Kay Shares How She Teaches Kids to Sew..
"I am 66 yrs young, teach Sunday School, play the piano, sing, clean the church and help my husband with the Food Pantry program. I also teach 2 sewing classes every week at church. I had to split it into 2 classes because of the interest and to be able to give personal attention. I have a stash that I need to reduce, so I provide the material for several projects. Everyone makes a pillow in their first class, then make a pair of pj's and will be making a skirt with a ruffle and blouse and a zippered pouch. Once the original projects are completed, the students will make bandanas for cancer patients and hopefully lap quilts for the local nursing homes. I want to teach them the blessing of doing something for others. I have several sewing machines I take to classes, but watch sales to find gently used machines for students. It's such a blessing to see them excited about what they made and look forward to new projects. The classes are "progressive" and their time to 1 1/2 hrs. What isn't done in one class can be worked on at the next class."
And upon my asking more questions regarding her 'system'.....
"I'm teaching 2 twelve yr olds and my 6 yr old granddaughter (one girl is a cancer survivor). I have one lady in her early 30's, two in mid 40's. One is a mother of 3 girls (14, 19 and 21). My classes are progressive, so if they don't get to finish something one week, they bring it back the next. Our classes are all free and and I furnish the material and machines. Every student is given a basic sewing kit (prefer Singer kit with scissors, seam ripper, tape measure, etc) and a plastic box to keep supplies.
They learn to trace out patterns (and I let them know when Joann's, Hobby Lobby and Hancock's has their patterns on sale). I learned a good tip several yrs ago and pass it on as well (feel free to use this tip): I make a copy of the front and back of every pattern envelope on my printer, punch holes and put them in a binder by category. With the amount of patterns I have, I can look through the binder (mine is a 4" binder), decide the material I want to use, look at the back of the envelope for yardage, notions, etc, BEFORE I delve into my pattern storage (which is a 2-drawer lateral file cabinet) and find the actual pattern. I have 4 rows of patterns in each drawer, divided by category (pants, tops, dresses, children, lingere, men's, etc). That makes finding patterns almost as easy as finding them by number! I make a copy of the envelope for my students and also give them a 1" binder (from Dollar Tree) to start their pattern stash. I have clear zip-lock pattern bags for their pattern storage. I teach as many aspects of the pattern as I can - even short-cuts.
Everyone gets to use the serger! So many are intimidated by sergers, I want to give them the opportunity to try the machine without any pressure. The younger ones are timid with the serger but want to zoom on the machine! I taught the 12 yr olds to sew their 5/8" seam and use the stitches on their machine to finish without the serger. They use the one more like the "blanket" stitch, close to the seam then grade the seam - they love the technique and can use it on almost everything. They haven't had to do much "ripping" with that method either."
If you'd like to contact Kay, let me know and I'll get you together...