I haven't shared this with very many people unless you've been reading the Sewing As A Business Forum on Patternreview, but I'm going to start teaching people how to sew. My friend, Stephanie, the one I went to New York and Italy with, and I will be developing a business plan to open a sewing studio. But neither one of us can wait until we have the studio open. We've decided to start teaching at the City Parks and Recreation. Stephanie used to work in the Rec department while going to college and has kept in touch with the people who work there. After getting some advice from our Fashion Design college professor, we went straight to the City and got ourselves signed up to teach three classes in January. The classes will run for four weeks for three hours each session and be open to ages 10 through adult. The classes we will be teaching includes a basic beginner class where we will teach students how to sew a tote bag and an apron. We will be teaching this class on both an afternoon and a Saturday once a week. Then the next month, we will teach an advanced beginner class with some PJ pants and a collarless robe as the projects and another beginning sewing class. Then, after the Saturday class we will hold a two-hour sewing workshop where people can come in and work on their own projects while we hold their hand or help them with fitting.
The goal is to fine tune our teaching techniques and learn what people want to learn how to do. That way when our studio is open, we will be able to target our classes around the needs of our customers. We will also be building a client base and hopefully, a following. Hopefully we can save all the money we earn while teaching for the City to help open up a real studio of our own.
I spent today making a sample of the tote bag we will be teaching. I think this one should be on display at the teen center instead of the senior center, although some of those seniors probably remember the 70's quite fondly. I know I do.
It's just your standard bag cut on the fold and the sides stitched up. Then the corners are stitched across to form a box bottom. The bag measures 13 X 13 X 6 which is a good size for shopping. It wasn't too big to maneuver under the pressure foot either. I finished the side seams with a french seam since I didn't want people to be disappointed with the zigzag finish. Also, it gives the bag more of a quality feel to it.
I had the fabric already in the stash, of course. You can't tell much, but both the red and the yellow fabrics have lurex threads in them and have quite a bit of shine. I wanted to embellish the pockets so that people can see what they can do after they learn the basics. We won't be teaching these embellishment techniques, but if they want us to, we will see about teaching embellishment techniques at a later date.