This summer I needed someone to babysit my children while I taught classes at the Arts Center; just over the hill there was a teenage who needed to learn to sew. A light bulb came on! I offered said teenager private sewing lessons in exchange for babysitting hours. We had a plan that suited everyone!
Jessie upheld her end of the bargain; children were alive, feed, and happy when I arrived home. So our sewing lessons began. We started with an exercise that I modified from the way my mother learned to sew. My mother made rag quilts, I taught Jessie to make a rag pillow, an excellent exercise in getting the feel for a straight stitch and how the sewing machine runs. Next, Jessie made a small bag for her make-up and then a garden apron for her mother. We were working up to the BIG project she really wanted to do…making a skirt. In our first lessons she learned the importance of accuracy, measuring and ironing, three skills there is not a lot of fun in learning, but truly essential to sewing. Undeterred by the first lessons and still excited about the skirt we sewed on.
Jessie and I butted heads a bit about the design of the skirt. She came to the table with lots of great, fashionable ideas, backed up with pictures. I had my own great, practical ideas, backed up with experience. Jessie REALLY wanted a very wide elastic waist band, and I thought it would be frustrating for a beginner to sew. We finally found very wide elastic, but not in the color she had in mind. I agreed to let her try sewing the elastic if she would agree to a compromise about the color. In the end the elastic was a bit frustrating, but she persisted and eventually prevailed! She did a wonderful job on her skirt! AND now she wants to make a hat. We have a talented seamstress in the making...and a very proud teacher.
Want to make a skirt like Jessie’s? Stay tuned for directions….