I have been thinking a lot lately about what I can offer my sewing students. I have been sewing for over 45 years, but for darn sure I do not know everything there is to know about sewing. I will not even learn everything before I die! Isn’t that one of the great aspects about this craft though – there is always something new to be learned. New products come on the market, people find interesting new ways to use existing products, new tools and fabrics spark different ideas that result in unusual design techniques, life shapes us in new ways and we explore an old technique in a new way, and “sew on” and “sew on”. That is part of the appeal of sewing to me – constant learning and constant challenges.
I believe that every teacher offers something unique to her students, and that learning from a variety of instructors provides balance and depth to learning a skill. Some teachers are master craftswomen who can make perfect bound buttonholes in their sleep. Others have the gift of explaining complex concepts clearly and succinctly, every time. A few are able to encourage the most timid and unsure to reach new levels of achievment. I would like my students to say of me that I helped ignite a passion in them for the creativity inherent in sewing, and that the process is just darn FUN. Stitching a straight seam is important, knowing how to put in a zipper is very helpful, understanding grainlines and pattern layout is necessary, but I hope the key take-away for my students is the joy of creation. The feel of the fabric. The delightful play of colors. The excitement of adding a special embellishment or button that gives a garment just the right POP. The pride of wearing something they have designed and executed. Perfect technique is not my emphasis with beginning students; acceptance of where they are balanced with their sewing goals is much more important to me. Oh, and the FUN of sewing. Because life is short. Have fun while you sew!
If you have ever taught anyone to sew, what would you like them to say about their experience with you?