Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Teaching a Friend to Sew

Does this sound familiar?
Friend: Oh I love your dress!
You:  Thanks - I made this myself.
Friend: WOW!  That's amazing!  I wish I could do that!
You: You could!  If you find a pattern you like, and buy the fabric, I could help you get started.

Then after this, usually I never hear from them.
But for once, someone genuinely wanted to learn how to sew and took me up on the offer!  Unbelievable!
Back in September 2012 we went shopping for a pattern and a fabric together, but ever since then, because of clashing schedules and cancelled plans we haven't been able to get together to get it started.  So it was this weekend she and her husband came to stay for the weekend.  Whilst the men talked about painting and went on a country walk, we got started on cutting and sewing.

Sewing School

I was able to help her consider the measurements on the pattern envelope and compare these to the final garment measurements written on the actual pattern pieces, to decide on a size to follow.  We cut out all the pieces and then stopped for tea and cake.

Can you believe her first instructions were for curved seams for the front and back bodice!!  And she did a great job.

I did the hand basting whilst she went onto doing the skirt - this was very kind of me as I NEVER  baste.
The front of the skirt has three panels that then get folded into two front pleats!  More great stitching.
two front pleats

And the back two panels have darts.  So including the lining, she sewed four darts and eight curved seams!  And all this from a girl who has only ever sewn cushions!
four back darts and room for a zip

Of course I taught her to snip all threads and press every seam as you go.

We will be attaching the sleeves, collar and zip sometime in the near future, when I'll be able to show you the finished garment.
Really I should have made her choose a much simpler pattern that had no lining, darts or curved seams, but I felt that she should begin by making something that she REALLY wanted to own and that she'd love.  Wanting something fabulous, finished and wearable is a great motivation to learn sewing skills.
We are making view B of Vogue 8667

I am really pleased to have been able to share my knowledge and my love of sewing with someone so keen.
Don't you just wish that everybody could have that warm satisfaction of learning how to create their own clothes?  What do you say to people who, after admiring your handiwork declare a wish to create?


  1. That is so kind of you to take the time to teach someone else! How sweet!

  2. Can't wait to see how her dress turns out! Best wishes!

  3. This is so nice of you! I'm not sure I'd have the patience to teach anyone!

  4. Well done you, very brave. I have had a similar conversation just today and offered to teach a friend to make a patchwork cushion - simpler than a dress I think......except that she is planning to bring a bottle of wine so we may have curve seams too! Juliex

    1. Ha ha! How funny! Do share pictures if your sewing bee eventuates!

  5. I know what you mean by friends never following through! I've offered to several people to come sew with me in my studio, but no one ever does! It's great to share sewing with others! Not everyone had grandma (like me) who taught me when I was a kid.

  6. How nice and if your friend gets really enthusiastic about sewing you'll have a new person to talk about sewing to in real life. That's really exciting too!!


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