Friday, January 18, 2013

Sewing Class : The J-Term Experiment

I taught my first sewing class. It was two weeks long (hence lack of blog times) and it was crazy and lots of fun. 9 girls, four machines, a giant cutting mat, and never, never, never enough pins.

Girls made several projects after understanding basic sewing skills. We started with the twenty minute tote from the purl bee, did a simple zipper pouch (they were makeup bags... then we just kept calling them pencil pouches), and the felt flower pillow, also from the purl bee.

I chose to cut out the faces of all the girls since this is the internet, after all, and I wouldn't want you anywhere you and your parents didn't agree to be!
They did such a fantastic job! In the last week, we started on elastic waist skirts. Three girls actually finished theirs--we would have had more but we lost a work day to a surprise snow!

It was very strange at the beginning to verbalize skills that were largely self-taught for the past four years or so. I had never had to say these things out loud--to tell someone how to thread a needle and how to do a simple running stitch--but I think it went really well.

Of course, two weeks was definitely not enough. There was so much more to teach them! So much more to do! I'm incredibly happy to have the opportunity to teach it at all. My employing high school does a two week period in January where students have the opportunity to travel, intern, and take classes that they normally wouldn't have access to. Teachers get to choose from their extracurricular passions to propose a class. One of my good friends taught a class on wilderness survival, one did rock climbing, another taught on forensic science and had real detectives come and speak to their class, others taught about watching films critically. It is a really unique and wonderful time for teachers and students.

I got warm fuzzies watching students being so active and moving around, creating things and asking questions. They were working with their hands, manipulating fabric, walked around the fabric stores touching every bolt as they investigated their options. I was so incredibly proud of how encouraging they were with each other! Anytime someone sewed anything they freaked out. "Oh my gosh! That is AMAZING! You are SEWING!!"

A really fantastic group of girls and an amazing chance to craft for work. Now back to our regular routine of theology and philosophy. On to the Spring semester!

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