The Textiles Classroom

I have just done a quick, 5 minute google search on the term “sewing classes for children“.  I was interested to see what size classes sewing centres generally have.  As I expected, the classes are usually advertised as being ‘small’, with at least one venue stating ‘8-10 participants’.  Oh heaven!  And generally these kids want to be there.

So imagine 20 – 24 students in a classroom with one teacher.  The first year that teacher has taught textiles.  Now replace that thought with 16 boys and 4 girls.  What do you see?  Chaos?  Lack of interest?  Lack of attention?  Yeah, that about sums up the situation.

In the first semester, we hardly had to rethread the overlockers.  Six weeks was considered to be too long for making the boxers, and the students were pretty much on track with completing on time.  This semester, one of my classes (mostly girls) is even better than the first semester classes, but the other class.  Argh.

In order to complete the boxer shorts with out having to repair any more overlockers, I sat down and did all the overlocking for half the boys.  I have banned this class from even LOOKING at the overlockers (but on a positive note – I am now able to rethread an overlocker).  Their next project is supposed to be a bag that they have designed themselves.  Um, NO!  It would never get done!  I have instructed the boys to make a rectangular pattern, 30cm x 45cm, place it on the fabric, cut out the two pieces of fabric and sew them together, right sides together.  We are going to do a French Seam.

Hand Dyed Fabric

Yesterday I started making two models to demonstrate to the boys what I want, and what the finished article should look like.  I used some hand dyed fabric that I produced with my friend, Kaye Shanks, several years ago.  I am just not sure how I am going to do the closure.  Once I have worked this out, I will post a picture of the finished bags…

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