Member since 7/25/08
Date: 4/5/12 11:34 AM
So I was in Hancock's and ran into a class of HS girls being swiftly taken on a tour. A couple sat down at the pattern table and proceeded to choose patterns, then had to fill out the homework forms with questions like, What are the finished garment measurements? and How much lining do you need?
They were clueless as to patterns and overwhelmed by the fast explanation of different fabrics.
The teachers had these beginners making prom-type dresses with linings and boning! Talk about a recipe for turning them off from ever sewing again, plus the cost of wasted fabric.
From the sounds of the 40-ish teacher, she may have been drafted to teach home ec and sewn very little herself. She said proudly, "Oh Yes, we teach sewing in OUR high school!"
I just wanted to gather them up and say, here, lets make a quick pair of pj pants for a starter.
At least I gave her the PR site, told her they could go online to find answers/inspiration/ideas to everything.
She actually said, "But then they wouldn't listen to us in school." ***$$##!!AAArgh!
Any gals still teaching HS out there that figure you have made life-long seamstresses?
Member since 12/21/09
1 member likes this.
Date: 4/5/12 11:44 AM
my mother before ever I got to HS made me a life-long seamstress; the HS teachers expanded my knowledge, therefore helped ... one year included matching plaids!!
Liz / Calgary
Member since 1/19/06
Date: 4/5/12 12:06 PM
Were they actually buying patterns and material? To make, for the first project, with a teacher that hasn't much sewing experience it seems? I'm hoping they were just picking out patterns and writing down the information at that point.
My mom showed me a few basics, but I had never sewn a garment before HS sewing class. But she certainly didn't let me start with a prom dress and cheap fabric. I don't recall the teacher being a lot of help (maybe faulty memory on my part), but I'm sure she would have put a stop to a prom dress thought as there wasn't that much sewing time in class by the time we got things out, had the lesson, put things away. Maybe 20 minutes of actual sewing time per class 2 or 3 days a week?
|Learn To Sew
Member since 4/12/05
Skill: Advanced Beginner
In reply to gramma b
Date: 4/5/12 12:47 PM
Well, Prom season is almost here and the girls probably thought and said to each other, "how hard can it be, anyway?". Most likely the teacher does not have much knowledge and was caught up in the Prom season stuff and went along with it.
No, I am not defending the teacher. I think she is crazy to let this kind of thing happen. PJ's are the way to go.
-- Edited on 4/5/12 12:48 PM --
Bernina 630, Bernina embroidery module, Pfaff 2036, Bernina 1200DA serger, Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L
Member since 9/21/07
Date: 4/5/12 1:07 PM
One of the worst sewing instructors I ever had had a day job as a middle school home ec sewing teacher. She had no patience for someone who wanted to be deliberate and try to do things methodically.
"I am a degenerate art supply junkie" - Jane Davenport
Member since 8/14/05
In reply to TessKwiltz
Date: 4/5/12 1:38 PM
She had no patience for someone who wanted to be deliberate and try to do things methodically.
And I had the teacher who was so methodical she was OC. And since I had learned from my Mom already, and tended (back then of course) to the sassy-side, I got into a bit of trouble more than once. Like: "Mom doesn't baste everything...why should we?" And "Oh, you really don't need to do that!" SOOOoo...home ec sewing was a washout for me, and thank goodness only occupied a very short space of the whole class, as we went on to cooking and who knows or remembers what else. Junior High. HAHAHaa...Poor teacher - now I see how she was trying, but since my Mom selected a shirt waist dress as my very first project, I knew already. And why not start with something that will turn out to be wearable. For some reason, back then patterns fit me.
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
I have sewing machines
Member since 4/1/08
In reply to gramma b
Date: 4/5/12 2:09 PM
I've rescued and re-inspired young women who were exposed to unprepared instructors and/or the obsessive type that wasn't able to accommodate their teaching style to the learning style of many of the students.
Our favorite little neighborhood girl/young woman, babysitter, all round great kid found herself in a bad situation. Her project was way beyond her abilities and she desperately needed tutoring to guide her through to completion for the 'fashion show'. I was surprised that she was allowed a project that was so far beyond her level of accomplishment, fitted princess seams into a fitted waistline, gathers, etc. It fit much like the muslin that loti is working on right now.
It wasn't the teacher that was the problem, it was her ^&>^?&! mother!!! Every time we had a tutorial session set up she'd come trotting over; I need her to do this, that, or the other. No respect for her daughter's academic needs much less my schedule The schedule was set in her presence with her approval. Regardless, we plowed through and her daughter did a great job and caught the bug
I am happy to see the stories about folks that had great sewing teachers that inspired them and helped them with a good foundation. I'm sure it's a battle if the school or district doesn't have a respect for the art.
I'm also happy to report that when our son took his class about 20 years ago, he did have a very good teacher. He was the only guy in the class and already knew his way around a sewing machine. He stayed with the class technically, but she allowed some flexibility in project choices to maintain his interest and dignity. She kept a nice balance and increased his interest.
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.
Member since 5/27/09
Date: 4/5/12 2:33 PM
We are very fortunate that the Bernina shop here (Ann Silva's) has a sewing camp for kids. Taught by outstandiing instructors & on fabulous machines.
Boy were we amazed, having moved here from a big city that had NOTHING for kids to learn to sew.
Member since 8/28/08
Date: 4/5/12 2:53 PM
I had a wonderful high school sewing teacher! Those of us who were in the advanced sewing class had the freedom to choose our projects...we had to write proposals that included learning 5 new skills/techniques for each project.. We made pants, western shirts (these were big in the 70's!) lined garments, embroidered peasant blouses, tweed suits, delicate lace blouses...all under the watchful eye of our teacher.
One girl made a beautiful coat which she entered in the Woolrich "Make It With Wool" national contest and won 3rd prize. Do they still have that contest?
My favorite project was a down vest made from a Frostline Kit. Anyone remember those kits? I wore that vest for years.
Our teacher was patient and talented. She knew the classic methods but was willing to let us experiment with new things that came along like fusible interfacing, Stretch n Sew Patterns, and jeans studs. Sewing was not cool in the late 70's...my friends considered home ec to be a betrayal of feminism.
-- Edited on 4/5/12 2:55 PM --
Member since 3/11/07
Date: 4/5/12 6:09 PM
I'd rather fit a dress than pants -- and a nice bag lining? How much easier is that than sewing nice finishes? Not sure this is the worst starter project.
Needle Needle Straight and Slim, Dust and Sweep the House for Him! --Grimm Fairy Tales