Sewing 101

   A good teacher recognizes your potential. A great teacher will push you to work harder and go the extra mile. A good teacher is very hard to find. I found one!

   I started sewing lessons at a local small business this year. The shop owners offer a garment sewing class one night a week. It has been very hard to attend class on a consistent basis with holidays and personal commitments but I stuck with it!

   For my first project, I was sure to purchase the pattern that looked easiest to me. At some pointMy plan was to build my confidence by making something easy. Sounds like a great plan, right? Well, my teacher had another plan.

   This class is really nice because there are only four students. The teacher tends to each student, giving others time to work on their piece. The first week I learned about the right and wrong sides of fabric. We also worked on adjusting and cutting the pattern to suit my measurements.

   I figured I would have this garment completed in a few classes. After all, I chose the easiest pattern in the store! It doesn’t even have sleeves or a collar! But, as we went along, she suggested I learn French seams. She said it was a lot more work, but an investment in my future sewing. Anything with French ahead of it is always sounds good to me – french fries, French bulldog etc. Great! Well, not so great. It took lots of concentration and attention to detail, which is not my strong point. I made a few mistakes while attaching the French seam to the garment. I became very acquainted with a seam ripper (for those who don’t sew, it is a tool to undo the stitches).

   I trusted my teacher because I know anything that is an investment of my time now will pay off later. Well, months later my purple, linen top is done. Unfortunately, I can’t wear it now because we are entering winter and it is freezing! I will tuck it away in my closet and look forward to wearing it next summer. I cannot wait to make another garment. I’m considering making the same garment in a different fabric so I can really get the process down.

   I (we all) are fortunate to have small businesses like this, where we can learn these life skills. The more I shop in big box retail stores for clothes, the more frustrated I become as the quality of clothing is horrific. I notice it even more now with a slightly more mature sewing eye.

   Funny, in life you encounter so many teachers throughout elementary, middle and high school. You recall being young and wanting to get away from teachers come summer. We all wish, as children, to have an adulthood void of teachers, right? But I don’t feel that way any longer. We need teachers! Sure Youtube is great for learning, but those Youtubers cannot provide hands-on assistance or encouragement!
Dedicated to my teacher Liz.

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