Bags, boxes, and bins of donated fabric have been sorted, patterns have arrived, curriculum is being tweaked, and class lists finalized. We are getting ready for another year of Make Welcome Refugee Sewing School classes and we’re pretty excited about seeing our returning students and meeting new ones.
We will offer our Beginner Sewing Class to new students again this fall and are currently going through our stack of student registrations to finalize the class list. We wish we could offer the class to every single person who signs up, but space, machines, and childcare (more on that later) limit our class size to 8 students. We have applications from women (and men!) from Congo, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Burma and we look forward to meeting and getting to know the 8 students who will be a part of this new class.
For the first time, we will offer a Garment Sewing Class. Students who have completed our Beginner 1 Class and who have the skill level to move on will be sewing women’s, men’s, and children’s garments, using patterns donated by two independent pattern companies. Oliver+S, maker of children’s patterns, and Colette, maker of women’s and men’s patterns, both have the reputation of producing patterns that are especially geared toward teaching new skills. We are currently sewing a sample of the very cute Oliver+S After School Pants and Top pattern to familiarize ourselves with the pattern and can’t wait to use it, and the other fun patterns, in our Garment Sewing Class.
Another new class offering this year is our Beginner 2 Giving Back class. For students who have completed our Beginner 1 class but need more practice sewing simple items, we will be repeating some of our beginner projects which we will donate to other refugee services: tote bags for students in ESL classes, aprons for Project 658 Cooking School students, and pillowcases to welcome new refugee arrivals.
Our Advanced Sewing Class and Production Team returning students will continue sewing for items that will provide supplemental income for their families as they produce items for businesses like Journey Home Crafts, Amahoro Burundi, and others. We hope that many of them will have the opportunity to participate in an Artisan Christmas Fair this year and look forward to helping them to expand and hone their skills. This group will also be doing a bit of garment sewing and beginning to learn some alteration skills.
It’s going to be a full week of teaching and learning with classes Tuesday through Friday. We are almost ready but we do have some, as yet, unmet needs for the fall …
We have some classroom supplies needs – thread guides, sewing machine needles, bobbins and more. We have a Make Welcome Refugee Sewing School Amazon Wish List and we invite you to take a look and purchase from the list if you’re interested in helping us supply our sewing classroom. Thanks in advance!