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2015 Summer Sewing Camps for kids in Short Pump, VA

March 30, 2015

I have the dates for the 2015 Summer Sewing Camps for kids. If have a child between 8 and 15 years old who would like to spend a week this summer learning to sew, or working on their sewing skills and techniques, this is a great opportunity.

Session 1:  June 22-26 from 1 pm -4 pm

Session 2:  July 27-31  1-4 pm

Session 3:  August 17-21    1-4 pm

The classes are only being offered at the Short Pump location this year. I teach them in the classroom at the Hobby Lobby store. Cost is $250 per student per week. In addition, each student should have a $50 gift card to pay for their materials and supplies for the class.

New students will learn basic sewing machine use: winding a bobbin, threading a machine, sewing a straight line

As well as use of a commercial sewing pattern: Layout, tracing/marking, cutting out, and assembly of a garment

Students who complete that in time will also learn to install a zipper.

Students frequently take the first class in June and then continue through the other classes, so they not only learn the basics, but use those skills to delve into their desire to create fashion garments for themselves.

Registration is open now, and will close when the class is full, or the 20th of the month prior to the camp. So, registration for the June class closes on May 20, for the July class; June 20 and for the August class; July 20.

In addition to these camps, I am able to do private bookings for groups of girls in your neighborhood, friend-group, or church. Just contact me about dates and you must be willing to provide the location. Groups can be mother/child groups, or just children (or adult groups). All must be booked in consecutive-day clusters. For instance, a Mon-Fri, or Wed-Saturday, etc.

email me for more info or give me a call at 804.313.9717

The Beginner’s Sewing class – Richmond, VA

March 29, 2015

We are having a great time in the beginner’s sewing class. The first night of class, one dear student encountered every possible problem you can encounter on a first night. My philosophy is always that you should make every possible, naturally occuring mistake in class, so you learn to correct them before you are alone at home and have no one to show you how. So, when the mistakes occurred, I used that as an opportunity to teach everyone how to overcome those errors. I think it was too much for that particular student. Phooey. I’m sorry.

The second week, a different student was in that same position. She, however considered each problem a learning opportunity and was able to overcome the embarrassment of having everyone know she had another roadblock in her progress and she learned a lot from her mistakes, as did everyone else.DSC_0015Here, one student is laying out her pattern. Using the solid black fabric is a little different than using a fabric that has an obvious inside and outside aspect of it, but this student is doing great with this.  DSC_0016 Here is an example of a student using the grain line to be sure the linear patterns on the skirt are straight on the skirt. DSC_0017 You can see we have plenty of room for 5-6 students and everyone is fast at work.DSC_0018 DSC_0019Here are the 4 pieces of this skirt once they have been cut out. They are awaiting the transfer of pattern markings. DSC_0020 This student is transferring the dart lines to the wrong side of the fabric, so she can use them to sew the darts. DSC_0021 The darts drawnDSC_0022and sewn (before pressing).

The third week of class, things started to click for everyone! This is a great group of students and I’m LOVING working with such eager minds. The students installed the zippers this week. DSC_0023 One the zipper is installed, students try on their skirts and make any necessary alterations. This student is marking the skirt for cutting, after she has taken it in. DSC_0024 Here is a close-up of her marking for cutting away the excess fabric.DSC_0025This student chose a fabric with horizontal lines. She was very careful about matching those lines up, so the skirt’s pattern continues from front back, and across the zipper properly. Well done! DSC_0026Here you can see one of the students admiring the wonderful job she did on her zipper. DSC_0027 And the great fun of zipping and unzipping the zipper once you’ve installed it successfully. It’s such a triumphant feeling.DSC_0028After trying on and if necessary, altering the skirts, the students fused the facing and interfacing and sewed the two together. We will attach those to the skirts in week 4 and hem the skirts. Everyone is on track for a successfully completed skirt.

I do hope that some of these students will continue on into the May class for more in-depth instruction. It’s such a pleasure working with them.

A quilt panel as a door?

March 29, 2015

We live in and are rennovating an old farmhouse. In that process, we are trying to increase it’s energy efficiency. As a part of that effort, we are adding doors to the kitchen, living room and hallways that would otherwise be open. It doesn’t make sense to me to put up so many wooden doors in room we just want to “not heat”, rather than rooms that need privacy. So, I have begun making a set of 3 “soft doors”. They are quilt panels just larger than the door that are on hinged quilt racks so they can be swing open and closed.

Yesterday, I finished the first of these. Here is a picture of the panel as I was trying to determine the size pocket to put at the top: DSC_0030

This is the view of the soft door from my kitchen, but when it swings open, it hangs over a bare section of wall across the hall from the front door. So it becomes a piece of functional art, viewable to all guests who come to the front door.

This project turned out to be better than I thought. My husband will extend the rack, as it is about 3.5″ too short and I’ll have to install a sleeve at the bottom of the door to insert a weighted rod, as the room has such a positive airflow that it billows out even though it has batting and is quilted!

This panel represents my first efforts at crazy quilting. I enjoyed crazy quilting and will do more of it once my studio is more functional. Until then, I’m too messy with crazy quilting to keep the work out so I can work on it continuously.

Though I did the piecing, designing and sewing of the quilt, It was hand-quilted by a friend, here in WV.

Youth Sewing Summer Camp

March 21, 2015

This year, I’m only offering the Summer Sewing Camp for Kids at the Short Pump Location. If you want a kids summer sewing camp and these dates don’t work for you, you can put together a group of 4 -6 kids and have it at your home or church on dates that suit you. Just get in touch and we’ll see what we can work out.

Here are the dates for 2015:

June 22-26 from 1 pm -4 pm

July 27-31  1-4 pm

August 17-21    1-4 pm

Kids can be beginners, semi-sewists, or intermediates to join this class. Cost is $250 for the week-long camp. In addition to the class registration fee, each student will spend about $50/week and so should have a Hobby Lobby gift card to purchase whatever needs arise.

In the past, I could upload a registration form on this blog, but wordpress seems to have changed that, so I’ll have to look see if I am still able to do that. Otherwise, email me and I’ll send you a registration form.

Registration ends when the class fills, or on the 20th of the month proceeding the start of camp. June camp registration closes on May 20, July camp registration closes 6/20 and August camp registration closes on 7/20 (unless the camp fills prior to those dates).

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


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