Sewing School: Lesson 1 Welcome and Intro to Sewing


Welcome to sewing school!  I started this blog as a way to add to the experience of my sewing students as an online accompanist to my class, an outlet to share crafts I find online that I love, and to share my own tutorials and projects.  I  have 20 years experience and have a degree in fashion design and love to share my passion for sewing.


When it comes to learning sewing I have found a variety of fantastic tutorials and videos.  Since I have not found a site that has combined all these great tutorials online together in a way that makes sense to a beginning sewing student,  I have decided to create a sewing class based on the best tutorials online.  This is meant to coincide with the sewing classes I teach (as an additional resource to class) and to help anyone who wants to learn how to sew for free. I plan to post lessons at least once a week, as long as people are following (so if your enjoying this class please let me know)!
Sewing Community: Because Sewing Is More Fun With Friends!
I hope that this site will serve as a way to meet and help others who are learning to sew too, so feel free and comment after each lesson and start a conversation.   In my (non virtual) classroom I try to create an environment of cooperative learning, where everyone helps each other.  I hope to create the same environment in this virtual environment.  It helps to learn alongside new friends so introduce yourself!


Have A Question or Comment?   No Problem Just Ask!
Repeat after me, "There are no dumb questions."  I have learned that my students often ask the best questions and remind me of what my students don't know that I'm assuming they know. It's easy when you have mastered a skill to forget what beginners know and don't know.  I check my blog often, so I will answer back if you have a question or comment!

How Can I Use Sewing?
Sewing can become a fun hobby, or a useful skill in fixing clothes and things around the house.

Practical Reasons to Learn How to Sew
My last sewing class was interested in learning how to fix and tailor their clothes.  So  I created an how to fix and alter series as a supplement to my (non virtual) class.  How many times have you given away your favorite clothes because a seam busted open?  Did you know it only takes like 2 min to fix on your machine.  Or maybe you have to hem EVERY pair of pants and jeans.  Yikes that adds up.

Make Personalized Gifts 
Think of all the cool gifts you could make!  Anywhere from quilts, to stuffed animals, play clothes, pet toys, purses and bags, etc.  I recently made my niece a princess play outfit (tutorial soon to come).  Sometimes you know what your loved one wants and you can spend hours looking for it everywhere.  I have found it's easier just to make it myself.


You Can Make Anything You Can Dream Of
How cool is that?  This is my favorite reason.  When you get to the advanced level anything you can think of is possible.  Saw a really cool dress you fell in love with but nearly fainted when you saw the price tag?  What if you could make it yourself instead? 

Homework 
  • subscribe to this blog
  • Introduce Yourself.  Leave a comment on this post introducing yourself to the class and tell us about any sewing experience you might have. Link to your blog if you have one so we can learn about each other.
  • become a follower on Facebook
Next Lesson: Lesson 2 Guide to Buying a Sewing Machine


lesson 1: Welcome and intro 
lesson 2:  Guide to Buying a Sewing Machine
lesson 3: Sewing Machine Supplies
lesson 4: Getting to Know Your Machine 
lesson 6: How to Sew Straight, Curved, and Corners
lesson 7: How to Sew a Basic Seam
lesson 8: Trouble Shooting your Machine 
lesson 9: Basic Sewing Terms
lesson 10: How to Fix Tension on Your Sewing Machine


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52 comments:

  1. Hello,
    I just found your wonderful blog through pinterest!! So glad that I did. I am now following and also ~♥~ your facebook page.
    Have a wonderful evening,
    Beverly

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    1. Thanks for the comment and follow Beverly!

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  2. My husband bought me a sewing machine and I so want to sew, I just don't have The skills. Hahaha thank you for making The time to put up this amazing blogs and sharing What you know. Thank you thank you.
    Atte .. GABBY HERRERA

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    1. Thanks for showing your appreciation Gabby, it helps to know I'm helping someone and that my time spent creating a free sewing school is worth it. Time permitting I plan to add more lessons to our sewing school (most likely sometime in Oct), to coincide with my sewing classes I teach. So check back often or follow us so you don't miss any new lessons! Let me know if you ever have any questions about any of the lessons via comments or email. Happy sewing!

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  3. Hello,
    I also found this blog through pinterest and I'm happy i did. my knowledge of sewing isn't that great but its something Ive always had an interest in and there isn't many places around where i live that teach. I don't have a sewing machine right now but when i can afford one i have a few ideas of what i want although they do intimidate me a bit. So I'm glad Ive found this blog to help me along trying to learn thank you for making it!!
    Jaci

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your interest in my lessons. It takes a lot of time to create it, so it helps to know my hard work is appreciated. Have you looked at our lesson 2: buying guide for sewing machines? http://ohyoucraftygal.blogspot.com/2012/01/sewing-school-lesson-2-buying-guide-for.html If not I would suggest reading this before buying a machine. I would suggest buying a used one from an estate sale for the best value (I give more details in the lesson). Since writing that lesson I have gone to many estate sales and they often have sewing machines (which are usually in my opnion better than new) and are very reasonable you can look online before going to the sale to know if they have a sewing machine or not. I hope this helps. Have you looked to see if you have any commmunity education classses teaching sewing in your area? That's where I teach through. In fact I'm starting my class in a few weeks so I'll likely be posting more lessons soon. Let me know if you ever have any questions Jaci!

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  4. Hello,

    Just found this blog and i do not know anything about sewing but just got a sewing machine. I hope following your blog would give me basic knowledge about sewing so i can learn. Thanks for the write ups.

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    1. No problem Omome! Just let me know if you have any questions via comments or email. Happy sewing.

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    2. Hello,

      I found this blog via google search and I am so happy I did. It is exactly what i have been looking for. I took a sewing class back in highschool and now I now its 13 years later I would love to learn to sew again as most of what I learned back then i have forgotten. My husband and I now have our first child and I would love to learn to sew some things for her and myself as well. I'm really excited to learn to sew again. Thank you for taking your time out to share these lessons with us. I am a beginner sewer all over again. My husband recently purchased me a sewing machine a Singer Sewmate 5400. I spent time today learning to thread the machine and the bobbin and was successful at doing so and now I'm ready to learn to sew again.

      Thanks,

      Mary

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    3. You sound like most of my students in my real life classroom Mary. Most have had a little experience but have not sewed for a long time. You'll pick it up again no problem. Thanks for appreciation of my lessons. I have been getting so much great responses to my sewing school that it has been on my mind to create some more lessons and revamp the online sewing school as soon as possible. I do some serious gardening (check out my other blog to learn more about that and to get my recipes http://theurbanhomestaed.blogspot.com), so that's been my priority lately. But I'm close to wrapping all that up soon. So make sure to subscribe via email and facebook to not miss out on any new lesson plans and feel free to ask me any questions via email, facebook, or comments on this blog Mary!

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  5. Thanks so much for the response, I will definitely check out your blog on gardening and recipes, we just purchased our first home this past September and I am looking forward to getting out prettying up our yard. :)

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  6. Hi. My name is Leanne Richards-Williams and I am here because I want to revive my basic sewing skills as a hobby and to prepare for a seasonal market (to earn extra cash). I am a work-at-home mom and wife in training. :)

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    1. Thanks for introducing yourself Leanne. Learning how to sew can be a great way to earn some extra cash given that you make a product in high demand. Especially in our world of technology (online stores like Etsy), but also the old fashion way at local craft fairs and farmer's markets. Good luck Leanne ,and happy sewing! Let me know if you ever have any questions via facebook, comments, or email.

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  7. Hey y'all, My name is Stacey and I'm a Marine wife and a stay at home mom of 3 beautiful children. I am currently in NC and will be soon moving to PA. I love trying new crafts and recently just purchased my sewing/embroidery machine. My first project was a pillow case dress and it turned out pretty good. I also purchased a sewing pattern from Walmart and WOW!! soo confusing lol. Ill wait to finish that one when i get more experience and have a better understanding. I'm excited to start this!! Soo happy that i have found a place where i can learn.. Thank you!!!

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    1. Thanks for introducing yourself Stacy. Reading patters is so confusing. I completely agree! I'm just starting to have enough time to work on some new lesson plans (hearing from everyone taking the class has been motivating me to work on new LP!). I plan to do my next two new lessons on sewing machine troubleshooting and tension. After that I will likely add a lesson on reading patterns. My advice until then is to not get lost in the details of what the instructions are trying to tell you to do. This is where my students usually have te most problems. Ask yourself what is it asking me to do? Put in a sleeve, a zipper, hem the bottom?, etc. If the directions for that step don't make sense. Look up a video on you tube on that technique than reread the instructions. Hope this helps! Let me know Stacey if you have any questions along the way via facebook, comments, or email. Feel free to post a picture of your project you made on our facebook page. I'd love to see it!

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  8. Hello, I'm Christy. I'm 36 years old and I like to collect dolls, mostly I used to collect barbies and they would stay in their boxes, but recently I have gotten into Ball Jointed Dolls and seeing all the interesting and beautiful clothes people make for their dolls I said to myself "I really wish I could do that!" So I decided I wanted to learn to sew my own doll clothes for them. I think it's wonderful because the sky is the limit for what you can make if you have the know how. I unfortunately don't yet, but I took the plunge and bought my very first sewing machine and I did manage to make a dress (mistakes everywhere) but all things considered it was a solid first effort considering I had no help. However, after that experience I decided I could benefit from some more education! I want to start with basics and work my way up to more complicated projects so I'm here to learn whatever I can. Thanks for the blog!

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    1. Welcome to class Christy! Thanks for sharing. Making doll clothes should be fairly easy and you won't need much fabric! I think tiny doll clothes would be harder than larger dolls so I would start with that first. And just know that you'll get better with each project because making mistakes is how we learn, and all sewers make lots of mistakes! Let me know if you have any questions about learning to sew!

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  9. I just got my 1st machine having never sewed anything before! Not even by hand! Hole? Straight in the bin! So far I've made a few bibs for the baby and yesterday finished my pram liner! Not perfect but I'm proud lol x

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  10. OMg I'am very glad that i found your blog ...my name is Nour (i'm from algeria) when i was a little i didn't realy care about sewing(or anything els haha) but then i met this girl who looove sewing (she's very emmm {enthusiastic} ! in sewing) so she used to talk about it a looooot.. any whooo that How i fell in love with Sewing and i have a sew machin but i neveeer touch it and i really want to sew and make my own cloths

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    1. Welcome to our class Nour. I'm glad to hear your excited to learn about sewing. If you want to learn how to make clothes I would suggest starting with a simple skirt with an elastic band. It's very easy to make. The only hard part is to learn how to put in the elastic. Here's a tutorial to get you started. http://whatwouldanerdwear.blogspot.com/2010/05/lesson-plan-worlds-easiest-skirt.html Hope this helps Nour!

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  11. Hi there! I am Karen Sauls a 43 yr old wife and mom from NC. I am so happy I found your site. My Granny taught me how to sew by hand when I was growing up. Her machine had a knee press instead of a foot pedal to sew. She had bad knees so she would just sew by hand. I have a basic brother starter machine and can sew some, but wanting to know more about how to sew properly. I do alterations at my daughter's dance stydio and also design, decorate and embellish dance costumes. It is so much quicker to use the machine. I want to learn how to sew dance leotards, sports bras and shorts so I can embellish them with ruffles, etc and sell them at the studio. I am excited to start learning!

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    1. Hi Karen welcome to class! Do you work on dance outfits by hand? Since you will be working with knits I would suggest getting use to sewing with them on the machine. Knits can stretch when sewing which can make them more difficult than woven fabrics (non knit fabrics). They also need less seam allowance which is only applicable if your are making your own patterns(if using a pattern follow what the pattern says for seam allowance). If you have not ever put ruffles on with a sewing machine I would suggest practicing that for awhile. At some point I plan to create a lesson on that but until then you can check out these tutorials:http://www.whatthecraft.com/tuts/ruff.htm http://tearosehome.blogspot.com/2010/01/tutorialruffle-shirt.html

      Hope this helps Karen! Let me know if you have any questions.

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  12. Hello my name is Kim. Since my daughter lives 6 hours away from me It is difficult to teach her how to sew. I love your site and will be referring her to it. Thank you for you generosity and sharing your knowledge.

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  13. Hello! My name is DeKenya. I have 0 experience with sewing but have always wanted to learn! I want to eventually make some clothes for myself and my baby! I'm so happy that I found this blog/ class! Thank you so much.

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  14. Hi Julie,

    I have always wanted to try sewing.
    My mom is a professional tailor since 40+ years, but I never took her advice/ wanted to learn while I was living with her :( Although she did try to teach...
    Now I live away and I miss what I could have learnt with her.

    I just happened to come across your blog, hoping there would be someone who would teach right from scratch and I am so happy to follow your blog. I hope I will continue and surprise my mom with a dress for her soon.

    God bless you and thank you for putting this together for us.

    Arlene

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  15. Hi my name is Sasha. I have 0 experience about sewing but it was always something that am interested in. And I am looking forward to broaden my horizon. Thank you.

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  16. Hello, I am a sahm who also homeschools. My six year old daughter loves fashion and has asked me to teach her how to sew. Looks like I better learn first!!! I have NO experience, I can't even sew a button on properly. I am very excited to go on this journey with you all and my daughter. Liz

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    1. Hi Liz Welcome to class. I have taught children once through a summer program grades 3-6 and they are quite capable of learning. I think 6 years old might be a bit young according to teach kids to sew most are ready from age 7-8, but some are at age 6 http://www.teachkidstosew.com/sewing_student_check.html I would recommend starting with small easy fast projects. Although my students were capable of making our project (an elastic waistband skirt) some seemed to lose interest quick and seemed to want more immediate gratification. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions along the way via FB, comments, or email. Happy Sewing!

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    2. Hi! I'm Trish. I've been sewing a bit but tend to get confused or frustrated and give up or pass the project onto someone else to finish. I work second shift and most of the sewing lessons in this area are offered when I'm at work. Thank you!

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    3. Hi Trish, Welcome to class! Sewing can be very frustrating, especially when you are learning, but hang in there. For every mistake you make you learn what to watch out for next time. It's all part of learning, and it will get better. In the meanwhile one tip I will give you is too keep going if possible when you are on a roll and to stop for the day when you are having problems. If you sew when you are frustrated you are likely to make a mistake and just to get further behind in your project and more frustrated. Hope this helps!

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  17. Hello, my name is Henrietta and i'm excited to join this sewing class. I am a talented, just starting fashion designer who is full of wild ideas and wonderful color combinations. And I have always wanted to learn how to sew, so I'm really glad I found this blog.

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  18. My name is Michele I'm so glad to find your classes I hope you will be the one to finally teach me how to use my 1960's model sewing machine. Sewing has been the one thing I would love to learn but could never understand?

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    1. Hi Michelle. Thanks for introducing yourself. That's great that you have an old sewing machine. I prefer them because they were made to last! I truly believe anyone can learn to sew. It just takes some patience and lots of practice! Happy sewing!

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  19. Hi. My name is Heather. I haven't sewn in more than 2 decades but decided to jump back into it in order to make my nephew a sensory blanket. I can't wait to finally put this sewing machine to use.....finally

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    1. Hi Heather welcome to class! Thanks for sharing. I often have students in my class who have sewn before but not for decades. It should be much easier to pick up sewing again rather than learning the first time. Let me know if you have any questions along the way.

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  20. Hi, my name is Mary. I have never sewn anything unless you want to count plastic canvas. I want a more rewarding hobby and making things from scratch is where I want to be at. Thanks for these lessons to help me get started!

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  21. hi, I'm Yanike. I had sewing class years ago in high school. Haven't been around a sewing machine in a very long time. thought it would be nice to refresh what I learnt.

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    1. Hi Yanike welcome to class. Thanks for introducing yourself to everyone. As I told Heather before this class is designed to teach newbies to sewing but is also great as a refresher. God to see you want to sew again. Let me know if you have any questions while learning via comments, FB, or email!

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  22. Hello! My name is Masami and I am totally new to sewing. I have no idea I am so bad at doing anything about sawing when my mother is so good at sewing and everything else. I did tried to learn sewing when I was a child but I was so bad at it my teacher was even disappointed with my project. It was kind of traumatic so I was been ignoring to learning. Now, after more than decade later, I start thinking this year I wanna learn sewing and make new rewarding hobby in my life. I am currently dealing with significant medical issue so I had to leave my job. I am at home all the time and I am board. It is perfect time to learn something new. I hope I learn good here! Nice to meet all of you!!

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    1. Hi Masami, welcome to class! Do not give up on sewing! Everyone learns differently. If you don't catch on to something right away it does not mean you are bad at it. You often were just not shown it in a way that makes sense for you. I have had students who have taken longer than others to catch on but they always do. I had a child in two classes of mine once who was terrified of the machine. Instead of having her do two projects I had her do one in both classes. She finished the project just fine and got over her fear of the sewing machine. Many teachers would have just given up on her, despite the fact there was nothing wrong with her.

      Keep trying please don't give up if this is something you really want to do. My advice to you is to start simple, and build your confidence. Check out my pinterest board "First sewing projects" for some ideals http://www.pinterest.com/pjewles/first-sewing-projects/

      If something doesn't make sense to you seek out info in a way that makes sense to you. Some examples are online tutorials, videos, books at your library, and classes (local fabric stores and community education are good places to check out). Just don't give up and don't worry about making mistakes. Mistakes and practice is how you learn. Anyone who is really good at sewing made lots of mistakes and have likely put thousands of hours into learning before they were good at it. I bet if you ask your Mom about mistakes she made sewing she would laugh and have lots of stories about how she screwed up. I know I do.

      Hope this helps Massami! Let me know how your sewing is going and if you have any questions along the way.

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  23. Hello There
    Im Alyssa my brother got me a sewing machine cause I was sick of buying cosplays online.but I have no idea how to use a sew machine nor how to sew.Im hoping that this class will help me out,so I can make amazing cosplays ^_^

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    1. You'll have to show me your first costume that you make. :) Feel free to email me a pic of it when you finish.

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  24. Hi! My name is Melody, and I am a craftaholic! I love to crochet, quilling, plastic canvas, decoupage, scrapbooking, loom knitting(never got the hang of needle kbitting), almost all crafts. As for sewing, if needed I always hand sewed projects. Sewing machines have always intimidated me. So many buttons and knobs!!! Quilting is one craft I have always wanted to learn, but the sewing machine has always held me back. My younger sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl 4 months ago, first girl in our family, I have 2 boys. There are way too many cute things I see everyway to make for little girls! So I broke down, bought a Brother CS-6000i sewing machine(digital, no knobs!) and now need to know how to start spoiling my neice! I know absolutely nothing about machine sewing or the machine itself. I googled online sewing classes, and here I am! Very excited to learn and very grateful for you freely sharing your knowledge with me. Before going any further, should I try and get to know my machine some or wil your lessons also cover digital machines? Thanks again!

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  25. Hey!
    This blog is fabulous! I am sorta new to sewing. I have an old Brother something and know how to thread it and whatnot. But I'm quite new to machine sewing and am very eager to learn! Thank-you for sharing all this information!

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  26. Hello! I'm Tarquin. I have sewn as a child with my grandmother and am wanting to pick up the habit again. The past year I have been collecting amazing fabrics at second-hand stores in an effort to start sewing again but I am terrible at sewing so far! I am expecting my first child and I'd love to teach my children to sew one day! Thanks for this blog! :)

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  27. Hello!
    I am an experienced beginner...If that makes sense. If it doesn't, it means I've been stuck at the beginner level for a very long time lol. Recently. I have made little purses with my machine and way back in my high school days I made pillows. I love the process (more often the idea) of being able to transform materials into beautiful things...I just need more help in learning and understanding terminology, techniques and my machine. I appreciate that you have taken the time to share your experience with us online, for free, and I look forward to learning a lot :) Thank You!

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  28. Hi! My name is Lacey and I didn't do so well with sewing in high school as I tried a pair of boxer shorts and sewed the crotch to the back of the wasteband lol. Ever since then, I have always said I know nothing about sewing(which isn't really true I know just a little, but obviously not enough!). I am soooo excited to get started because I am a very short slender woman and can never find cute dresses in my size at a reasonable price and always wanted to make my own. Thank you so much for posting these to help all of us. I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we appreciate it more than you will ever know :)

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  29. Hi, I kind of new to sewing, but I did hand sew in elementary school. Hoping to learn a lot from here.

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  30. Hi, I wanted to learn sewing...i have my mother's sewing machine at home ..i havent done any sewing before...I am really excited to learn sewing from you..thank you for starting these lessons...hopefully i will learn how to sew with these lessons..best of luck for the good work ! :)

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  31. Hi Julie,
    So glad I came across your blogspot, currently taking sewing classes once a week. I am opened to learning a lot from here and also sharing what I learn in my class, thanks for this, it is a selfless thing you are doing....

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    1. Hi Lois. Welcome to class. Thanks for introducing yourself. I'm glad your learning from my class. Thanks for showing your appreciation. :) It encourages me to keep making lessons. Taking a class in addition to ours is a good ideal. This online class was created as a supplement to the classes I teach. You can learn a lot online but it still helps to get one on one attention at least to start learning. Let us know what tips you learn or difficulties. Sharing always helps others to learn. :)

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  32. Hello I am a beginner and i would love to learn how to sew my own clothes. I think it will be a fun experience and I am so glad I found you!

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