Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Crafty Tuesday: Remember What It Was Like When You Couldn't Sew?

I'm cheating a bit with Crafty Tuesday as I haven't really got anything to show as yet....
See that pile of coffee coloured fabric? Well it's two shoulder seams and two side seams towards becoming 12 orphans' pinafores!

One of our generous and incredibly patient Home Ec teachers at school decided to let her Year 9 Sewing class loose on the construction of the orphans pinnies. As they are fairly straight forward, all straight seams and zig zag finishing, she figured it was a suitable exercise for them to practise upon.

Last Friday I went down to the Home Ec room with her to lend a practical hand in the sewing lesson. Unfortunately she had forgotten her timetable and instead of a nice class of eager and moderately competant year nines we got a ferral class of rowdy and incompetant year tens.
Now these kids have used the machines annually since year 7 or 8 and theoretically should have been able to get stuck right in. There were more than adequate numbers for them to do one each and our hope was that they would have got at least the shoulders and side seams done by the end of the lesson.


There was one young lady who took over half an hour, and a quarter of a spool of thread, just to get her machine threaded! There was one of my ex Maths pupils from last year, who does Home Ec for the cooking, and who needs watching like a toddler lest he empty a container full of fabric scraps all over the floor....for no apparent reason. Some of them used 45 pins per garment and drew their seamlines on with tailors chalk. And then ignored them.

It was hilarious .

I had forgotten what it was like not to know really basic things in sewing; like ensuring the bobbin tension is above 0. There were broken needles, tangled bobbin threads, seams whose line resembled the course of the Murray River....

At the end of the lesson, many of the pupils were feeling incredibly proud of themselves having completed a set of shoulder seams. After they left I finished off the shoulder and side seams in 6 garments in about 20 minutes.

I suspect the pinafores will be a long time coming! Never mind; I have bigger fish to fry. Tonight I cut out a couple of the orphan's dresses ready to give to some parent volunteers. I am fiddling the patterns a bit and I really hope these willing ladies will be able to interpret what I have in mind.

Wish us luck on this as the performance dates march ever onwards :-(

For some more 'together' craft, I recommend you check out Barely Controlled Chaos for Crafty Tuesday! Come back next week and I may have more to show for myself


Stacy said...

Oh my goodness that was hilarious! Yes, I do remember home ec classes. Luckily my grandma taught me how to sew years before and I could sit and chuckle at the goings-on by the other kids in the class.

At least SOME help is better than no help, right?? ;) Hope the parent sewers are more accomplished and can be of a bit more help. :)

carrie said...

Oh my goodness...in the end is it really worth it? You have to wonder. Surely there were some decent sewers in the bunch, though?

I just talked to my mom about my very first Home Ec project - she still has it, so I think while I'm home it might be a Crafty Tuesday contribution. I'll pull it out, dust if off, and see how far I've come!

Brittany said...

I can't sew... I would have been that poor girl who took forever to even thread the machine. ;( I can't even sew a button. But Andy...well... he can use a machine, sew a button...the works! ;)

Suzer said...

They still teach home ec?!

Arizaphale said...

Stacy: some help better than no help? I'll let you know.

Carrie: I'll keep an eye out for that.

Brittany:Sounds like a match made in heaven!

Suzer: Oh YES. Sometimes they call it wanky things like 'Textiles and Design'but it's still Home Ec!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

"There was one young lady who took over half an hour, and a quarter of a spool of thread, just to get her machine threaded!"

That would ME! Sounds like an adventure!