Since Spring this past year, I have been teaching sewing to kids and adults at my local community center. I’ve taught a total of 6 classes which includes one whole week of summer camp. I have had to source the projects, fabrics, and supplies. I have had to write instruction booklets for each class as each new class had different projects. And I have had to sew up all the samples to show the students a finished product.
It’s been quite a learning process for me as well. I’ve learned which projects are too hard for beginners. For example, really small fiddly sewing is too hard for a beginner. The shoelaces and the superhero mask were way too fiddly for my students. So I’ve taken those projects off the list of possibilities. I’ve learned that cutting the projects out for them is absolutely a must. Just learning how to use the machine is intimidating enough without fearing a badly cut out project. Even pressing is something I will do ahead of time to cut down on the kids waiting on me to help them with the next step.
My first class was unisex, but I have had difficulty coming up with simple projects that would appeal to both sexes. My last two classes have been for girls only. I have started incorporating home dec projects as well, since most garment sewing involves fitting and/or you must have the correct size cut out. So, even though I don’t opt to do home dec sewing on my own, I recognize that these kinds of projects lend themselves well to teaching sewing.
Here are some of the projects that I’ve taught to my students…
(Clockwise from top left) Knit head wrap, cross body bag, hair scrunchy, pj shorts, bookmark, and envelope style pillow
(Clockwise from top right) D-ring belt, Parisian headscarf, elasticized waist skirt, half apron, infinity scarf, Halloween trick or treat bag, and turban headband.
(Clockwise from top left) Placemat, coaster and napkin, full apron, hand warmer, key ring, drawstring bag.
This was one of the projects I had the adult students make, a faux leather lined clutch purse. It was a huge hit with the adults. I loved making this bag; I think it’s super cute. For the next adult class which starts next week, I have five projects lined up: A table runner for Thanksgiving, a head wrap (like the one the kids are doing next), a coffee cozy, the envelope pillow (like the kids), and a wine gift bag. I think it will be a great class.
It’s a lot of work coming up with the class projects, putting together the booklets, buying and pre-washing the fabrics, AND prepping the projects for the students every week. In fact, after this session, I am taking a break from teaching sewing until at least Spring. I don’t want to get burned out.
If any of you have any ideas for easy beginner projects, I would love to hear about them. I think I’ve reached the end of the internet for new projects. I haven’t listed all the projects above that I’ve covered already, so if you’re going to suggest pillowcases, I have already done that one. 😉