Sustainable Sewing Tip #6: Encourage and enable new sewists whenever possible

Volunteer to teach a survival sewing class at an after school program or to a scouting group. Teach students how to thread a needle, how to sew basic mending stitches by hand and how to sew on a button.

Volunteer to mentor a young person at a sewing/quilting camp held during summer or school breaks.

Lead a beginning sewing group in the maker space at your local public library.

Start your own neighborhood or  “sew with friends” group.  The focus can be whatever strikes your fancy – garment sewing, knitting, cross stitch, embroidery, EPP, machine sewing, Featherweights & vintage machines. See if you can use a room at a public library, the clubhouse of your apartment/condo or neighborhood or open up your own home to host the group.

Share your knowledge with newer sewists at sew-ins and retreats.

Be an enabler. Sewing & quilting has a higher cost of entry than many other hobbies. Gift excess stash, patterns, notions, machines, machine feet, tools, etc. to someone who’s really been bit by the sewing bug, but doesn’t have a lot of cash to invest.

Be generous with your praise and gentle with your criticism. Try to remember what it was like when you first learned how to sew. Don’t point out every little mistake. Be sure to step in if you catch something major, but sandwich that criticism between two positives if at all possible. Example, you notice the cross seams are twisted on the back where the rows are sewn together. You’ll want to bring it to their attention, so they can fix it now. Mention how hard they’re working/matching points nicely, etc. and you noticed that some of the seams are twisted on the back. Explain that they need to be lying flat and explain how to use the seam ripper to unpick and then restitch the seam so that the seams are going in the same direction.

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