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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Will you help me think through an idea? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Will you help me think through an idea?
Anne Onymus
Anne Onymus
Member since 12/22/11
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Date: 7/9/13 4:24 PM

ADMG

We LOVE sewing. We started taking sewing lessons a little over a year ago and love it. Alas, Alas! We're losing our beloved sewing teacher. In a fit of disordered priorities, she's leaving us to move to Colorado to be near her children. ; )
She has been an excellent teacher and we've learned a lot. We have more to learn but we're not really interested in taking lessons from someone else just now. However, we do know that if we don't do something, sewing will get shoved to the back burner over and over until we find we're hardly ever sewing anymore. And we do not want that!

We thought of having a sewing club. We considered all the things we wish a sewing club were like and have considered where and when would be best. We've gotten it all thought out and even have an outline of what the club meetings/sewing circle structure would be. What we don't have is a club membership.

We know very few people who sew. very few. My daughter would like some kids her age (14) and I'd like some my age. Well, not many people my age sew (our mothers did but it seems to have stopped there for most people) and precious few 14 year olds sew at all.

We want to meet once per month for 2.5 - 3 hours and a several hour stretch is a pretty big commitment for someone who doesn't already love sewing.

So we don't know where to get our club members.

This is what we want:
each member has her own personal sewing goals (though we can help her decide on them as a group); she selects her sewing projects accordingly and keeps a portfolio.

At the meeting, we arrive, greet, set up.

Show and Tell: each member shows her project, shows how she updated her portfolio, explains how she'll continue or retire her goal, explain her new goal if she has one. Everyone else offers compliments and helps with any ideas for goals/objectives. This isn't sewing lessons, it's accountability; each member is expected to be able to meet her goals/objectives on her own.

When everyone has finished, we break.

After break we begin work on the monthly project. Members will take turns leading a charitable project. It would have to be something we could finish in 1 to 1.5 hours and be useful: isolette covers for the NICU, cloth toys for Madonna House, hats/scarves for the shelter, et c.

Announce the next project (and each member would have to bring some part of the supplies or the leading member would have to collect the money).

So, you can see how a club like this wouldn't be for just anyone. It is really for someone who loves to sew, wants to give back to Our Lord for the gift, and is willing to commit.

Where do we find those people????? Conversely, is that a realistic idea for a sewing club? I toyed with the idea of meeting via skype or something but I do want a live sewing circle. Any ideas?
-- Edited on 7/9/13 4:24 PM --

procraftinate
procraftinate
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 7/9/13 4:57 PM

Check craft and fabric stores. I don't have any clubs near me but I don't know anyone else my age that can sew and I am working on teaching my 8 year old daughter, my 6 year old son has been asking to learn too.

marymary86
marymary86
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GA USA
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thumbsup 4 members like this.
Date: 7/9/13 9:07 PM

Perhaps it be worthwhile to check out the American Sewing Guild and see if you can start a local chapter?

------
Mary


KensingtonCrab
KensingtonCrab
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SC USA
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Date: 7/9/13 9:20 PM

Our libraries have a sewing group that meets once a month.

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Carpe diem!

wenznz
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wenznz  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 7/9/13 9:25 PM

I found my lovely sewing group through Meetup.
You could try that to see if there is something in your area, or alternatively set up your own group on it, so that other interested people can find you.

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Wendy
Wellington, New Zealand

simplystitches
simplystitches
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Date: 7/9/13 9:56 PM

I'm also going to suggest checking for a group on meet up or forming one which will give you a chance to get more members.

One thing I would suggest is to be a bit looser on your ideas about a group meeting and you'll appeal to more people. The meet up group of sewers in my area just get together for the time to sew once or twice a month. A few all work on the same project (makes it easy to help each other out) while others work on anything and everything. They meet at a local library that has free rooms that they reserve. They pay no club dues.

While I think your idea of charity sewing is noble I also think it's a bit unrealistic, at least at every meeting. With the time frame you're suggesting by the time you do show and tell, a break and charity sewing you've left virtually no time to do any other sewing. I would work with the goal of establishing a group first and later suggest the charity sewing and doing it a few times a year.

I belong to the sewing guild and we have a small neighborhood group that does charity sewing monthly but the (mostly) entire chapter gets together once or twice a year for big charity sews.

Debbie





sewdoggie22
sewdoggie22  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 7/10/13 11:44 AM

I belong to a sewing group that meets once a month for lunch. We bring a 'show and tell' or talk about a problem or solution. Some get together at another time to work on a project. It's sewing and social with no pressure other than to talk about sewing. Some are quilters, some do machine embroidery and I sew garments (the only garment sewer). It's fun to see/hear about all of it.

Nancy1955
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Nancy1955  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/10/13 2:02 PM

Another vote for the American Sewing Guild. Go to asg.org and see if there is a chapter in your area. If there is, then go to a meeting and see how you like it. Most chapters meet once per month for 3 hours. There are also neighborhood groups that meet on a monthly basis.
Our ASG chapter has guest speakers, we do charity projects and have open sewing meetings.
We also have a show and tell at the beginning of the meeting!

-- Edited on 7/10/13 2:05 PM --

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild  Friend of PR
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In reply to Anne Onymus <<


Date: 7/10/13 4:44 PM

This all sounds fabulous, with the exception of the project. I think it's too much to throw at someone who's a member of the Club. They will be finishing their Show and Tells, and then they have to consider a project? You might want to see how big the Club gets and maybe let a small group work on a project.

You seem to be a churchgoer, and I'd suggest you post a notice at your church. Also, send out local flyers and maybe advertise in the paper. Maybe have a reporter interview you? I'm sure you'd want local people; that's why I'm suggesting local. It takes a while, but you will get noticed.

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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DonnaH
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DonnaH
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TX
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Date: 7/10/13 5:55 PM

I agree with the others that the charity project should be saved for just a few times each year (or discussed among the members as to how often after the group has become established). Do you have contact information for any other students of this teacher, or were they all private lessons? They would be the first to contact.

Check the local library and sewing shops (if you have any) for possible meeting spaces, perhaps even the church hall. (Be careful as some people have issues with going into other people's churches - so you could be limiting your membership.) SOmetimes schools will allow this as well. If your local HS has a Home Ec room with machines they will let you use, even better. But unless you teach there, it's doubtful.

Once you find a place that will let you reserve a room on a monthly basis, pick a day/time for the first meeting and advertise - flyers in all the places mentioned (sewing/fabric stores, local churches, libraries) as well as any place that allows flyers for community events (grocery stores, drug stores, diners, etc.). And if your in a small town, many times the local (usually weekly) paper has a "community calendar" section for upcoming events.

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