Teaching

So I was really nervous before the first class I taught.  It was for a little girl's dress called the Gracie Dress.  It was for the tiered top (view C).



I've never been to a class like this, so to teach one was unnerving.  I didn't know what protocol or procedure was so I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants.  Only two women attended the class so it was up close and personal.  By the end of the three hours though, I realized it wasn't as scary as I had thought.

The last class I taught though was the hardest one.  It was for the Bellanca Bag.


It was a complicated class to teach and still not having a lot of experience under my belt, the class didn't go very well.  Only one woman out of seven came close to finishing it, and she came with it halfway done!  I've arranged for a makeup class next week for those who didn't finish it, but one woman can't attend and she had the most trouble.

I invited her over to the alteration shop yesterday so I could go over a few things with her and she gave me the most helpful advice I've ever received.  She's attended a lot of classes over the years, mostly quilting classes, and told me what has been the most helpful for her.  She was so understanding that I'm a new teacher and was so willing to give me constructive criticism.

Her pointers:

  • Introduce the whole pattern and then explain the steps they'll be doing.
  • Start with the first step and explain in detail what they should do, demonstrating if necessary.  Then move through each step doing the same thing.
  • Stop the whole group for pointers at certain places, even if not everyone is to that step yet and explain what's needed.
  • Don't assume anyone understands the pattern.  If I had difficulty with certain steps, others certainly will.
It all seems so logical now that she's pointed them out, but at the time it didn't occur to me.  So next Wednesday for the makeup class, I'll be armed with a newfound knowledge.  I could feel silly that I didn't do a good job and didn't know how to teach, but I'd rather chalk it up to experience and move forward, grateful for the advice.

I like to sew

This has been my most recent passion.  I've always sewn.  From the time I was ten and attending 4-H in Moab, Utah.  I made a skirt out of yellow fabric with big pink flowers on it.  I was very proud of it because I put a zipper in, and it looked good!  At least from a ten year old's perspective.

I sewed as a teenager and made myself jeans, shirts, a swimming suit and a lined wool jacket and skirt.  But I felt like a fool in Home Economics in high school.  I knew what I was doing, even if Mrs. Marsden didn't approve of my methods.  But I'm sure everyone has issues with high school.

I sewed as a young mother and made jammies, blankets, dresses and dolls, and shirts for my husband. And Halloween costumes. And curtains. And pillows. And Christmas decorations. If it could be sewn, I probably made it.

And now I sew professionally. I worked at the costume shop at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts where I met Morelia Diaz. She's an incredible seamstress with a Master's degree in costume design. She found herself in need of help at her alteration shop and through a series of inspired events, she hired me. What a wonderful job this has been. I have learned so many things from Morelia that I wouldn't have otherwise learned.

I also was asked recently if I would like to teach a few apparel classes at a local quilt shop in town called The Quilted Works. And you know what? I had a really good time. I wasn't quite sure I was up to the challenge, but I'm glad I took that leap. I enjoy sharing my skills and knowledge with others.

So parts of this blog will be me showing you how to make something nifty I've found. And I'm looking forward to that too.

- Marcie
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