Monday, March 28, 2011

Adventures in Beginning Sewing....Part 1

I teach home ec.  Which then means I teach beginning sewing.  VERY beginning sewing.  Students who don't know how to sew on a button or even how to thread a needle.  We start with hand sewing and they make a small bear (6") out of fleece, and sewn completely by hand.  That usually goes "ok".

And when we finish with hand sewing we progress to machine sewing.  Which means I have to teach them how to use a sewing machine.  This ALWAYS ends up a hilarious endeavor.  This year is no different.

Oy.

Adventures in sewing part one.

Today's jems....

I explained to them at the beginning of a seam you must "set" your seam by sewing 4 or 5 stitches and then depressing the lever and backstitch 4 or 5 stitches to "set" your seam and so it doesn't unravel.  I also explained they had to do this for the bottom of the seam as well.

Two girls misheard me and they sewed an entire seam and then backstitched the entire seam.  They did this for both of the ties for their apron.  And then one complained how hard backstitching was and I realized what she was doing.  I explained and I thought she was going to cry.  She spent 10 min trying to backstitch.  The worst part was her stitches were SO bad she had to seam rip the entire 30" string.

Another young woman was sewing along and screeched "My sewing machine is broken".  First I asked what it was doing, and she said "not sewing".  Ooookkk....can you be a little more specific? Sheesh.  So then I asked if she rethreaded it (I won't even look at a machine before they take the thread completely out, and rethread the whole thing.  She said yes.  Then I asked if she rethreaded her bobbin.  She looked at me and asked "Where's the bobbin go again?"
Um....they had to take AND PASS a test on the parts of a sewing machine before I let them touch it so I know she KNOWS what the bobbin is...
I answered it's in the bobbin case under that clear plastic door on the bed of the machine.  She looks puzzled.  I walk over.  She was sewing without a bobbin.  She had wound the bobbin and left it on the bobbin winder, never realizing that she had to do something with it....so I show her, for the third time (two whole class demonstrations) how to insert the bobbin.  Then I look and her needle isn't threaded....at that moment I decided she needed a partner (her's dropped the class).  I have one young woman who is an experienced sewer.  She now has the true beginner as her partner....when I walked away I heard a happy squeal.  She had gotten the machine to sew a few practice stitches....

You can't make this stuff up!

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