Monday, 14 November 2016

Would you like to learn to sew?

Have you ever thought, “I’d love to sew but don’t have a creative bone in my body” or felt a bit lost when confronted by a hem to take up or button to sew on – you are not alone by any stretch!  I meet folk who tell me exactly that at least once a week.

As well as my Fashion & Textiles degree from Bournemouth University, I also have a teaching degree that I studied with The Open University and adult lecturer qualifications from Salisbury College; this enables me to offer tailored teaching for individuals and groups.  At this time of year lots of you are thinking about a hobby for those long dark evenings and what better than learning a great life skill like sewing which can stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.

You can learn;

  • A set of universal sewing techniques that will give you a solid base from which to make your own projects.  This is based on the 10 week course I used to teach at Salisbury and covers; Sewing machine basics, Basic fabric know-how, Seams, Sleeves, Zips, Facings, Buttons & buttonholes, Piping, Binding, Applique.  This can be added to if there is a specific skill you would like to learn.
  • Advanced sewing skills; this would include basic tailoring techniques and a lot of other hints and tips which you can apply to your own projects.  I also pass on all the top tips I have learned over the years for dealing with challenging fabrics and students have found this really empowering and have attempted much more advanced projects – and succeeded beautifully.
  • Pattern cutting; which can also be tailored to exactly what you want to do, or you can learn a set of basic pattern cutting skills that will stand you in good stead to change commercial patterns so that they fit you perfectly. For those who wish to make their own patterns from scratch you can extend your skills and make your own Basic Block from which you will be able to produce patterns from your own simple designs.

The teaching can be offered by several means;

  • Individuals can be taught in my workshop with their own equipment or using my spare Singer machine and Overlocking machine to finish seams.  Students usually come weekly or fortnightly for 2-3 hour lessons.  £20 per hour.
  • Individually at your home with your own equipment, I will bring any equipment we will need that you don’t have. £20 per hour plus travel expenses.
  • Small groups of 3-5 at one of your homes, using your own equipment (I will bring my own for demonstrating on).  I have taught family groups like this where a Mother and teenage Daughter have got together with an Aunt as well as groups of friends and they are a lot of fun.  £25 per hour plus travel expenses.

I was very fortunate as a child to learn from my Grandmother, my Mother and a whole host of lovely ladies that my Mum knew when I was a child who were wonderfully patient and intrigued with this skinny little kid who was fascinated by all thing textiles.  I was taught sewing, knitting, crochet (which I really can’t get the hang of other than making a simple chain) and lace making – I loved making bobbin lace at school.  Nowadays, the way sewing is taught in Secondary Design & Technology can put a lot of young people off because the focus is on the design process rather than learning life skills, which I feel is a lost opportunity for many.

I am passionate about passing skills on to as many people as I can in this short life and I love teaching.  The little miracles that occur when understanding dawns, or when students beam with pride at their finished projects, is magical.

So if learning to sew appeals to you get in touch and I look forward to teaching you anything I can.

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