Sewing lessons

My niece, R, came to her first sewing lesson armed with one skirt pattern and three lots of fabric. “There were so many nice fabrics on sale so I bought three”. I knew then we were off to a good start!

She choose Simplicity 2451 style C (the plain green one) as her pattern. The instructions from this Simplicity pattern are excellent and the diagrams really help (perhaps this comment from me shows I’m sewing too many BurdaStyle patterns??)

The first lesson was mainly spent in preshrinking the fabric, working out her size, preparing the pattern pieces accordingly, then cutting out and marking in dots and darts with chalk. Not so much sewing machine action!

Of course, I’m hoping her cousin’s interest will encourage my daughter into sewing, but at this point, after helping R find the pattern pieces, she slipped back into perusing a fashion magazine in the same room as the action!


Lesson two was spent at the sewing machine. R is an excellent student: Careful, quietly confident, persistent. Even unpicking stay stitching after the yoke pieces were sewn on didn’t faze her.

By the end of lesson two she only had the zip, yoke facings and hem to go! And it looked like the fit was spot on. It feels so good to pass on skills, and to see R pleased with her efforts.

And my cunning plan to lure my daughter to the sewing machine seems to be working, even if she has to use the old machine while R got the new one..

Here they both are in the “sweatshop”

Sewing is now temporarily interrupted by a week on Kangaroo Island….


3 thoughts on “Sewing lessons

  1. Sweatshop! Love it!

    I’m so grateful that at school I was able to take Fashion (dressmaking for senior grades as a follow on from home economics) to learn how to “sew” and understand patterns, make garments and master basic pattern drafting and alteration.

    Only the really big schools here in Queensland (Brisbane in my case) offer the subject, I think, since the school I attended offer near abouts every single curriculum subject except Marine Biology.

    Does your daughter/neice have an equivalent subject taught at their schools?

    I can’t help but worry that making clothing is becoming a bit of a lost art.

  2. My niece’s school is not offering dressmaking any more, and that’s what prompted her lesson. She’s at a fairly large high school in Adelaide, so its a bit surprising to me.
    My daughter starts at a girls only school this year and they do teach dressmaking, but it does seem like this subject is not so often on the curriculum any more in SA either.

  3. So great to see teenagers learning to sew! Love the purchase of 3 fabrics rather than only one, stash building from the beginning…isn’t that fantastic?

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