Fashion/Sewing Classes at the Northwest School Summer Camp: Day 1&2
Very excited to drop some knowledge on some students this summer at the NW School. The NW School is a private middle and high school located in a 111 year-old building in Seattle’s Cap Hill neighborhood. Their student lunches are so delicious, so fresh, so healthy. I show up before my shifts to catch lunch.
In a word, it was hectic. I was totally the new kid at school. This place is more structured than I am accustomed to; it was a challenge to keep such careful watch of the clock during class times, and I am still getting used to the layout of the campus. Had a great lunch and talked story with a sweet kid named Eduardo from Florida who was stoked about taking yoga so he could improve his relaxation skills.
In my first class, I had 7 students (class cap was at 8)- 2 from Taiwan, 1 from mainland China, and 4 from the USA. There was a balance of “experienced” sewers and first timers. All had similar abilities in the end. Here is what we covered: classroom etiquette (irons, pins, chalk, rulers, scissors, what everything is used for), how to use the machines, types of fabric (woven/knit, fibers, burning fabric), how to press and sew a basic straight stitch, how to hand-sew a button, and making a patch for their bag. While doing all of these things, I spent a TON of time maintaining the machines. No offense. The school machines really suck and is the only difficult thing about my job. A proper machine is so worth it.
In my second class, I had 3 students who were all new to the sewing game. 1 was from Taiwan, 2 from the USA. The second class was much more laid back and kind of fun. We talked a little more in depth about the stuff from the previous class, plus how to thread the top and bottom of the machine, and how to hem and make a ruffle.
We met early for a teacher meeting, where they warned us that a ton of kids may want to switch in/out of our class for various reasons. Maybe their parents forced them, maybe they wanted to be with friends, who knows? I had 3 students from my first session request to transfer, and I’m okay with reducing the size of that class.
In session 1, I still had 7 students (the transfers happen the day after). We made a scrunchy, the easy way, from start to finish. It was pretty fun and a really great way for them to get practice sewing and have something tangible to measure their progress.
In session 2, I had 3 students; we also made a scrunchy the easy way. We also started work on a turban-pleat inspired headband project. The group took turns taking head measurements, selected, and cut out their fabric.
Tomorrow? Group 1 will begin work on their pouches; group two will complete their headbands. Later in the week, group 1 will work on their headbands; group two will do a pouch or tote. Next week Monday, we all go to the thrift store (wish me luck wrangling these people) and then start work on our final project for showcase Friday.