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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Adventures in teaching sewing ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Adventures in teaching sewing
Elna Super 62C - what a treat!
tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/15/12 7:36 PM

Today was the day I started teaching the teen moms how to sew. I actually work in the daycare of this school board operated alternative school, but since we are after all, alternative, we like to have an interdisciplinary and flexible approach and I was willing to give it a shot.

Many lessons learned!
1 - bring pins. Duh.... just because I don't use them to sew a simple cotton bag doesn't mean the students won't. Luckily, they didn't! :D

2- use the machines you know best. There is a reason DD didn't get along with that Kenmore. It is finicky! Be prepared to switch out for the cute Kenmore 1450 that you know inside out.

3 - be prepared for surprises! The principal brought in 2 Elna supers that appear to have been school machines at some point in their lives. Lovely, lovely machines that were quiet and extremely well behaved. Strange threading pattern, but luckily I have my old department store machine that threads "backwards" so that didn't throw me too much. The drop in bobbin was a bit difficult to use, but we managed.

When the girls were done and I was cleaning up, I took the bobbins out to get rewound and ready for the next class and the inside of one of the machines was SSSOOOO clogged with dust and bits of thread I could not believe it not only ran flawlessly, but without a single complaint. In fact, when I had first plugged it in and started it up, I was sure I heard angels singing!

Aside from the enthusiastic future project plans, I was encouraged to hear them say that they hadn't wanted to come to the class, but by the end, they didn't want to leave.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

RipStitcher
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Date: 10/15/12 7:48 PM

Pretty amazing, aren't they?

And while the top loading bobbin may have thrown you, it's been what I've been used to using since 1975 - and, IIRC, it was a super-cool feature back then! (Compared to battling with those sideways bobbin cases with the flip-out handle thingie.)

Every time I look at a side loading bobbin machine... it makes me just wanna pass on the whole machine based on that bobbin set up.

*Nobody* makes a machine these days with the relative quality and durability of those SU's.



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My projects (and life and times!) are on www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger
APQS George ... oh heck... go Millie!

2014: Sold the 7700 to make room for a 5.5mm machine alongside side my Ellie.
2013: Wow.. no real new toys - too much family drama!!!!
2012: New Elna Lotus for granddaughter, Red Elna Press, Horizon 7700, Gidget 2 Table, Babylock Ellisimo Gold
1970's: Elna SU62 & ElnaPress

Leoladysw
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Date: 10/15/12 8:08 PM

I think old Elnas are da Bomb! So reliable and such great stitchers!

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Six Elna Lotus/Stella sm [kid's sewing classes]
Elna 33C SP sm, Pfaff 1473 CD sm, Viking 6030 sm, Singer Sphinx 127 sm, Singer Lotus 127 sm, Bernina 830 Record, Nelco J A-38 sm, Necchi Lelia 515 sm
http://leoladyshousecollectiblesandgardens.blogspot

KPM
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Date: 10/15/12 8:34 PM

The kids will always surprise you. Like the girl who began her quilt in my classroom with 1/4" seams who decided to switch to 1/2" seams when she worked on it at home. That taught me that all sewing should be done in the classroom! It is so rewarding though. Especially if you teach them the beginner's pledge: finished is better than perfect! And they LOVE serging, so now I try to introduce them to it earlier. They all also love love love my Juki F600.

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Let's just say all modern sms are well represented in my studio.

tourist
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In reply to RipStitcher <<


Date: 10/15/12 11:36 PM

RipStitcher - I started with drop in bobbins, too. This one is just a bit tricky to get in and out as there is only a tiny spot to get a finger nail or perhaps a tool in and flip it out. Also a bit of a trick to get the thread in the right spot to engage and get picked up properly by the top thread. I hated the vertical bobbin for a long time and still forget that I must have the needle UP to get the bobbin in sometimes.

It was amazing how they purred, though. sounded like my little Featherweight! and no, Shelby is NOT coming to school with me. Ever. I might see if the principal will trade one of her Elna's for my finicky Kenny, though.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

RipStitcher
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In reply to tourist <<


Date: 10/15/12 11:44 PM

Quote: tourist
RipStitcher - I started with drop in bobbins, too. This one is just a bit tricky to get in and out as there is only a tiny spot to get a finger nail or perhaps a tool in and flip it out. Also a bit of a trick to get the thread in the right spot to engage and get picked up properly by the top thread. I hated the vertical bobbin for a long time and still forget that I must have the needle UP to get the bobbin in sometimes.



It was amazing how they purred, though. sounded like my little Featherweight! and no, Shelby is NOT coming to school with me. Ever. I might see if the principal will trade one of her Elna's for my finicky Kenny, though.

There should have been a pull down bobbin-puller-gizmo-on-a-spring-thing ... it's located right above the bobbin and you just pull it down and it goes into the center hole of the bobbin and extracts it.

As far as hooking the bobbin thread when setting it up, that seems pretty much the same as the new fangled Janomes are these days... the most important thing is to see that (after you do a needle down/up to pull the bobbin thread up) ... is to see that the bobbin thread crosses the bobbin on top of the bobbin slightly when the bobbin thread is pulled.

Hold the bobbin from spinning when you hook the bobbin thread and you shouldn't have a problem getting it threaded right.

If the thread doesn't cross the bobbin, you're in for a nest building experience.

------
My projects (and life and times!) are on www.RipStitcher.com

Wish list:
Bernina 550QE (for it's cute little footprint)
Sashiko
Ovation serger
APQS George ... oh heck... go Millie!

2014: Sold the 7700 to make room for a 5.5mm machine alongside side my Ellie.
2013: Wow.. no real new toys - too much family drama!!!!
2012: New Elna Lotus for granddaughter, Red Elna Press, Horizon 7700, Gidget 2 Table, Babylock Ellisimo Gold
1970's: Elna SU62 & ElnaPress

tgm and Kittys
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tgm and  Kittys  Friend of PR
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In reply to tourist <<


Date: 10/16/12 4:57 PM

What a great story! I hope you continue to post about this sewing group of young ladies. ... I found it inspiring. ....

------
Finally a whole week above zero! Whoo hoo! ~smile~
2 shots in DH eye down, 1 more to go. We hope the tumor is shrinking.
God is with us no matter what ...+


SouthernStitch
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Date: 10/16/12 6:10 PM

I want to hear more too! It's amazing how the young girls who are DD's friends were amazed to hear I sewed a few years ago. They thought all sewing was done in factories. NONE of them had ever seen a sewing machine in action! I was too busy to teach them, and DD had no interest, but she was proud her Mom did something that sounded to awesome to everyone else.
So nice to hear that they didn't want the class but then didn't want to leave. LOVE that! And you get a lot of credit for that, Tourist. You must be a very good teacher!

------
Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
Babylock Evolution
Singer 403a

When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

tourist
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In reply to SouthernStitch <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 10/16/12 10:24 PM

Ah! Thanks! There were only 3 girls most of the time and one had done sewing in middle school, so she was the "pro." We have a project of a bunch of heatable grain bags to take to a conference, so I just had them sew the side seams without any preamble about how to thread the machine or anything.

So they were thrilled to be successful, in spite of it being a simple job, and happy to be able to help out. I think we had one thread nest per student, each for a different reason, but they were smart enough to stop quickly and ask right away for help.

Those Elnas (and my little Kenmore) deserve a lot of credit for being so easy to use. DD's finicky old Kenmore (incidentally, the only one bought through a dealer - and a good one, at that) might just be destined to be re-homed. The $5.00 specials from the thrift store were spectacular!

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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