' or Girls's Sleepshirt and Travelcase - 3551 / 3552

    Girls' and Misses' - 2322 / 2324

    Youth and Unisex - 3074 / 3345 Pants and Shorts

    Accessories - 2320 Pencil Case and Bag

    Easy Sewing Book

    Additional Lessons available soon.

    Class HandoutsInformational materials that may be copied and distributed to sewing students to assist them in the learning process.

    View Image How to Measure / Measurement Charts

    Glossary of Fabric Terms

    Glossary of Sewing Terms

    Glossary of Sewing Machine Terms

    General Student Supply List

    General Student Supply List

    Training Sheets -from Foundation Lesson

    Sewing Machine Matching Exercise (key)

    Student RewardsIdeas and suggestions that will offer positive reinforcement to students’ learning experience as well as promoting your sewing classes.

    View Image Ideas & Suggestions

    Certificate of Achievement

    First Project Certificate (Youth)


    Help Us Improve!Please take a moment to fill out the one page survey to help us improve our sewing educator materials.

    View Image KWIK SEW Class Materials Survey


    Additional Resources - External Links

    Technical Articles by the Home Sewing Association

    1. kaitydid | | #19

      thank you for those references! i'm sure they will be very helpful!

  8. Cherrypops | | #21

    Hello Katy,

    A month has passed...

    How's the Teaching going?

    Did you stick with the purse or did you go with the box pillows?

    Were you able to figure out her Machine?

    Most of all are you still having fun?

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