Saturday, September 27, 2008

Help...Input please. Deadline approaches

Oh my, how did it get to be the end of September already?

I'm looking for input.
I'm slated to start as a teacher at an independent fabric store here in January. This place is organized, has a classroom with machines, and right now doesn't have anyone devoted to teaching garment sewing, so most of their classes revolve around quilting and craft projects.

I need to submit a class proposal list, which they will then decide what fits into the schedule and put in the newsletter to try to fill the classes. I can decide my max # students per class, which depending on the subject and the necessity for machines, can be anywhere from 6 - 12.
So, I need to come up with a few class ideas that I think will go.
Oh, this is for the class session beginning in January, ending in May.

So, since I can't teach all the ideas, and I want to choose the ones that are most likely to fill, I'm looking for input.
If you had a nice indy fabric store offering classes which would you be likely to sign up for - keeping in mind that the class price for a class is $85- $100.

Make your Daughter's or Your Own Prom Dress:
One 5 hour Saturday session, then three 2hr evening sessions, beginning in March. Recipient of the dress must be available for measuring/fitting for first hour and last hour of the Saturday, and for session 3 or 4 for final fitting.
You may choose your own formalwear pattern. Learn formalwear techniques such as inserting boning and working with slippery or satiny fabrics.

Sew Project Runway
Learn to decipher Simplicity's new "Project Runway"
pattern line while making a project that is truly Your Own. Choose any dress pattern from the Project Runway collection by Simplicity and we'll go through choosing the elements you want, figuring yardage, layout and construction order so that you end up with your own Personal Creation.

Fitting the Bodice
Two 3 hour sessions devoted to learning flat pattern alterations to fit the bodice. Fitting will be done on a fitting pattern, you'll make a muslin to test the fit, and then we'll talk about how to incorporate your fitting changes into every pattern you make.

Fitting Pants
Two 3 hour sessions devoted to learning flat pattern alteration to fit a pant pattern. Fitting will be done on a basic pant pattern,
you'll make a muslin to test the fit, and then we'll talk about how to incorporate your fitting changes into every pattern you make.

Make Your own Jeans
Using either the Palmer Pletsch pattern (McCalls 5142) or the Sandra Betzina Pattern (Vogue 1034) learn the secrets to constructing "better than store bought" jeans, for a fraction of what the RTW jeans are selling for. We'll be covering inserting a fly front zipper, pocket construction, flat fell seams and perfect topstitching.
6 weeks, evenings
*Note: If fitting is a concern please take the Fitting Pants class as a prerequisite OR call and arrange a private lesson fitting session with the instructor prior to the first class session.

Make this years fashion Must-Have, The Perfect White Shirt
Choose a white (or not white!) woven fabric and make your own White shirt, including perfect collar, sleeve placket, correct button placement and buttonholes.
Threads Collection Simplicity 3684


_________________
Which of these, any of these sound to you like classes that you would be interested in taking.
Is there a great need for a garment sewing class that I'm missing?
They have a great staff already teaching all sorts of craft items, including handbags. Sewing for kids and teens are reserved for the summer program, so it's only adult classes in the January-May session.
Thanks for your input.
I need to get them a proposal list Monday.


Thank you's to the first two commenters, Miriam and Toby. Which also brings up the clarification: The woman who organizes the classes teaches the basic beginner class, which is fine by me. They're looking for someone to pick up classes that are intermediate or higher level.
And, this store doesn't carry knits. In fact, They've gone over to more than half their fabric inventory being quilting cottons.
They carry the poly satins, which will be great for prom dresses, a fair to middlin' selection of silks and laces, some poly and rayon suitings, a great selection of ultrasuede, and a nice selection of woven cottons - the Spechler Vogel stuff in particular. There is another store in town that specializes in knits and teaches sewing with knits all year long, and I don't want to encroach on their territory. They do it better than me anyway.

47 comments:

Miriam said...

I'd give a thumbs up to all of your ideas. My class-taking choices are influenced by who is teaching it. If I saw this list at Haberman's, I'd consider taking your white shirt class - just to see if there were some new things to consider (interfacings, collar styles, snoop shopping techniques) or ideas for making Anne Fontaine quality white shirts!

Toby Wollin said...

Not knowing who the store feels is going to be the audience, I think the blue jeans one will be super popular in that you will be able to attract everyone from teenagers to adults. You might want to include a knit top class as a beginner quickie. The chances of a beginner coming out with something wearable with a knit is far higher than a blouse or jeans, in my estimate.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Marji - with the clarification about the beginner and sewing with knits classes, I would say that you've hit the nail smack dab on the head! Anyone who is home during the day is going to care about the very things you are teaching...so yes, this is a great class listing!!!

luckylibbet said...

You might want to look at the listings of classes at Stone Mountain & Daughter
http://www.stonemountainfabric.com/pages/sewingschool.html

Keep in mind, though, their classes are tailored to an audience in Berkeley - might not be the taste level of your audience!

Good luck!

Becky said...

They all sound like good ideas. Personally, I would love to take one on making jeans, since that's something I want to learn how to do anyway. That, and the fitting bodice/pants classes. I really need to learn how to do this, so I can know how to make alterations to patterns and not have to figure them out as I'm sewing them!

Birgitte said...

Considering that these will be intermediate or higher level sewers, I think fitting would be my number one choice. But that's me. Many probably would like to have a sense of accomplishment in the end, so making something (other than a muslin/pattern) may be necessary to fill the class. In that regard, could the white shirt possibly be combined with the fitting?

I like all the classes. My only frame of reference is my own local store, F & S Fabrics, which teaches classes for mostly beginners. Like Luckylibbet said, your audience is what needs to be considered first. If you'd like to promote a class, could you maybe sew up a sample, say a muslin with all the markings written out with a pen and then a beautiful white shirt next to it and a sign reading, "From This To This!" :))

Nanci said...

I think the pants fitting class would be good. Anything to keep others form looking at a pair of pants and thinking "that crotch is insane!" is a good idea in my book.

Mardel said...

They all sound good to me, but I have no experience in what independent stores offer/attract as there are none in my area and I have never had the opportunity. I would think fitting would be good, as would pants or jeans and the basic white shirt.

Anonymous said...

all of the classes look good...but my initial gut reaction was jeans with prom dress and pants fitting tied for 2nd.

have fun!

toy said...

pants fitting most definitely then the prom dress because boning and slippery fabrics is something I don't mess with because I don't know how

cidell said...

Jeans first, bodice second. But, that's what I want. For the general public, I say do Prom and Project Runway. I think you'll get the younger more trendy people and we always need more of those in sewing.

Rosemary aka fabricfan said...

How about a couple of half day classes where people can get to know you? Adding design details, perfecting the hem, or collar bands and sleeve plackets. You could call it "Take it up a notch". I'd take the blouse course.

Rosaline said...

I wish I lived near you as I'm desperately trying to find a class in my area that teaches one the proper way to alter a pattern for one's shape, BEFORE you cut the fabric. I would also like to take a class that teaches one the proper way to use specialized tools, such as, French Curve, circular measuring tapes, different types of linings, interfacings, dress forms etc. Plus classes that teach special techniques, such as, welt pockets, french seams etc.

Lindsay T said...

Marji, I sent you an email with my class favorites. Just an added thought to my email: What are the store's demographics? If it skews older (45+) then you might have some trouble with the Project Runway class, since those patterns are made for younger sewists.

The sewing shortcut classes offered at the annual ASG conference were very popular. Just a thought...

knittinbrit_in_wi said...

I think the class list you developed looks great. Although my least favorite would probably be the Jean class. I don't think that would appeal to the younger crowd as many would rather buy certain name brands (admittedly they cost a lot more) but names on jeans can matter to some.

I'm not a sewer/seamstress ??? but I'm always fascinated when you talk about draping a garmet. Would that be something for your intermediate/advanced crowd - how to drape a project and make it. start to finish. just a thought.

Lisa said...

Marji,
Nice class list. I would go for the pants fitting first, then jeans and then the blouse. But that is just me!

It would be great to have a class with someone like you! You were very helpful with my GCSA fitting problems. I will get to finish it eventually.

Erica B. said...

Wow! What a great list! I would be happy to take any of those classes. I especially like the Simplicity Project Runway and making jeans. A lot of people don't realize that you can buy great denim and make your own jeans. These should really be a hit!

Mary OK said...

Marji,
My top three would be prom dress, jeans, and white shirt, but not necessarily in that order. As others have mentioned, any class on fitting would be great, too.

Sue said...

Pants fitting class is my big one. In fact I just went looking for this type of class and booked in for one!
The last class I have done was making a skirt. It was called a beginner class, but involved fitting the pattern, topstitching, invisible zip and linig so I felt it was more 'intermediate'. I learnt heaps in that class about finishing, pressing, using tools and general sewing tips so found it very valuable.

Lori said...

I vote for the white blouse and the jeans class. I live in Missouri and would love to know the name of the store where you are teaching. Also, what is the name of the store with the knits. I will have to check them out the next time I visit my brother in St. Louis.

Dana said...

The classes look great to me and I agree with Lindsay T. about the sewing shortcuts. My sister lives in St. Louis and might be interested in a class - can you let me know the name of the store?

Charlene McGill said...

WOW! Let just say, I wish you were here in New Orleans. I would take all of the fitting classes. A couple of suggestions on topics to cover. How to determine the amount of fabric to purchase if major adjustments have been made? Choosing the right pattern style and colors for a persons body type. Good Luck!

AllisonC said...

They all sound like great classes to me. I also wonder if you could add a jacket class - I find a lot of people are scared of making a jacket and might be keen to do it in a class environment. (I'm not talking couture tailoring here, that scares me too!)

kbenco said...

The classes all sound fabulous. I think a jacket class would be great as well. I was certainly scared of making my first lined jacket.

Mary said...

I would run not walk to take the fitting classes. My kids are grown and i'm not interested in special occasion sewing, but I don't know your area. Sewing a pair of jeans would be wonderful too.

Jenny said...

My picks would be the jeans and the white shirt (cause I'm scared of both of them). Maybe rename your prom dress class prom/special occasion to get a bigger audience. I don't have anyone to make a prom dress for, but I would definitely go to learn how to make a boned bodice for a cool dress to go to a wedding. I third (fourth?) the jacket class, if you think there's an interest.

Anonymous said...

The fitting classes sound great. I have taken a number of classes at The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco; you might want to take a look at their course catalog online for some ideas. Linda

Elaray said...

Your class offerings are right on the money! The prom and Project Runway class should appeal to lots of potential students. Personally, I would take the jeans class first. Good luck!

Elaray said...

Your class offerings are right on the money! The prom and Project Runway class should appeal to lots of potential students. Personally, I would take the jeans class first. Good luck!

Daisy said...

You have a nice mix of fitting classes and popular garment classes that I think will appeal to all age groups. Here in New Jersey, IMHO, I think that the prom and jeans classes would be very popular. I personally would take the fitting and jeans classes.

Linda said...

I think that these classes sound good. I think that since lace garments are a big hit right now, perhaps a class or selecting, cutting and sewing lace garments would be good also.

Pati Palmer said...

Hi, First, thank you for mentioning our jeans pattern. In case you didn't know, it has fit information in the guidesheet and alteration lines printed on the tissue. If you tissue-fit the pattern to a person, you can easily see the alterations needed. We address jeans construction and fitting in our book Pants for Real People which might be useful as a text for the class.

I think pant fitting of all kinds is a class that will draw. I wouldn't take more than 6 the first time. You could do the tissue-fitting the first session. You'd need to demo alterations and have them do the alterations. They could return with their preshrunk fabric and you could demo cutting and start demoing the sewing details. You'd need about 2 sessions for sewing. If you want a class outline, let me know and I can send you the outline from our 4-day pant fitting workshop which could be divided into several weekly sessions. I am at pati@palmerpletsch.com.

Janene said...

Anything that deals with fitting would interest me first of all. I agree that the younger crowd would go for the Project Runway patterns which would be great because we want them sewing. The Perfect White Shirt is a great idea also...as are they all.

LauraLo said...

I would take all of them probably, especially since I can guess you're a very good teacher. If I have to narrow it down, it would be 1) Fitting the bodice, 2) Fitting the pants, 3) Jeans, 4) White shirt.

Anonymous said...

Marji - I'm probably too late, but I think a Little Black Dress course would be good. Everybody needs a good dress. The jeans course sounds really good, too - then the project runway. I think I'd put the blouse course last, but only because I'm afraid of them. :) D.

APayne said...

Personally, the best sewing class I ever took was about fitting a pants pattern to your body. It was invaluable and I still use the book (some 30 years later) to refer to from time to time.

Marty's Little Corner said...

You probably have already decided by now which one you're going to teach. I would go with pants fitting, jeans, blouse and formal wear in that order. Most people (at least the ones I know) have very few opportunities. I would go with the theme "Beyond the Basics" to distinguish your classes from others offered in the area. If you are targeting young professionals, 2-3 hour evening classes would not work nor would it work for moms with young or school-age children. A one day event would be better in my opinion. I like your jean pattern choices and would like to suggest Claire Schaeffer patterns too. I really like her pant pattern Vogue 7881 & Vogue 8519 jacket pattern. The pant pattern has a curved waistband, fly zipper and pockets. Just some thoughts.

Nancy K said...

I think that our classes all sound great. I agree with Lindsay about demographics. I would find the Simplicity Project runways patterns a bit young. I do think that you might add a details class. Welt pockets, bound buttonholes, plackets as a single 3 hour class. My sil took just such a class years ago at Waechters in Asheville.

spinnergirl said...

I would love to take the fitting the bodice and fitting pants classes. And probably the white shirt class. I love to wear button down tops, but have yet to find a shirt pattern that accounts for my full bust and the ones I find in the stores are always lacking in some way.

Good Luck on teaching. They would all be fun.

Mary E said...

Just me but the white shirt then fitting would be my choices, with jeans running 3rd.
I think the Project Runway class is such a unique idea, and would be popular for younger sewists.

Mary E said...

Just me but the white shirt then fitting would be my choices, with jeans running 3rd.
I think the Project Runway class is such a unique idea, and would be popular for younger sewists.

spunsilver said...

My vote is for fitting pants. I've sewn most all my life and to me this is the hardest thing to do.

Carrie K said...

They all sound like good solid fun advanced classes to me too. Good luck, Marji! It sounds like it'll be both fun and challenging.

Faye Lewis said...

For me they all would be great. But the top ones would be the jeans, pants fitting, the project runway patterns,WHAT ABOUT A GREAT ONE ON JACKETS?

Nancy W. said...

I also think they all sound wonderful. I think if I had to narrow it down to 2 or three, I would go for the fitting classes plus something different like the make your own/ your daughter's prom dress. (except I would change the title to "prom/evening") Also, since the store has a great selection of ultra suede, and vests are so in right now, I might consider an ultra suede vest. Easy project with not much fabric, but new sewing techniques to learn. Keep us posted on the classes you choose. What a fun opportunity!

Mary said...

I'd take your white shirt class in a heartbeat ... many of us are getting bra fittings thanks to Oprah. After we start wearing properly fitting bras (I went from a C to an E cup) we find that our blouses are gaping open! I'm about to start on my first blouse and I don't have a clue!!

Gail said...

I'm hopelessly behind on blog reading, and realize that your deadline has passed for this, BUT ...

What store? Jackman's? After taking a moment to wipe away the tears brought about by mention of EFF (and months later 9yo dd is still upset about not getting a chance to take their kids' classes), I'm wondering where I might take a class on fitting pants or making jeans. Assuming I ever have time to take a class.

Also, what store specializes in knits? Someday I hope to actually have time to shop and browse -- maybe then I can figure out who around here sells what. Hmm, at that point I'll be one of those over 50 empty nesters in the demographic.