Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Playing Teacher: Another Tate Top

We gifted my sister Gen a sewing machine for her 18th birthday. I knew she was interested in sewing and I kind of assumed she had some very basic sewing knowledge just because, well, why not? She didn't, because, well, why would she (silly me!)? I promised her a sewing lesson on Boxing day and arrived with a few bits and pieces that she wouldn't already have. I sat in front of her sewing machine with her. She knew nothing, and I realised just how much there was to learn before even turning the machine on!

I took her through the basics: thread the needle, fill the bobbin, straight stitch, zig zag stitch, stitch lengths and back stitching. She practiced for a few minutes on some scrap fabrics. Gen was keen to get straight into trying a pattern after this despite knowing nothing -  really nothing! I told her the first step was to iron the fabric before we can cut out the pattern pieces. She said she didn't know how to iron...

I chose the Tate Top for Gen because its an incredibly simple pattern with no tricky closures, it only requires fitting around the bust and I had it on hand. Gen cut a size 0, after talking through taking measurements, pattern sizing and ease. I ran through how to cut the pieces from the fabric and we got started with the sewing. 

By the end of the day she had a finished top, made from some spotlight cotton lawn I'd gifted her and she knew how to sew darts, finish her seams with zig zag and do french seams, make a hem, use bias binding, hand sew a hook and eye, and, get this, iron!

The top isn't perfect but it looks great and no one would be able to tell that some of stitching is a little wonky or that it was hand made. I think Gen did an absolutely amazing job and it was lovely to teach someone so keen to learn. In hindsight, maybe I should have started her on a tote bag or something similar but I think she's more interested in sewing clothes, so why not jump straight in to it?

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