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Teach sewing? How's it going?
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wendyrb
wendyrb  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/7/13 9:28 PM

I sometimes get glimpses of sewing teachers on various threads. How about a thread to check in and share our sewing adventures? I'd love to hear from you about your students, what you're up to with them and reports of what it's like out there.

Just a bit about me to get the ball rolling. I teach grades 6, 7 and 8 Handwork at a Waldorf school in San Francisco. If you don't know, that's a private school education that is worldwide. Handwork and Woodwork are part of the curriculum throughout the grades done by all students. I love working with young adolescents

In Class 6, we make hand sewn stuffed animals and make the patterns too. Class 7 makes wool felted slippers starting with carding the wool into batts. Class 8 learns to use the sewing machine in conjunction with studying the Industrial Revolution. I love my work and the students are usually enthusiastic. Looking forward to your tales from the front.

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Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

PattiAnnJ
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Subject: Teach sewing? Hows it going? Date: 2/7/13 10:26 PM

Sounds like a heaven made job!

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

wendyrb
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<
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Date: 2/8/13 0:52 AM

I count myself a lucky woman. For a good decade, I joked with a good friend and handwork teacher, that my dream job would be to work with her. Meanwhile I "took a class through". That is, I was their class teacher from 1st grade through 8th and covered all subjects. The class and I did a lot of handwork together. They're in college now.

When the local school lost their handwork teacher, I realized I could do this! I get to help costume class plays and make puppets for marionette shows. I also teach subject blocks for 3 weeks at a time. I often sew things to use as props in my teaching. I don't see retiring anytime soon. Although then I'd have plenty of time to sew for me.

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Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

Valerie Jo
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Valerie Jo
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Date: 2/8/13 8:44 AM

Wendy, I want to take class 6. I wish I knew how to make my own patterns (especially farm animals). That is really exciting. I wish I could teach. Teaching is in my blood (grandmother and grandfather, and mom - and goes further back then that).

I have been asked to do demos at a nice quilt shop. I just haven't come up with any yet. If I may ask, what is your degree in? How would you direct someone if they came to you for advice? Do you have any pics you could share with us?

Julkane
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In reply to wendyrb <<
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Date: 2/8/13 9:08 AM

Well I just retired from my Nursing career last summer. I did many types of nursing over those 40 years but very stressful. The last 10 years I was lucky enough to teach healthcare software and found I loved teaching adults and was good at it. So in retirement, I thought I might pursue teaching sewing. So I was just asked to teach some classes at a local shop. I am currently doing my first one, a runner I designed, and I so love it. My next ones involve machine embroidery and quilting. I feel so blessed to be able to share my love of sewing!

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Elna Excellence 740, Pfaff Quilt expression 4.0, Janome 300E, Brother 8500D, Babylock Ellageo, Janome 900CPX CoverPro, Brother 5234 Project Runway Serger, Singer Treadle, Singer 66, Singer 99

http://juliannasjourney.blogspot.com/

JTink
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Date: 2/8/13 9:53 AM

I've been teaching sewing at Joann Fabrics for almost a year. It has it's rewards. The students make it worth the time and effort.

We(the teachers) find ourselves at odds with corporate over pattern choices. We have a lot of interest in the 101 classes and the totebag classes. Although the last tote we did was very involved for a 102 class. We were given 4 hours for that class and it took over 6 to make the tote. It's not unusual for the teachers to stay longer to allow the student to finish the project.

The garment patterns are awful. We actually have a dress pattern for the January/Feb. classes that looks like a brick once it's made up. It's for a level 3. I made the one to display on the classroom wall. It's lined, has an invisible zipper down the back and I found the directions were wrong in one area.

Much too involved for any student we have seen come through those doors. It can also be very expensive. Cost me over $25.00 to make something I can't use and very likely, no one will sign up for.

SouthernStitch
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Date: 2/8/13 12:15 PM

I was also teaching at Joann's but I'm not returning after this month. There is not enough room to teach more than 3 students at a time, and our ed. coordinator overbooks the rooms. She claims the room can hold 8 students, or 3 different classes at once if they each only have a few students.
This is not true, but I'm sure she's being pressured by Joann's. They don't seem to understand that people need room to spread out patterns and cut them, have room for cutting mats and supplies, machines, and an ironing station!

Many of us caught on to the fact that you must give a minimum number of students in order for it to be the least bit profitable. Even so, they will still ask you to teach just one. I'm just done with it, as much as I wanted to teach sewing.
If a student does not show up and does not cancel, we only get half the pay but Joann's keeps the rest since they don't reimburse the student for a no show.

Also, you understandably have to use Joann's fabrics and supplies to produce the display item. I was supposed to teach a class in January on making pillows using jelly rolls. Our Joann's just got the supplies in, and none of the jelly rolls would work in my decor. Really ick. By the time I make this up, it'll cost around $20, and I would make $33 to teach one student 2 two hour classes! Just not worth it! The class fee is $55, so you won't get many students for a $55 pillow class.

Seems that no one wants to take classes in a home, and that's understandable.

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

marymary86
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In reply to SouthernStitch <<


Date: 2/8/13 8:08 PM

Do you belong to a church that would let you use a classroom?

I could see it growing to the point that you could actually rent the classroom (or gain such a rapport with your students that they'd feel comfortable having it in someone's home).

------
Mary


SouthernStitch
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In reply to marymary86 <<


Date: 2/8/13 8:13 PM

No, they aren't interested in sponsoring a sewing class. I've spoken to the youth minister but I'd have to do it for free. I don't mind giving my time, but I'd like to make some money too.

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

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

AdaH
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Date: 2/10/13 1:09 PM

I have not started yet but have signed up at JA's to teach a pattern fitting class. I am working on my outline for a presentation at the Sewing Guild meeting that I will do in March so I think this shouldl transfer to teaching the JA class.
Since I don't care about making any money that is not a problem for me. Not that the money won't be nice if I manage to make any but not the major issue. I will be consicered an Independent Contractor so what and how I teach is up to me so says the education person at JA's. Will have to wait and see how that turns out?

------
Ada

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