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Next Sewing class in Richmond’s far west end begins 3/5/2015

February 6, 2015

I’m ready for a little R&R, so I’m taking 2 weeks off from teaching in Richmond. I’ll be back the first week of March, fresh and ready to begin the spring season for sewing classes. We will begin the After-school sewing class on 3/5 in Short Pump. That class meets from 4:30-5:30 on Thursdays. We will meet the four Thursdays in March. I’ll have several returning students who will begin work on a more complex project that their PJ pants, which they finished in February.  We have several new students who will begin in March also. Their project will be the PJ pants and those take 8 class sessions to make, so when you register, let me know whether you are able to do March and April (their project will be the Jammies) or whether you can do just March, in which case, we will get you working on a shorter-term project that should be just as much fun. Cost for the March after-school session is $60 and registration closes on 2/20, so email me now for a copy of the registration form.

The adult sewing class will begin on the same evening at 6 and meets until 8 pm. We will meet on the four Thursdays in march and the cost is $150. I believe we will have all new students and I currently have 3 openings. The first project is usually a pencil skirt. If there are returning students, let me know what project you want to do and we will try to find a pattern that will fit your skill-set to create that project. Again, the registration deadline is 2/20, so please email now, to get a registration form.

For those who just can’t fit that into their schedule, I offer private lessons, generally on Thursdays prior to my after-school class, so I have time slots from 12-1, 1-2 , 2-3 and 3-4. Cost for private lessons is $50/hr.

Hope to see you in the studio.

Last week of the Jan Beginners Sewing class 2015

January 30, 2015

Now that the PJ’s are cut out, the kids began to sew the inner leg seams and the center seams. DSC_0016 DSC_0017 The did the first one in class and in some cases, did the second at home. DSC_0018 DSC_0019 Here, one student is admiring her pinning of the center seam.DSC_0020While another sews the outer leg seams. Great job!

DSC_0033 This plaid fabric is the same on both sides, or appears to be. This makes sewing the garment more difficult if the student doesn’t mark “right” or “wrong” side of fabric. It’s easy to wind up with two left pants legs. (I’m speaking from experience here)DSC_0032 This student is working on easing the skirt to fit the facing.DSC_0031 She did a nice job of it.

It was difficult to tell the right and wrong sides of the fabric with this linen, but the student marked one side with tailor’s chalk. DSC_0030

Here, you see the facing pieces which have had the interfacing fused. This student is trimming away excess interfacing.

DSC_0028 DSC_0027 One student, in particular was grasping the concepts and working diligently to stay ahead of the game, but her machine just wouldn’t co-operate. DSC_0026 DSC_0025 Here, she is easing the skirt to the facing.

But here, you can see she was getting some funky, loose stitches. We checked the bobbin, made sure the thread was properly in the needle arm, checked the tension, presser foot and could not find the problem. When I sat at the machine, it usually behaved, but when the student sat at the machine, it wouldn’t. DSC_0023

My recommendation when you just can’t figure out why it isn’t working is to turn it off, unthread the machine and completely rethread the upper and bobbin thread. This usually fixes problems we can’t find. Not so with this machine!

Finally, I reminded the studentDSC_0022  how much I hate plastic bobbins. Even when a machine comes with plastic bobbins, sometimes, they just-don’t-work!DSC_0021After several classes of struggling with this, I finally loaned her one of my metal bobbins and she had no more problems, even though both bobbins were class 15 bobbins. DSC_0024

All’s well that ends well :D

Looking forward to the next round of classes, which begin in March at the Chesterfield location and March 5 at the Short Pump location. All registrations close on 2/20 and spaces are already booked, so you need to get your spot in class now.

sewing lessons/classes weekly

January 24, 2015

We had a good time in class on Thursday. This was true for the kids after-school class, as well as the adult evening class. Because I will be on vacation the last 2 weeks of February and because of lack of enrollment, there is no February “Beginner’s sewing class”. Instead, Feb 5 and 12 will be “Bring it on!” sewing classes. You bring what you need help with and I will work with you on the project you need help with. Cost is $35/week. We meet from 6-8 pm and you must pay in advance to join us. That means you need to make payment before 2/1.

In order for me to make your time work to it’s greatest advantage, you need to message me about what the project is and where you are having problems, so I’m not researching and previewing your project during class time, in order to help you. If I research your project in advance, I arrive with answers, or ready to work with you. Max # of students each evening is 4. If you are one of my previous students and you’ve hit a stumbling block, this is a great time to come in

Here are pics of the work:

DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0003 DSC_0004 DSC_0007 Here,

the kids are cutting out their pajamas. We don’t generally have to work on the floor, as a matter of fact, this was the first time. But the additional tables arrived in time for the kids to sew. DSC_0008You can see that I do teach my students to trace their patterns and their markings for their first project. After the first project, of course markings get traced, but frequently students choose to cut their patterns. Tracing paper can be very faint and we had to go back over ours with tailors chalk. DSC_0010 DSC_0009 DSC_0008 DSC_0007 DSC_0006Pinning is essential to sewing. Pin placement is important also. When pinning to cut, you pin parallel to the cutting line and inside the outline of the piece to be cut. When pinning to sew, the pins are perpendicular to the sewing line and the heads of the pins should extend off the fabric. Pins should always be  removed before they are under the pressure foot.

In the adult class, we worked on zippers. DSC_0015 DSC_0014 DSC_0013 DSC_0012

Work in the current class 1/2015

January 19, 2015


Here the student putting both threads under the pressure foot and toward the back of the machine. This is a drop-in bobbin machine.


After learning the basics of a straight stitch and sewing a straight line, students are encouraged to explore the various stitches their machines will sew.


This is a good placement for the hands when sewing. This student has her right hand well away from the needle, while still maintaining control of the fabric and the left hand is following the contours of the machine for help maintaining a straight line.


Sewing a perfect, straight line is something that takes a little bit of practice and class is a great place to begin

I’ve been really having a great time both working with my sewing students and enjoying the new grandbaby, so I haven’t posted many pictures lately. Tonight, however, I’m posting pictures of the January class in Short Pump.


This is “perfect” placement of the hands for sewing. Notice the left hand is completely on the side of the machine and the right hand exercises a very light touch, releasing the fabric when it reaches the front of the sewing table, or the bobbin compartment cover.

Though they look very similar, if you click on the photo, you’ll see an explanation of why they are each posted. We complete the current class on the last Thursday in January and because I’m on vacation for two weeks in February, I’m beginning the next session in March. We will meet on Thursdays if you choose to be in the Short Pump class and on Wednesdays if you choose to be in the Chesterfield class.

The folks in the January class will have the option to add 2 weeks to their current class if they want to go a bit farther before I leave for vacation. I can only off the extra two weeks if 2 of the 3 students choose to add. There is also an afternoon “after-school) class that meets on the same days for kids from 8-16.


Registration extended for the January class 2015

December 29, 2014

Due to low enrollment, registration is extended until 1/4 for the Beginner’s sewing class in Glen Allen, VA.

We meet on Thursday evenings from 6-8 pm at the Hobby Lobby next to Target in Glen Allen (Short Pump), VA.

Please email me, or call me to get a registration form.

For more info on the class, please check out the “adult classes” page. I’m also including a class description below.

Beginning Classes – (Learning to Sew, Beginners sewing, Sewing Machine Savvy)
Learn to use a sewing machine! Whether you are interested in learning to sew so you can make clothing, or home decor, or other items, this is the first step. In this class, students will learn sewing machine basics. Learn to wind your bobbin, thread your machine, sew a straight line, pivot corners, and much more. Then, learn to read patterns to construct your desired projects. In a 4-week class students can expect to create a basic skirt. Don’t worry if you aren’t interested in sewing garments, we still need to choose a pattern-based project, so you can learn to use patterns. After an initial “beginners class” you will be prepared to move on to using more complex patterns, or taking an intermediate class.  The first night of class, you will need to come in with 1.5 yards of pre-washed fabric from the “calico, prints and solids” section at Hobby Lobby and a supplies packet for my class. The supplies lists are available in the fabric section at Hobby Lobby. Your supplies for class must be purchased at this Hobby Lobby.  (please note that you need to come to the first night of class with your fabric already washed and dried using the methods that you will use when putting your finished product in your laundry weekly). 

Hope you will join us :D   804 313 9717   804 869 7920

Holiday sewing opportunities – great gifts!

November 22, 2014

Just a quick post to let you know what classes are available for the holidays and into 2015.

This year there is a Ho-Ho-Holiday Sewing Camp for Kids at each of the Hobby Lobby locations in Richmond.  The class meets on 12/26, 29,30,31 and 1/2. The camp in Short Pump is from 9 am – noon and the Chesterfield camp is from 12:45 – 3:45. They are for children from 8-16 years old. It’s a great companion gift for kids getting a sewing machine for Christmas. Cost for either camp is $250. Students will also need a $50 Hobby Lobby gift card so they can purchase their sewing pattern, fabric thread and other sewing supplies for class.  If you are interested, you can contact me by email at or by phone at 804.313.9717 or 804.869.7920. Please leave a message at both numbers. If you email, I generally get back to you within 24 hours.DSC_0004

Although I don’t have a holiday sewing camp for adults, the next series of Adult Beginners classes begins on 1/7/15 in Chesterfield and 1/8/15 in Short Pump. HPIM6689Gift Certificates are available for both classes and these, too, make great holiday gifts because gift certificates are available. email me for a registration form, or call for more information. or by phone at 804.313.9717 or 804.869.7920


Great fun in the studio today

November 13, 2014

The kids in the afterschool class finished their Machine-sewn Christmas ornaments. You can see the tutorial in a previous post. They did a great job and loved their ornaments. Week 2 of their class was about finishing those, and cutting for their zippered pillow covers. So, we squared up their fabric and cut it out for next week. These 8-year olds will learn to install their first zipper. From there, it’s 3 simple, straight seams to a finished pillow cover. I’ll try to remember to take pictures next week, so you can watch their progress.

In the adult class this evening, we discovered that half the students had Dritz tracing paper that didn’t even show up on their fabric and they had to cut their patterns, rather than tracing and saving their patterns. Tracing paper is funny. Sometimes, you buy one that’s got plenty of pigment on it and others……. well, it doesn’t work out that way :(  We did also covered how to mark darts and how to sew darts. My Liquid Stitch dried up within about 6 months of the purchase date. DARN. I hate when a product doesn’t last like it should. I need to get something to glue the knots on the bottom of darts.

I do have a place to teach private sewing lessons on Thursdays and on some Wednesdays, if you are looking for private lessons. Many of you just need refresher courses, not to enroll in a whole class. You just need to learn how to use that new sewing machine you got and were too busy to learn how to use. I can get you up and going in no time!

Sorry no photos tonight, but the classes were fun and I always enjoy working with my students. See you next week, if not sooner. We are working on some quilts for the nursing home, for the lady veterans in our county and for “fire quilts” to give to folks when there houses burn down. Keep us in your prayers.


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