My teaching method draws upon design thinking principles
Step 1: Empathize
Kids arrive to the sewing studio with many ideas of what they wish to create. Most of the time, they want to create something exciting for themselves or a family member. I help them visualize and bring their project to life.
step 2: Define
I start with the basics. We talk about the elements of design - color, balance, shape, texture, space, and scale. I encourage them to imagine how all of these elements might come together in creating their project.
step 3: Ideate
Here’s where the idea starts to come to life. The kids discover patterns for clothing - and sometimes learn to design their own patterns! We also modify existing patterns depending on their vision and skill level. By following the design thinking process, the students learn that sewing is not instant gratification; it requires patience and a need for iteration.
step 4: prototype
For intricate designs, I teach the kids how to create a muslin or toile, a test garment made out of a light cotton. In this step, they learn how to approach challenges with the pattern. They modify, adjust, and sometimes reinvent their project.
step 5: test
As they assemble the pattern and begin sewing, they learn to improvise based on how the project progresses. By cutting the fabric incorrectly or sewing in the wrong place, they learn to disassemble and re-do their work. As a result, they are able to mend inconsequential mistakes, and proudly complete their project.