Since my daughter is in 8th grade this year, I was eager to start some formal home economics classes with her as part of her school day. Not only do I feel that home economics classes teach valuable life skills, I think they are a wonderful, hands-on break from the more academic subjects which compose her school days. My daughter had shown interest in learning to sew, so I wanted to add a sewing course to her schedule this year. Given that my seamstress skills are limited at best, I was nervous about putting together my own sewing course.
Thankfully, I ventured into the Sew Teach Me booth at the Midwest Homeschool Convention. After talking with the helpful folks at the Sew Teach Me booth, I decided that the sewing curriculum was exactly what I had been looking for in a beginning sewing course.
I purchased the entire course on CD for $89.95 which includes patterns for a few of the projects and pattern design software from which all of the other patterns can be printed. If you prefer to purchase the curriculum printed and bound which also includes the pattern design software, the price is $159.95. The curriculum is recommended for ages 8 and up but I think you would really need to consider the maturity level of your child. My daughter definitely would not have been ready for this course at 8, but at 13, the course is a perfect fit for her.
Sew Teach Me includes 8 chapters covering a wide variety of basic sewing skills. My favorite part of the curriculum is that chapters 2 through 8 all include a great sewing project to complete at the end of the chapter. My daughter’s enthusiasm for the sewing course increased dramatically when she had successfully completed her first project. All of the projects are items that could be given for gifts or kept for oneself.
Most chapters offer a choice of projects so that your child could choose his or her favorite project to complete or complete all three projects if desired. For example, your child can choose between a ski hat, pet planket, or tic-tac-toe board at the end of the chapter on straight sewing. My daughter chose the ski hat.
More specifically, each chapter in the Sew Teach Me sewing curriculum covers basic sewing skills with a project or projects at the end of the chapter designed to practice the newly learned skills. Here is a brief overview of the contents of each chapter and the sewing projects from which your child can choose.
- Chapter 1 – Learning the parts of the sewing machine.
- Chapter 2 – Straight stitching. Projects include a ski hat, pet blanket, or tic-tac-toe board.
- Chapter 3 – Stitching curves. Projects include a candy swirl pillow, oven mitt, or hand puppet.
- Chapter 4 – Fasteners (sewing in a zipper, sewing a snap, sewing hook and loop tape). Projects include a book bag, hanging organizer, or wrist wallet.
- Chapter 5 – Survival sewing (replacing buttons, repairing hems, mending tears and rips, re-sewing seams, replacing zippers, pressing, laundry). The project for this chapter is a laundry sorting bag.
- Chapter 6 – Decorative stitching. Projects include a lap quilt, computer mouse pad, or a visor.
- Chapter 7 – Field trip to a local fabric store, learning about patterns.
- Chapter 8 – Putting it all together. Projects include a picnic tablecloth, iCare bib, or apron.
Sew Teach Me is written directly to the student in simple, clear language. While the class is clearly designed to be primarily an independent study, I am working through the class with my daughter. If at all possible, I think it is quite helpful to have somebody available to help work through the sewing projects. Expert sewing skills are NOT NEEDED to help your child with this course. I have some experience with sewing but I am no expert. With my limited knowledge and the excellent instruction in this course, I am learning right alongside my daughter. In the very first chapter, I learned that I’ve been removing the thread from my sewing machine the wrong way for the past 17 years!
My only complaint about the Sew Teach Me curriculum is that I find piecing together the patterns after we’ve printed them out to be difficult. Using the included pattern design software, patterns are printed right from your computer. Then, all of the pieces of paper need to be matched up, taped, and then the pattern pieces need to be cut out. Therefore, I will be purchasing a simple apron pattern for my daughter to use in the last chapter rather than trying to piece together the pattern pieces for a large project like an apron.
You can learn more about the Sew Teach Me curriculum at their website. As well, you can see pictures of each of the chapter projects. Fabric kits for each project can also be purchased on their website but I find it much more fun to pick out the fabric of my daughter’s choice at our local fabric store. If you are not close to a fabric store, though, this may be a convenient option.
Samantha has been homeschooling her three children for the past 8 years. Currently, she is homeschooling a 4th grader, 6th grader, and an 8th grader. Samantha writes about homeschooling and family life at To Be Busy At Home.