Introduction to Sewing


New Sewists are such an inspirational and enthusiastic bunch. There is something about not having the confines of  the usual convention in learning that make for true creativity – don’t you think?  The “that’s the wrong way” and “this is the right way” approach can stifle many.

I set out from the beginning to make classes fun and informative. I noticed that people like to learn quickly and so I made it a policy that all courses would be for the minimum term possible – whilst still covering the fundamentals of sewing/dressmaking. I was also conscious that if courses last for too long then the longer the course (more number of weeks) the more likelihood that at some point at least one class in the course would be missed by the student. This would be detrimental to learning as each class deals with progressing with a project through from beginning to end, with each class covering the necessary processes involved.

Classes have been running for a number of weeks now and I have to say I am astounded at how easily and quickly students have picked up these skills. I do think the main reason for this is that our class sizes are restricted to a maximum of 6 per class. This was a conscious decision as I had queries from people saying that they had attended courses in the past at other establishments but had felt they had not taken anything on board and were a little bit disheartened – although still keen to learn. On probing further I found that this was invariably due to the large class sizes in the course they attended. They felt swept along, in addition the duration of the class was usually very short around a couple of hours, one lady said she had hardly settled herself when she felt it was time to pack up! I took another call from a lady asking me how to attach a bodice to the skirt of a dress she had been working on for “a number of weeks!”. Although happy to help I asked if she had contacted her tutor, she responded that she felt she couldn’t – as she (the teacher) wouldn’t know who she was and in any event the college was closed for the Summer! Such a shame that the sewing experience for new Sewists is leaving them disheartened before they start!.

I would be interested to know how you guys learnt/were taught to sew. Was the environment nurturing and was there any support offered once the course/class was finished? Perhaps you were taught by a family member, mum, aunt, big sister.



4 thoughts on “Introduction to Sewing

  1. A class is fine depending on the project, but a mentor is best! I’ve have had two sewing mentors in my lifetime and each one has helped me reach the next level. I believe sewing is a continued learning experience and experiment. After 40 years of sewing I’m still learning new techniques! Now there are sewing forums on Google+ that are helpful.

    • I agree, a sewing mentor would be wonderful, sewing has been lost to a generation it seems, most home sewers were taught by family and friends in the past. Hopefully with all the renewed interest and more people taking up sewing and crafting we might get back to a stage where people could get together over a sewing machine and keep the skills alive.

  2. I was introduced to sewing by watching my mother. After she helped me cut my first dolly clothes pattern at age 9, I was given a book and left to myself. As a teen I was entranced by Vogue patterns and Vogue magazine, and purchased every designer pattern I could afford on my allowance and sewed them up. Occasionally I would need help and my mother would hand stitch or un-pick or give guidance, but I am, apart from those few incidents, exclusively self-book-tutorial taught. With the advent of the Craftsy sewing course, I have stepped into the world of online sewing instruction, but most of my tutoring comes from magazines and articles. Funny, but I tend to want my daughters to be self-sufficient, so have encouraged them to sew the same way: follow the directions unless there’s a trick (better) way to do something, and then I’ll step in.

  3. Although I mostly have taught myself to sew using some favorite books, I also watched my mom sew when I was little. We even did a couple projects together when I was in high school. Also, my aunt did a lot of Renaissance Faire costumes, and it was always inspiring to see what type of creative projects she was up to. I think I’ve learned more slowly because I taught myself and didn’t take classes. That’s always been okay with me, but now I’ve gotten to a point where I want to learn more, faster. So I’ve signed up for a certificate program in Fashion Design and Construction: I know there are videos out there I could watch, but I love having a real-live person in the room to help!

I love reading your comments and will try to respond to each, thank you for dropping by

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