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   stitchgirl2a.jpg (8713 bytes)   JOANNE'S SEWING ROOM stitchgirl2a.jpg (8713 bytes)





TIP #1    Keep your own sewing machine in good repair. A sewing machine should make a neat even stitch and sound smooth. A quiet machine is less important than a smooth, steady sounding motor. Be bold about letting your child use your sewing machine, even if you're worried about a brand new one. Plus, your child can probably run computers!

TIP #2    Resist the urge to over-help your child. It's easy to want to take over - you know what to do and she (he) is just learning. That's why it's best to build skills one step at a time. It's so easy for kids to figure it out for themselves and it pays off when they become fashion-hungry teenagers!  Just drop them off at class and come and get them.  At the end of each year I call my students back together and we have a fashion show to raise money for a charity!  That's where your participation is needed most!

TIP #3    Always be nearby to answer questions and to help with ripping out a seam in a cheerful manner. Use the old Tom Sawyer-Huck Finn approach. Huck really wanted to whitewash the fence when Tom told him it was an important job that only he could do! Your child will appreciate having a chance to calm down if the mistake caused some anxiety, and will soon be asking to do their own ripping.

TIP #4    Make a special place for your child's sewing equipment and projects. A shoe box works well; so does the Drawstring Tote.  She (He) may want to make two - one for sewing and one for school, toys, or summer activities! Goodness! That could mean four totes in order to have a seperate one for each activity - stock up at fabric sales, or use up some leftovers from other projects.

TIP #5    If your child wants to make two garments out of the same fabric, have the store clerk cut two pieces of fabric, each the right size for each project and label them with the name of the garment. This makes it easier to work on one project at a time.

TIP #6    Your student will be wearing their new creations  - which one of you wants to do the hand washing and ironing needed for special care fabrics?  Avoid solid colors or fabrics with special washing or cleaning instructions. Help your child choose brightly colored or heavily patterned fabrics that can be machine washed and machine dried.