Beginners Sewing Guide with Calico Jam

Welcome to Connect FCS Ed, thank you so much for listening. I’m your host Barbara Scully and on today’s episode I have a brand new guest, her name is Wendy of Calico Jam, her background is quite extensive, and I’m really excited to have you listen and join in on the conversation. She has an electrical engineer background, then stay-at-home mom, a volunteer for a 4-H and junior high sewing instructor, and she taught alongside a family consumer sciences teacher for many years. Recently, Wendy created a YouTube channel with video instructions and lesson plans templates for new teachers, which are step by step plans on how to sew on a sewing machine.

Listen in…


• We taught together for a few years, and we had four classes of sewing kids each semester, some were around 20 kids on sewing machines at the same time. I just learned a lot through that process. And this year, we did not have sewing as usual with the coronavirus, so I used the time to put some videos together that would help us in the classroom. (4:39)

•  We did do some hand stitching in our junior high, but I don’t have that in part of the video series, this is really for the machine part of the sewing, I do mention  sewing needles in the sewing tools video, but beyond that, we don’t cover it in the lessons here. (8:23)

•  And one of the issues we would run into when people would be done with certain parts of the project and be ready for the next part, but I didn’t have time to teach them the next part because we were trying to get everyone else caught up. So, then we were trying to have other projects that they could go to and work on in the meantime, but this would almost turn it into kind of a self-guided pace. (9:51)

• I do reference in the video description, some videos for threading different types of machines, but that’s something that would have to be taught based on the machine that you’re using. And then once you’re threaded then we carry on with sewing onto the fabric, and then the last one, they’re sewing a hem by using the guides on the throat plate to sew a proper seam allowance and they’re pressing it open, and so that would get them to the point that after that they could start making a very simple project because they would understand how to cut out pattern, how to pin fabric together and how to follow a seam allowance properly. (11:37)

• I think everyone can benefit from working on a project, and that’s one of the things I think I love the most about teaching kids to show is that they all seem to enjoy doing something with their hands. And even the kids that came into our classroom that we were told could be possible problems or difficult kids, I never saw it because once they got their hands working on something, they were just the best kids and worked hard, and I think they enjoyed being trusted with a sewing machine and just having that ability to make something. (21:30)


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February 24, 2021

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