This is a beginners class so I expect people to not remember how to thread their machine and how to wind the bobbin so as I have done every year for the past 5 years I design a simple class. I have taught how to make tote bags from new fabric and how to make them from up-cycled bird feed sacks. Last year I taught how to make a t-shirt quilt. I supply the fabric and thread for most of the projects, even kiting them up to save time. I always bring extra scissors pins and measuring supplies as well as other basic sewing items including an iron and an extra sewing machine. The class description stated to bring a sewing machine. When checking on the number of people that had signed up I asked if people were bringing their machine and was told yes. The reason I checked was because the first class I taught for the library a few years ago had 12 or 13 people showing up to make a tote bag and none of them brought a machine.
This year 13 people signed up for the class and 10 showed up. The amount of people is fine but of the 10 people 7 did not have a sewing machine and one of the attendees that did bring her machine stated that she was going to make a pillow case. As people came in to the class empty handed I asked them if they had a sewing machine they said no but the library had told them that I would probably have an extra machine. Yes, I brought 1 extra machine. Of the students 2 were teenagers and both did a good job. One lady with absolutely no sewing experience brought her 2 girls ages about 6 and 8 (no machine). I like teaching young sewers because they are so happy to make something but at that age you almost need one on one teaching to keep their interest and help them through every step of the project.
Needless to say it was impossible for people to get their apron done when so many were sharing machines and it wasn't fair to those that brought a machine because they couldn't get as much out of the class as they should have.
It was frustrating for me because since so many people were sharing machines I couldn't really teach, I had to run from person to person helping with each part of the project.
Since the aprons couldn't get finished I said I would teach a second class so everyone could get the help they needed to finish.
I know at least one of my friends Dee finished her apron because she wore it to our Sewing Guild challenge.
3 showed up for the class part 2, one of the teenagers, the lady that made the pillowcase in the first class and a gal that had most of her apron done but wanted to hang out and sew.
|Dee's finished apron|
The second class was easier, the teenager used my extra machine and finished her project and the almost finished gal got hers done . This left the nice pillow case lady. She had a lot of trouble with her machine. She left her manual at home but I was able to figure out the threading and tension issues for her. She still wanted to do extras to her project so she did not get it done due to the machine issues but I am sure she will finish it later and it will look quite cute.
I am not sure if I will teach another class at the library again. If I decide to do this again next year the rules will be as follows.
You must bring a machine in good working order. You must bring your machines instruction manual. Last year a woman told me she had a working machine at home but brought "this one" in hopes that I could fix it for her.
Bring scissors, pins, tape measure and basic sewing supplies. 13 people using 5 pair of scissors is totally inefficient.
I need to know the number and ages of anyone under the age of 16 that plans to attend ( I need extra help for young sewers)
Funny thing is that while I was typing this I thought of simple project to teach that could be completed in 2 hours, I could kit it up and limit the options for excess creativity in the class. I am totally hopeless.