Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Everyone Needs Sewing Skills

It seems that sewing skills are becoming a thing of the past. At one time, most of the schools taught basic sewing skills. Once you mastered your project, usually an apron, most students retained at least enough knowledge to make clothing repairs. Many students went a step further and attempted sewing clothing for themselves and their children. I think that it is a great loss that sewing has been removed from many schools. I have had several requests from adults who wish to learn how to sew. They either missed their chance while in school or simply want to become more proficient. At the extension office I offer Thursday afternoon sewing for adults and for students after school. These sessions are informal with the participants working on individual projects. I am present to answer questions and offer guidance. During the summer I plan to offer an 8 to 10 week sewing program that will cover specific skills. We will discuss sewing machine operation and minor maintenance. Included in this portion will be operating the serger or overlock machine. Other topics include zipper application, pockets, sleeves, casings, collars, and facings. These skills can also be used when sewing items other than clothing. Many dollars can be saved sewing items such as curtains, decorative pillows, pillow shams, and bed-skirts. I have found that I thoroughly enjoy finding a spread or comforter that I like and then coordinate other fabrics with it to make the accessories. I can create my own interior designer look for a lot less money. I can never seem to find bed skirts that are long enough. I have bought a bed skirt and added a contrasting layer to make it longer. Of course if I make the entire bed skirt I do not have a problem getting it long enough. Curtains are fairly easy and quick. Draperies, on the other hand, are another story. I really need to be in the mood to tackle draperies! Pinch pleats must be accurately measured for the pleats to be even. It is really a mathematical challenge because the return must be calculated for each panel also. Thus, I submit to purchasing if I want draperies. I have assisted many mommies decorating their baby’s nursery. This is so much fun and the possibilities are endless with all of the cute fabric prints on the market today. The main problem with sewing is finding a good fabric source. Many of the fabric stores are out of business. I am sure that this is partly because the number of people sewing has dropped dramatically in the past twenty years. There are still good fabric stores available if you are willing to make the drive!