Monday, 23 March 2015

Sewing Classes, what we teach in them, and what we learn from them.

From being too scared to try threading a machine to making a cushion
We have been running sewing  classes in Colchester Fabric8 since last Summer.  During this time we have run classes in putting in zips, patchwork, making fancy dress costumes and how to use a sewing machine.  There is a special warm glow you get when you give someone the skills to create something. I have lost count of the number of people who have come along to our "How to use a sewing machine" and told us they bought a machine years ago but have been too afraid to use it. The fear of failing can be very powerful and very destructive. The look of pride on people's faces when they hold up something they learnt to make in an hour or two and the determination they  have to go home and start sewing is fantastic.

A group of happy quilters with  out Patchwork,
quilting and appliqué tutor Michelle.
We get different kinds of people coming to our classes. Many are like the young lady above who was afraid to even thread the machine  at first. Often these people have a project in mind and need help overcoming the initial fear or maybe just need a little knowledge. We then have people with a good basic knowledge but who want to try something new like our Patchwork and Quilting classes or our Machine Appliqué classes.  Often these people like to come in groups and they like to make it part of a girls day out.
For these people we now offer a special discount.
If you book 2 places on the same class you get 5% off.
If you book 3 places will get you 10% off
If you book 4 places will get you 15% off.
And if you fill the class up with 5 people you get 20% off, that's a whole person free!

 We have learnt a lot from teaching as well though
1) Mean people don't sew. I mean it, we've never had anyone who wasn't totally lovely attend our classes.

2) It is always worth going to a basic class even if you know loads. We have had several people book in on the "how to use y our sewing Machine" even though they felt very confident in their abilities. Sure enough they always leave with a little gem of knowledge. One lady had been making curtains for years and said had she been to the class 10 years ago who life would have been a lot less frustrating .

3) Teaching helps you improve yourself. By slowing down and thinking about everything I do as I explain how to sew I have found myself becoming neater and more precise!

4) Enthusiasm is contagious, and it works BOTH WAYS! Our students always leave primed and ready to sew (most pick up a lot of fabric after the class to go home and work on). However after the classes I tend to stay behind and carry on sewing myself. There's nothing quite like sharing a passion for sewing and quilting to make you want to grab some fabric and start creating.

5) THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS - EVER! This can not be stressed enough! What may seem obvious because you've sewn for decades may not be at all apparent to someone setting out. And sometimes the questions really do make me think long and hard (such as how do you adjust the tension when sewing a light silt to a heavy furnishing fabric).

So there you have it, great reasons to either try a sewing class or to teach one! If you're handy with a machine then invite a friend over for a sewing session and teach them the basics. you will BOTH find it fun and rewarding!

And if you're anywhere near Colchester pop in for a sewing lesson with us! at the moment prices start at £8.00 and the lessons are not only informative but great fun!

Check back tomorrow for the second part of the blog. Teaching Kids  How to Sew!

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