Teach Her To Fish

I finished the Fifties Burda Dress! I need to find a belt and plan to wear it next Monday for  an evening work engagement. I’ll take photos on this week.


In other exciting news, I gave my second sewing lesson to my China travel companion this morning. I usually hate giving sewing lessons. But, it’s been a pleasure to work with Elizabeth. I think we’ll have a total of six two-hour lessons. We’re making Burda Magazine pajama pants from November 2009. Why, you may ask, am I teaching her from Burda? Mostly because I had them on hand. Also, for a pattern this simple, it’s easy enough to talk her through the process versus following instructions. And finally, I figure thousands of women around the world learn on Burda. Why not her?

It’s so interesting teaching someone how to sew. First, you try your best not to teach all of your bad habits. Second, I try and try not to be the crazy anal teacher so that she’s not intimidated. The great thing about Elizabeth is she’s fearless! I was suggesting she get the Reader’s Digest Guide to Sewing (which I learned on) and she said, ‘Can’t I just Google it?’ My, how times have changed.

In China she realized she really wanted to learn and bought these scissors when I was going bananas buying my zippers. She was SO EXCITED that her enthusiasm rubbed off on me.   And, most importantly, I never have to remind her to lower / raise her presser foot.


  1. I am glad you are enjoying your teaching experience with your friend. My daughter wants to learn to sew. Since I don’t live close to her, I’ve bought her the Teach Yourself to Sew (Threads) DVD for Christmas.
    By the way, I went to Guss Woolens last week and scored some nice 1.5 yard wool goods for $7.95 each. You are right, great for skirts.
    Speaking of skirts, I hope you are going to re-make that Knip Mode skirt.

  2. I guess she really wants to learn. Will we be seeing the finished product?
    If i can get me friend to stay in one place long enough this would be me but since she’s only here during her vacation time that’s not going to be possible.

  3. It’s much easier to teach someone to sew when they really do want to learn. My son has been sewing small items for years, such as drawstring bags for his little treasures, and truly enjoys the process. He’s 13 now and venturing out into a double sided fur throw for watching TV, and pajama pants/boxer shorts to sleep in. He’s been begging me to teach him how to put in a zipper as well! Not sure MOM is ready for that lesson, but he’s pretty gung-ho.

  4. Good morning Miss Celie

    Well done for teaching Elizabeth to sew. As you know you are opening up huge world of creativity, practicality, and satisfaction all of which comes in the wonderful world of sewing.Congratulations to you both.

  5. I remember you telling me of your possible pattern choices when I was in Baltimore. I’m happy to hear it’s going well. I have at least 5 people who want to sew but our schedules just can’t seem to work.

  6. I tried teaching someone to sew, but just didn’t have enough patience and/or clarity, so good on you for spreading the sewing love around! I had to laugh at your last comment – when I was learning I always forgot to lower the presser foot and my mum would always yell out “lower your presser foot!”, hence the name of my blog!

  7. Good luck, Teach. Hope your student is better at following directions than my last one was.

  8. Your dress looks real perty. I’ll bet it would look great with red tights – I love red and browns together. Or maybe the print only looks like brown on my screen…

  9. The dress looks great. Can’t wait to see more. And Elizabeth, weolcome in the world of sewing. You have a great teacher!

  10. What a very nice person you are! Giving someone a chance to be a part of this wonderful world of creation! I’m positive that you’re doing just perfect in Elizabeh’s eyes with regard to being her teacher! I would be if I were her!

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