Students in our sewing classes will learn the basic principles of machine sewing, serging, and understanding patterns. They will see real life application of math principles as they measure and cut fabric and figure seam allowances. Students choose from hundreds of fun and useful projects, including clothing, bags, pillows, stuffed animals and quilts, just to name a few. Students thrive in this creative and positive environment as they learn valuable skills.
We are thrilled to have you in sewing class at The Home Lab, and we want you to have a great experience while you’re here! Our goal is for each student to be able to make fun projects in class, but to also have the ability to transfer those skills to home. We have found that most students want to jump right into the “fun stuff,” and we totally understand that! However, we also have found that sewing is like any other skill. If you don’t learn the basics first, the “fun stuff” will be frustrating and not at all fun. Just like practicing scales and theory on the piano will one day allow you to play a complicated concerto, there are certain steps that cannot be skipped if you want to be successful on the sewing machine.
First, in order to ensure that each student understands the basics of machine sewing, proper use of the serger, safe and proper use of the iron, and neat, precise hand sewing, we have a checklist that each student must complete at the beginning of the session. If your child has taken sewing classes in the past, but has taken a break, they will need to complete this checklist before moving ahead. Again, this is not to punish anyone, but to act as a refresher and to help them brush up on their basic skills. Completing the checklist shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for experienced students. It will save the student and the teachers time, as it will ensure that the student can do the initial troubleshooting. Of course, teachers will always be available to help and answer questions, but we want your child to be able to learn the basic skills for themselves. If students can do a quick troubleshooting assessment on their own, it will make the class more efficient and effective for everyone, as the teachers will have more time for specific instruction. After doing this for several years, we have found that 95% of the time a student says “I need help, my machine is broken!” in actuality, the machine is simply not threaded properly. Threading a machine correctly is the number one skill to master for successful sewing, and we will emphasize that again and again.
Second, we have a wide variety of projects for our students to make in class. Each project is assigned a skill level (1-6) according to the degree of difficulty and the skill it requires. All students will begin with the “beginner bag,” a canvas tote that they will use to keep their projects in between classes. Making this bag gives students practice using many fundamental skills, including proper use of the serger, iron, seam gauge, applying a pocket and straps. Once they have successfully completed this bag, they can choose from a variety of projects in the level 1 set. From there, they can move on to choose projects from level 2, then level 3, etc, as they master the skills of each level.
On a note that is (sort of) unrelated to sewing, we offer quarters at the end of class for those who clean up according to the checklist posted at each machine. We love rewarding kids for cleaning up and hope they understand that a tidy workspace is the best workspace! However, students who choose not to clean up will not be given a quarter. Additionally, please help your child understand that twisting the knobs on the machines (without putting a quarter in) or shaking the machines in an effort to get free candy or toys will break the machines. The machines are quite expensive to repair, and I will have to take them down if kids abuse the machines.