So You Want to Learn How to Sew, Do You?

>> Thursday, December 9, 2010

I meet a lot of people - kids and adults - who want to learn how to sew. And it's fun to teach them! I've taught kids as young as six how to sew stuffed animals, skirts, aprons, and doll clothes - all of their own design! I've taught teens how to refashion a wardrobe from thrift-store finds. I've taught grown-ups how to make clothes and toys for their children and grandchildren, and how to sew beautiful quilts without stress. And I've loved every minute of it!
I've taught at schools and summer camps, colleges and fabric stores. I've published books and online tutorials. But now I'm thinking bigger. I've set up a whole website just for all those folks out there who want to learn to sew. Starting in 2011 there'll be two new video lessons every week - one sewing and one embroidery. There'll be lots of projects for you to practice your new skills. There'll be galleries where you can share (and show off!) your work.
By the end of the year you'll be able to sew everything from stuffed animals to clothing. You'll be the master of zippers and buttonholes. You'll know tricks for working with all kinds of fancy fabrics - from velvet to tissue lame. You'll know what tissue lame is! And you'll have fun. Hopefully, lots and lots of fun.
Through the end of the year I'm posting a lot of videos covering the basics - how to choose a machine, how to use an iron, etc. We'll start with the fun sewing stuff (and projects!) in January. So right now - if you want to learn to sew in 2011 - sign up for my newsletter so you won't miss a thing. If you have a friend (or a child) who wants to learn to sew - get them signed up. There will be plenty of boy-friendly projects too - so get those boys signed up as well.
Gather your materials. I have a post on choosing a sewing machine here. If you already have a machine but it's been gathering dust and you don't know how to thread it - take it in to your local sewing machine store. Have it cleaned and ask them to give you a quick lesson on threading and basic maintenance.

You'll need some hand tools too. I've posted a list of the basics here. If you're signing a friend or a child up, a collection of all the tools they'll need would make a terrific holiday gift.

If you just want to learn to embroider - stay tuned. You'll need only a few basic tools and I'll have a list posted next week. You can go ahead and sign up for the mailing list now.

I hope to see lots of you over at my Shiny Happy World next year! Happy sewing!


amy December 9, 2010 at 9:58 AM  

Wendi- I just jumped over to your instructional site for the first time. What a great idea! THANK YOU so much for taking the time to share your expertise of sewing with the mission of teaching kids- my hope is to teach my boys some day (they're a little too young now).

As a sometimes sewer who works in manic spurts and learned as a child, I sometimes forget the simple basics and make freshman mistakes often. So....I really appreciate your tutorials and will check back often. Shamefully, my needle hasn't been replaced in a loooong time (and there's a lot of fuzz in there!). My machine is going to get a much deserved tune-up as a result of your video!

Oh- my husband and I were also oogling over your dolls last night. Our favorite is miss Lucy Francis!

Mariah December 10, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

Awesome! As a hand sewer I've always wanted to learn to use a machine but never knew where to start, what a great resource :)

Di Michelson,  December 10, 2010 at 6:22 PM  

So fun! I just signed up my 10 year old boy. He's been after me to teach him to sew, but I don't have the idea bank handy. My 8 year old boy will tag along as well. They are both looking forward to it, thanks!

Jess of All Trades December 11, 2010 at 7:36 AM  

This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing.

Wendi December 12, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

Thanks so much for all your kind comments! I can't wait to get started with the lessons in January!

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