Create a Look-Book or Project Inspiration Notebook
Student engagement in the sewing process is higher when they have a say in the project(s) they are making. Scour your sewing, quilting, and home magazines for beginner friendly sewing projects. ‘Tween and teen magazines are also another source for project inspiration. Clip the pages that interest you and place them in plastic sleeves. A pretty, 3 ring binder is a great place to store the kid-friendly projects you saved. You can also create a Pinterest page with pins of the craft projects you see online, but be sure to print out the instructions for favorite projects just in case the project disappears and you are left with the dreaded 404 page error. My students love to flip through the “The Notebook” for ideas. That’s how our current mini-cross body purse class came about.
If you are teaching in a shop, try to match the desired project from the “Look-Book” to a pattern the shop already has on hand. Or, find a freebie version available online that you can adapt. Or write your own pattern. I’ve done some variation of all three, depending on the project. I guess it’s because of my day job, but I make every effort to model ethical and responsible behavior with regard to copyright laws. Yes, I do try to minimize expenses in my kid’s sewing classes, but sometimes parents have to buy a copy of a magazine because the project selected was not one of the projects available for a free download. It’s simply the right thing to do.