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I’m not sure if anyone from the site has ever attempted this.

I’ve gotten to the point in my sewing that all of my friends want me to make stuff for them. I have absolutely NO interest in turning my sewing into a business. I’m a recent law school graduate and aspiring lawyer. I simply don’t have the time.

What I would be interested in, however, is teaching THEM how to sew. Has anyone ever tried this? Have you found any free lesson plans? Do you have any tips on where I should even start?

I’ve tried one on one before and I find that I only think of things to tell them after they’ve already done it wrong lol. I’d like to have a structure in place before even letting them near a sewing machine.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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  • Img_2374_-_copy_-_copy_large

    Sep 18, 2012, 08.21 PMby Linda74Sews

    I can’t believe no one has responded to this. Good idea, teach your friends how to sew – teach them the basics. Start by sitting down with them and make sure they know how to use their machines – basic parts, how to wind bobbin and thread machine. How to sew straight basic stitches. Have them make a sampler of all the various stitches their machine will do with notes (other than whats provided for in the manual). Then start by having them hem various garments like jeans, regular dress pants, skirt/dress hems. From there give them a primer course on fabric – woven v. knit v. non-woven, nap, selvages, cross grain, long grain, bias, how to read a bolt. From there give them an overview of how to read a commercial pattern – envelop, instructions, pattern pieces.

    Next, teach your friends how to use a commercial pattern and help them make something. Here you will be able to teach them how to prep fabric, layout pattern pieces, pin properly, cut and mark. Since most beginners are intimidated by the instructions, help them read and understand the instructions.

    This is a good start for any beginner sewer. Your biggest role is to instill confidence that they can do it. It starts with them feeling comfortable with their machines and understanding the proper techniques to the fundamentals of sewing, which as you well know, never change. Some will just naturally get it, others have to be patiently coddled for a while. Its not rock science after all.

    1 Reply
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      Dec 30, 2012, 12.25 PMby janetlee307

      Thank you. Well said…

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    Sep 19, 2012, 12.10 PMby katexxxxxx

    I’ve been away…

    Somewhere I have a course outline and lesson plans from a teaching adults to sew course I ran a few years back. I’ll see what I can dig out for you… I have all the stuff, so let me know if you want it.

    5 Replies
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      Dec 30, 2012, 12.24 PMby janetlee307

      Hi, I just joined yesterday and I am also interested in tips to teach a class on sewing. If you still have the materials I would like them, too.

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      Mar 30, 2013, 04.42 PMby thekrps

      Hi Kate,

      I’d be interested in the outlines and lesson plans you may be ale to share. I to would like to teach adult ed classes in my area, Albany, NY. =)

      Thank you for any direction you can provide.

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      Jul 19, 2014, 06.57 PMby Lilly Jacob

      Hello Katexxxxxx I would really appreciate it if you could send me your course outline and lesson plans because am stating a sewing class for adults and am a bit lost on how am going to start.

    • Missing

      Feb 3, 2015, 02.30 PMby Barbara Ian

      Hi Kate,
      I see a lot of people are interested in your class outline and material list.
      If you still have those at hand and are willing and able to share I would be ever so grateful.

      If not, I totally understand :)
      Thanks and regards,

    • Missing

      Mar 24, 2016, 04.53 AMby ejblack12

      Hello I would like to request the material for teach the class also please.

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    Sep 19, 2012, 03.21 PMby DGulleyDesigns

    I just recently started teaching personal sewing classes here in Little Rock, Arkansas. I always start off teaching new students how to thread their sewing machines and wind a bobbin. Once they master their machine, I go over all the basic stitches and seam finishes. The three course I offer is how to read a commercial pattern. I also suggest that each student try to make a simple project like a pillow. This will help them test their sewing skills on a very simple item.

    After they finish course three, I move on to selecting more challenging patterns to help them improve their sewing skill. As a teacher, you have to know that every student will learn at his or her own pace. Start off by focusing on the basic. The will improve their sewing skills and knowledge over time.

    1 Reply
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      Dec 30, 2012, 12.22 PMby janetlee307

      I agree that starting at the most basic is the best. I want to teach others to sew now that I am retired from working full time. I joined this group to learn more about how to go about it. Thanks for your tips

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    Sep 19, 2012, 10.52 PMby shedoz213

    Hi there! Oh Please , Please share your lesson plan with me too! Thank you

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    Sep 20, 2012, 07.50 AMby katexxxxxx

    I’ll try sticking them on Dropbox and send you an invitation each. Too big a wodge of papers to email or publish…

    When you see the actual lesson plans, you need to take into account that these are the first six actual lesson plans to go with the course outline and the booklet that I gave to students (also there), and the supplementary chapters. You’ll need to adapt the lesson plans for local conditions. It worked well with a class of half a dozen students. Each lesson was a two hour session with a ten minute break in the middle.

    After the first session, I planned each lesson immediately after completing the previous one so that I knew what I needed to do and where to go next. The course was taught in 2001, so you’ll need to update some of the sewing machine guidance.

    5 Replies
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      Dec 29, 2012, 12.35 AMby NickieM

      Would love to also have this material if it is still available. Just recently decided to try learning to sew again at 60 and am finding it much easier than when I was in my teens. But, as I live in a sparsely populated area with no nearby school and not many people, I am having a hard time knowing what to start with or what to learn next.

      I might be able to use the course outline and material for guidance. Thanks.

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      Jan 5, 2013, 05.48 PMby josjepot

      Is this material still available? I would love it!

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      Jan 5, 2013, 07.11 PMby katexxxxxx

      I’ll try and dig it out and plonk it on Dropbox for you. Got distracted by work and Christmas!

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      Jan 5, 2015, 04.28 PMby freaky-philomeen

      dear katexxxxx, is there any possibility you could send me these papers for teaching beginning sewers?
      I know it’s already some time ago you posted this.

      Happy New Year!!

    • Missing

      Jul 13, 2017, 07.45 PMby Tricia Barber

      If the material is still available I would like to have access to it also. Please

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    Sep 20, 2012, 04.44 PMby FashionSewingBlog

    Hi I think the best thing for you (and your friends) to do, is refer to http://www.fashionsewingblog.com This e-learning site is dedicated in its entirity to teaching anybody with a passing interest in how to fashion sew. It has articles, guides and what’s more, FREE video tutorials to aid everybody to become a more rounded and proficient fashion sewer. There is also a great eBook, Fashion Sewers Guide to Great Sewing Projects which can be found there which was written and designed as a basic, no holds barred introduction to the lifestyle indulgence that is fashion sewing. You may also want to tell your friends to search YouTube for FashionSewingBlogTV. They will find over 100 FREE sewing tutorials. Thanks

    2 Replies
  • Missing

    Jan 5, 2013, 03.22 AMby Tiffany Osborne

    Hi i’m new just started sewing, making things for myself now I want to start following a pattern! I need someone that teaches a class in Philadelphia! Help Please!!!

    1 Reply
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      Jan 27, 2013, 05.56 PMby Meldbombs

      Phillys awesome but I live in nyc so cant tell you a class :) what i can tell you is that websites like craftsy have pnline in depth classes for ten dollars that you can go back to whenever you want

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    Jan 27, 2013, 05.06 PMby Beezalar

    Katexxxxx, would like a copy of the lessen plans also…. Going to attempt teaching also. Thanks trisha

    1 Reply
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      May 2, 2013, 04.35 AMby Mandy Pollard

      hi Beezalar

      I’m new to this site and popped a message, but I thought I’d send a message to you regarding Katexxxx’s lesson plans. did you ever get to them. Can you help me out as to where I can find them.

      Thank you


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    Jan 27, 2013, 05.30 PMby Meldbombs

    Hmm as a six month sewer, I think begjnning by hand is the best. I started with hand stitches like backstitch and running stitch but accelerated so fast to machine sewing that I feel I missed out on certain things. As yet U have not learned the slipstitch, whipstitch and other important hand stitches

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    Jan 27, 2013, 05.32 PMby katexxxxxx

    I will get to them, I promis. Just having a problem finding them in the right format, and not having time to play with them because there are 19 Musketeer outfits in the process of being finished for Feb 17th!

    1 Reply
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      May 4, 2013, 06.57 PMby Karen Garcia

      I would also like to have access to your material Kate. Good luck with the 19 (wow) musketeer outfits.

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    Jan 29, 2013, 09.50 AMby AC1972

    Could i have access too please Kate? Good luck with the Musketeer outfits … will we get to see pictures? xxx

    1 Reply
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      Jan 29, 2013, 09.55 AMby katexxxxxx

      Yes, when i can fiddle with it, I’ll stick it on Drpbox and post the file here for you all.

      Yes, there will be pix! You can get a peek in the door on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/JollyDicey

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    Feb 18, 2013, 03.23 PMby Susan Combrinck

    You can also use http://sewing.about.com/od/beginner1/ss/teachingsewing.htm Fashionsewingblog.com is really full of information.

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    Apr 27, 2013, 06.06 PMby chantillydreams

    Hi Kate. Is this still available? I am a retired teacher contemplating giving sewing lessons. Thanks!


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    May 2, 2013, 04.33 AMby Mandy Pollard

    Hi ya all. I’m new here and was interested in the post from “katexxxxx”…regarding your lesson plans. I’m starting private classes in my home town and I’ve been researching and planning. It would be interesting to see what angle you take/took.

    I’m not familiar with the Drpbox…from your posting on 29th January.

    Can anyone help me out please!?

    Thank you

  • Missing

    May 4, 2013, 06.55 PMby Karen Garcia

    I would love to have access to your instructional material. I am attempting to start sewing classes in Zapata and need some pointers.

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    May 21, 2013, 03.21 AMby Marni Barnett

    I am also very interested to see and access these highly anticipated sewing lessons and would love to be included also!

  • Missing

    May 23, 2013, 04.16 PMby Carmels KnittingShop

    Hi Kate,I would also like your lesson plans please, I,m new to sewing and would love some instructions on how to start. I mostly knit and crochet so this is a new venture,Thank you for taking the time to upload what will be a godsend for me,Thanks Again

  • Missing

    Jun 22, 2013, 03.46 AMby Iluv2bellydance

    Hi Kate… I would so appreciate the course materiel that you have. I live in Cambodia and would like to teach Khmer girls and woman in my area how to sew, so your course would be such a great help for me. Many thks in advance, thnkfitness@gmail.com

  • Missing

    Jun 27, 2013, 02.22 PMby Crawford

    Hi Kate, I’m yet another aspiring sewing teacher who would love to see your course material :) Thank you so much! virginia_crawford@yahoo.com

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    Jun 27, 2013, 09.53 PMby katexxxxxx

    I’ve been trying to dig this stuff out and check that it’s all there, but am having trouble making my currant computer (a Mac using OSX) read the old Windows 95 or 98 Word files, and I’ve been a bit short of time due to pressure of work. This is also why I’ve not been about here as much this year… First there was the insane 17th C stuff, then medieval/fantasy stuff for the Empire LARP, a prom frock with supplier issues, and now back down the bling mines for more LARP kit! I need a quiet hour or three to convert the files to something less historic so I can drop them all on Dropbox for you. I haven’t forgotten, I’ve just not had any time to play with it. If the worst comes to the worst, I can get Himself to print it all out, scan it back in, and then post it! :(

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    Jun 28, 2013, 04.47 AMby bucklez

    I took a high school sewing class back in the day. To start the teacher just made sure we knew all the basic terms and sewed demos for us while explaining what she was doing. Because everybody in that class sewed the same projects first, my teacher decided to film her demos so we could refer back to them if we didn’t understand the pattern and when we started to sew our own projects she became more of a reference than a teacher. We also had a few book that were very thorough in explaining concepts that I used but anybody else.

    Knowing the basics and keeping it simple in the beginning are the keys in being successful in the sewing class.

    These are just ideas based on my own experience in the classroom and I found it very helpful.

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    Jun 28, 2013, 09.18 AMby katexxxxxx

    One of the things that is never advised in the manuals or lesson plans you see is this: check the classroom out thoroughly, a week or so before you start teaching if possible.

    One school I taught in put out all their oldest and crappiest machines for my weekend course as they didn’t want us ‘breaking’ their machines. The machines hadn’t been serviced in I dunno how long and had missing parts busted tensions and all sorts. I spent more time the first weekend sorting machine problems than I did with kids actually sewing. :( I left a docket listing the machine faults on every machine, and a polite note explaining that I Needed machines that would WORK, so please would they either get these repaired or leave out all those newer machines I could see in the office (locked!) IF THEY WERE WORKING, so that we could actually SEW!

    Another school had all their beautiful new machines out in the room, but… There were so many pins on the floor and in and under the machines that I skidded on them. I must have swept about half a kilo into a heap in the dustpan! And the ‘cutting tables’ in the middle of the room were ordinary low classroom tables, of a height to sit at comfortably, while the ones round the edge with the machines on were bench height with lab stools for sitting on. I had trouble sitting at the machines to sew, and most of the kids were smalle than me. We stacked the stools and stood to sew, which was far from satisfactory!

    The best school had 30 YO machines in special built in benches round the sides, a selection of feet for each machine (not many: just standard sewing foot, a zip foot, and a hemming foot), all worked, and the worst I had to do was put new needles in some! The room was clean, tidy, and while old fashioned, we reasonably well equipped.

    Adult studies was a bit different in that there were some machines, but most folk brought their own. You need to be familiar with several machine types for that, so if you aren’t, start familiarizing yourself now! :)

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    Jul 25, 2013, 01.23 AMby shatinabrn1

    Hi everyone…. I know I am so late to this post, but I have been contemplating the same thing. I have so many sewing request to teach sewing and to make clothes. My passion is to teach. I don’t know where to start. I need space so I’m thinking of renting a community center. I don’t want to spend to much and I don’t want to charge much. My goal is to get the teens into sewing and skill building activities. I have an idea on how I want to run the class, just don’t know where to start and how to organize a class. If its not to late, can I get some advice and lesson plans too? Thank you much

  • Steven_coughlins_large

    Sep 30, 2013, 03.48 PMby pamd96x

    Good morning. Of all the posts listed above, has anyone attempted a sewing class. I know there is a lot of interest in wanting Kate’s materials, but this post is a year old. I am considering teaching one myself and wanted to know if anyone had success in getting started.

  • Missing

    Jan 12, 2014, 03.22 AMby jantt

    I would also like these class materials. jtcreations1@aol.com

    Thanks, Jantt

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    Feb 6, 2014, 03.00 AMby Shandell Harrop-Tregaskis

    Hi all and thank you for all the ideas on being coming a sewing teacher, I would like to know how I could come a sewing teacher in a high school, I have been in the sewing industry for 29 years and have had the last 5 years off having a family, I will be heading back to the work place in a year or so do I need to study??

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    Feb 6, 2014, 04.05 AMby mlssfshn

    Sewing.org has a outline as well. I created my first sewing course from their handouts.

  • 20150117_152733_large

    Feb 6, 2014, 10.43 AMby mlssfshn

    Sewing.org has a outline as well. I created my first sewing course from their handouts.

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    Feb 10, 2014, 03.10 PMby purplefan

    One actually has to have a university degree and teaching certificate to teach in schools. At colleges, you may just have to show you have skills for sewing, if the college still has continuing education or weekend courses for sewing; part-time instructors get contact hour pay and nothing for outside of class hours and belong to a different union from the full-timers). So anyone aspiring to teach sewing is better off to see if they can teach through a rec centre/sewing shop/community organization if a home-based business/school is not feasible (right zoning for your business, possible permit fees, adequate parking/classroom space/supply storage, bathroom near class area then think about stairs/accessibilty).

    Kate mentioned a very valid point about classrooms-check them out in advance. Many quilting guilds tend to resort to low-cost church halls or community rooms in order to stretch their membership dollars farther; schools charge market rates for classroom use. Sometimes setup of chairs/tables is part of the rental cost or groups have to do their own setup/takedown. What I have noticed in quilting classes/guilds is the older the members are, the more accessible things need to be: sign in sheets easy to reach, bathroom with space for walking frames/rollators or wheelchairs, room to move between sewing tables, iron stations and other fixtures. If flooring levels change between rooms, are there bevels or gradual ramps to ease the transistion between say a wood floor and higher tile floor (seen it and had to deal with it)? Lighting can be a bugaboo-the new LED lights in high ceilings of old buildings, depending on lighting fixture styles, can cast shadows down below on the work areas. Have had to setup up work lamps around the perimeter of the room to add more lighting to minimize the shadows. Table height-when the room is not your own, you always have to make do with fixtures that are not firm enough or high enough and the chairs might have arms that get in the way too. Lifting is a big issue as sewists and quilters get older-few people are willing to lift finished quilts during show and tells or put things away.

    And if people are bringing in their own machines for classes, they should be bringing in their own extension cord/power bar (does not happen with youth unless they have a sewing/quilter mentor in the family to advise them of supplies); the wiser attendees bring lightweight machines that easy to tote with supplies.

  • Missing

    Feb 12, 2014, 12.05 AMby Maychang

    Oh please… I would like to have a sewing class outline as well !

    • This is a question
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