Summer Sewing Camps 2016…

We had a great holiday break–so great, I am already dreaming about summer break and fun with my family!  I am also excited to see my sewing students again this summer, and meet new students!!  For those who have not taken classes from me before, here is a little about me;)…

My mom started me hand sewing at a very young age, and she let me start sewing with her machine when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  She would let me use up her scrap fabrics in the summer and I would create all sorts of clothes and sleeping bags for my dolls and stuffed animals.  I loved figuring things out and making up stuff on my own.  My mom and I started taking quilting classes when I was 14 or 15 and I was hooked!  We have taken many quilting classes together since then and I have also designed quilting patterns that in my Etsy shop.  I started bartering sewing lessons for piano lessons and eggs from some of my friends 3 years ago and found out that sewing isn’t taught in school anymore!?!?  I started offering a few sewing classes to my friends and their kids and then a year later started offering Summer Sewing Camps.

Sewing has helped me create beautiful things for my family, friends, and home and has been my creative outlet.  My goal in teaching young students to sew is to help them get excited about creating something independently and feel empowered to try something new—and hopefully continue sewing on their own and use their own creativity to make new things.  Most beginners come in very nervous and wonder if their projects will turn out or if they will finish–it is priceless to see their proud smiles when they finish, and they always do!

Classes are taught out of my home.  I have a sewing classroom set up in my finished basement…

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Here are the camps offered for 2016

Sew Little Beginner Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 6 and up. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, hand stitching, and making: tic-tac-toe boards, bookmarks, button closure clutch, lined tote bag, and owl pillow.

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Sew Basic I Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 8 and up. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, sewing bias tape, sewing a zipper, and making: an infinity scarf, pillow case, Anna tote bag, lined zipper pouch with ruffle.

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Match with Me I Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 8 and up. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, sewing zippers, and making: necklaces for student and doll, headbands for student and doll, embellished elastic skirts for student and doll, and zippered sleeping bag for doll.

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This is a new class this summer! Match with Me II Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 8 and up. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, hand sewing fabric yo-yos for headbands, how to make ruffles, and making: headbands with hand sewn embellishments for students and doll, pillowcase dresses for student and doll, bracelet bags for student and doll, and ruffle apron for student and doll.

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Sew Basic Plus Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 11 and up, or students who have taken classes with me previously. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, sewing vinyl, using pellon, sewing on velcro, sewing zippers, and making: zippered shark pencil case, Travel pillow with piping, fabric stand-up bin, and vinyl velcro closure pouch.

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Classes run from Mondays through Thursdays and specific dates and times are listed in the photo. Cost of the class is $135. Please contact me through FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/SewSweetCottage/) if you are interested and I will send you an email with registration information. I am requiring a $35 registration fee which is non-refundable to reserve your spot. This amount counts towards your total tuition, so the remaining $100 will be due on the first day of class. Fabric supply lists will be emailed out in May and students do not need a machine to attend–my classroom is stocked with machines for each student!

My favorite Beginner Sewing Machine… Brother XR1300

At the suggestion of a friend in bartering for eggs this year, I ended up teaching sewing lessons—who would have thought I would love it so much!!  In the process of teaching, I had a student bring her Brother sewing machine and I noticed it had speed adjusted button with “turtle speed” (it literally has a picture of a turtle on one side!!) as an option.  My Little Miss tried out her machine on turtle speed and she was in love.  She had already used my sewing machine since she was 6, but using the Brother machine with the speed adjuster really helped her feel more comfortable and really enabled her to be more independent in sewing.  After that, and because of all the young students I was getting, I started looking to purchase a new machine.
On a recommendation from a quilt shop owner who I adore and who I took classes from in the past, I tried the Brother XR1300 from Costco.
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I have had this for 6 months now and used it myself, and had several students use this machine…..and I love it.  It was about $169 and I bought it online.  The best thing is it has the speed adjuster button and so my daughter is in heaven.  She can sew independently and because it goes a consistent slow speed she also has the time needed to adjust the fabric and learn how to sew straight consistently.  I have had several adult student who like the slow speed as well to start, and then you can adjust it to a faster speed as soon as you get the hang of things.
Here are the other things I have tried, and like about the machine…
  • Zipper foot—I have sewn a zipper once or twice in my life before this machine, but this one is very easy to use and I have made several of these adorable zippered pouches (pattern at www.skiptomylou.com).  
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  • Straight stitches and zig zag stitches are easily adjusted in length and width with the digital adjusting buttons.  I haven’t had problems sewing burlap and minky fabric on this machine either.
  • I recently tried out the free motion quilting on this machine and I felt like it was comparable in ease to my mom’s Bernina machine that I have.  It also has a mini stippling stitch available to choose on the digital decorative panel—I thought it was a great option for smaller pieces or doll quilts.
(free motion example on left, decorative mini-stippling on right)
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I went to a local Bernina shop and asked them to show me some of their basic models for beginners and they showed me a great little machine that was $800—that was their student/basic machine.  I am sure it was a good machine, but if you are looking for something more affordable to start a new hobby or teach children how to see—I love the Brother XR1300.  Enough that I bought another one for my sewing classroom so more students have the option to go “turtle speed!”  It is a great beginner sewing machine!!
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My Sewing Room…

With our move to a new house, I was able to take claim of a room in the basement just for me—which became my sewing haven!!  It is my favorite room in the house, and is now set up as a sewing classroom so I can teach sewing lessons!!
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It is my little get-away room where I can just be creative and sew without and distractions—it is so therapeutic.  I display my product on the walls as decorations and inspiration.
I have a bulletin board that has my patterns for sale, and my class schedule and of course, my Project Runway sign;)  I can pretend…it is my room!!
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I love all the new friends I have made from teaching sewing!!  I heard one student say to another, “Isn’t it so therapeutic being in this room sewing??”  YAY!!!  That is the exact environment I was hoping for!!
I’d love to see your sewing spaces too, feel free to link to your blog in the comments!!