Pyjama Party Classes – My Induction As A Teacher!

My first ever course of classes has drawn to a close – and four lovely ladies are now the proud owners of PJ bottoms and a pyjama bag. Here we all are on our last lesson together. But guess what? By our last lesson, they didn’t need me there much at all. I was thrilled to see how my students had gone from fear to confidence. I think that’s called a success!

But what did I learn along the way?

Be A Bit Bossy About Fabrics

On our shopping trip, two students bought 100% cotton and two bought a viscose mix. Next time, I’ll insist that students buy 100% cotton – it’s just soooo much easier for beginners to work with.

Don’t Think That Being An Organisational Freak Will Always Help You

I did everything I could to prep for my classes, but still had the odd trip up over an unexpected obstacle. It’s all well and good having four sewing machines, but if you only have one iron that’s called a bottleneck!

You Can Teach A Lot With One Simple Make

I asked my students to complete feedback forms at the end of the course. Even I was surprised when I read back over what they’d learned. We covered a lot, from French seams to using an overlocker, taping together patterns to the importance of notches.

Hanging Loop and Woven Label

Beginners Love Overlockers!

I think this was one of the triumphs of the course. I was happy to let students finish their seams on my overlocker, if they wanted to. I expected them to be a bit scared, shaking their heads and backing away. Quite the reverse! They leapt on that overlocker, swooning with delight. Allowing beginners to apply a good finish to their sewing makes a big difference, I’ve discovered.

I Can Be A Bit Bossy

I know, shocking! In the last class, one of the students proudly showed me her hems. ‘Well done,’ I said. ‘You can give those a good press now.’

‘Yes, Miss!’ she retorted teasingly, marching herself to the ironing board. Well, you know… Learn to love your iron!

Students Are Really Lovely

In our last class, one of the ladies gifted me a pin cushion that she’d made. She didn’t even know I collected pin cushions! And it’s in the same fabric I’m making my Apronalong apron from.

What next? A bit of a rest. Teaching at weekends, as well as a full-time job can be a wee bit taxing. But after that… The girls have suggested they’d like to learn how to make an A-line skirt. What do you reckon? Do you think I’m capable of showing someone how to insert a zip?!

A big thank you to Significant Seams for allowing me to dip my toe into the world of teaching – and to my students for sticking with me.

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24 Responses to Pyjama Party Classes – My Induction As A Teacher!

  1. What a beautiful collection of pjs! And it’s fab that you learnt from this experience as well:-)

    I think the overlocker experience is a great safe opportunity to give it a go, not surprised they loved it in the friendly supportive environment you’ve obviously created. Well done you for being such a good teacher !!

  2. What a lovely rewarding experience for you and your students, well done Karen :)

  3. Vicki Kate says:

    Congratulations on such a brilliant class! I’m not surprised they loved the overlocker; I remember how fearless I was when I first started and would have just seen the machine as a way to make my clothes look ‘pro’!
    It sounds like you covered a lot in your class and have really given them some confidence! If you can teach a bound button hole, then I know you’ll be able to teach zip insertion! I say go for it as you’ve got the knowledge and ability, so it’s all a matter of it you want to. Yay Karen!

  4. Joanne says:

    Well done that’s ace – bet you’re a great teacher. And you’re MORE than up to an A-line skirt!

  5. Dibs says:

    Learning how to do french seams as well as using an overlocker on a first make is pretty awesome. I have never been on a sewing course before, but I would imagine it does not involve such professional techniques. Maybe pinking the seams? lol. I think you will make a really good teacher. Go for the A-line skirt. I know you can do it. Congratulations Karen, and good luck.

  6. NotenoughtimeTeresa says:

    So jealous. fancy a move down to Cornwall to teach us, too?!

  7. Tamsin W-P says:

    I’d say go for it! inserting a zip will be nothing compared to your bound button holes. Sounds like you and your class had a great learning experience.

  8. Sam says:

    Go for it Karen. As others have said, if you can teach bound buttonholes, then you can teach zip insertion. It looks like your students were having a fabulous time and are all very pleased with what they’ve created.

  9. some lovely PJs there! sounds like everyone had a lot of fun. and you are definitely up to teaching an aline skirt class! love your new dress with those red shoes!

  10. Pingback: Karen’s Did you make that? Pajama Party ! « Significant Seams

  11. significantseams says:

    Thanks for your brilliant teaching Karen, and such a lovely blog!

  12. Amanda says:

    Epic win, teacher Karen! Looks like everyone had a blast and may I say I am loving the hanging loop idea. The teaching continues online!

  13. Marie says:

    Oh Karen, I’m so happy this was such a success and that you learned stuff along the way too! I know first-hand what a great teacher you are, so there’s no doubt in my mind that you can pull of the A-line skirt classes. Well done you, but don’t forget to take a well-deserved break first ;o)

  14. twotoast says:

    Sounds like you are having fun! Might I suggest that you consider teaching invisible zips insertion? I cannot put in a lapped zip for toffee, and avoided sewing zipped garments for years, until I discovered exposed and invisible zips. Oh boy – so much easier!

  15. Pendle Stitches says:

    It looks like you all had a marvellous time. I think that the fact that they want to move on to making a skirt is the best recommendation you could have. And they’re in the safest of hands. How exciting. Congratulations!

  16. Frog says:

    You should teach the A-line Skirt, you’ll be great.

  17. rosyragpatch says:

    You’ll have no problems teaching people to insert a zip. Go for it!

  18. MrsC says:

    Do it!! You’re a natural and if you’ve inspired that much enthusiasm in your students, what a great next step. After a break of course! :)

  19. Pat says:

    If I pay your airfare, will you come to Manchester, CT USA and teach me? You are a great teacher and I already have a love affair with my iron. No bossiness needed! In my class last night the teacher said that in a classroom setting both the teacher and the students learn. I think you learned that already. Go for it and teach the skirt class. It seems as though your students took a shine to you and your teaching abilities.

  20. gingermakes says:

    Yay! How fun! I bet you’re a great teacher! :)

  21. Liz says:

    If you taught french seams you could totally teach an A-line skirt class. I helped out at a sewing class on the weekend, it is a beginner class and they are all making skirts – for the most part they were coping fine. Zips are next week, invisible, not lapped.

  22. velosewer says:

    Of course you can teach people how to make an a-line skirt:)

  23. Tilly says:

    Oh Karen, I bet you were a wonderful teacher. How very exciting to see all your students come so far! Well done you… and here’s to a thriving sewing teaching career xxx

  24. Kat H says:

    How wonderful! It sounds like you all had heaps of fun. There’s nothing quite like teaching someone something to learn a lot of new things yourself, is there?! :-)

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