Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sewing Lessons

My daughter wants to learn to sew.

Oh boy....

Here's where I "fake it till I make it."  My mom dutifully taught me how to sew.  But, I was only half paying attention.  I learned enough to be able to finish a few modest and easy projects.  Unfortunately, my sessions with a sewing machine usually end up with me red-faced and saying words I don't want my kids to hear.  And I'm supposed to teach this?!

Sew (ha ha!) I've been dutifully looking for some tutorials, or at least some advice, online on how to teach kids to sew.  (And, by the way, many of these sites will also help those of us who are older learn, or relearn, how to sew)  Here's what I've come up with:

First, some basic advice.  Start with small, simple projects.  I'm taking my cue from JoAnn's fabric store (which, by the way, offers kid's sewing classes) and will start my daughter off with something simple - a pillowcase, pajama bottoms, decorative pillow, maybe a simple shirt.  You know...nothing too complicated.  Patterns labeled "See and Sew" or "One hour" will probably work best for us.

Second, if you have a sewing machine, look at the manual.  I have a very basic student model of a sewing machine.  Once I took the time to look through the owner's manual, I was surprised to see that it had a wealth of helpful sewing information.

Third, if its been a while (or even never) since you've had your sewing machine serviced, go have it done.  Trust me, it can make a world of difference.  I didn't sew very much but still had my machine for 8 years before I broke down and took it in to be serviced.  Afterward, my machine worked so much better than it ever had, even right out of the box, that I was kicking myself for not having done it earlier.

Now, here are some helpful sites to look into: - a site dedicated to sewing.  On the left menu, click on "Guidelines for Sewing."  From there you can download and print off enough information to make your own sewing book / binder.  These are great for teaching as well as for future references.

Craft and Fabric Links - a whole Free Sewing Book online.  This is a nice place to start.  All the lessons are laid out for you with decent instructions.  Though, the instructions are probably easier for a teen - adult to understand.

Sewing also has online instructions.  These lessons are laid out a bit differently than the one above by tending to go a bit more into detail.  There are multiple lessons/ tutorials on this site that may prove helpful.

Kids Sewing Projects - a great place for those of us with smaller children to go.  This site is helpful for lessons as well as for projects appropriate for different age groups.

Burda Style - Chances are the other companies that make patterns will have tutorials and online lessons also.  I just happened across the Burda site and saw that it listed a number of lessons that looked helpful.

Pattern - this site has some great sewing lessons.  They do cost $ and are more geared toward teen - adult students.  Classes are geared for anyone from a beginner to experienced.  I have taken a lesson from this site in the past and was quite pleased.  It involved gathering supplies, going through the lesson, doing some homework, and then getting online for a chat to ask questions or discuss and problems encountered.  I took a class on zippers that I found helpful.  Class offerings change every so often so check back.

I hope this helps anyone else out there who needs help with sewing lessons.

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