I just cleaned up after another sewing lesson with my student. One of the things that I keep realizing while teaching, is that as a teacher I can either empower my student so she feels capable, or I can convince her that I am the source of all knowledge, and that she is but a bug, in the world of sewing.

Probably the best way to help my student to feel capable, is not to hover as she works. So I make myself busy as she sews. I do some of my own sewing. I deal with the laundry, or make myself a cup of tea as she sews on my machine.

As she begins the next step on a garment, I will point out the sorts of mistakes that I tend to make over and over again, so she can avoid them. Generally, my errors are good teachers. I will generally explain why we are using a particular technique. If I know that my student knows a couple of different ways to approach a task, I will ask her which one she prefers to use.

One of the things I love about my student is how different her work style is from mine. Today she needed to take out a row of black top-stitching from a band of wide elastic. It was slow and pesky work. I suggested that she might want to save that work for home. She refused. she said that she loves doing it. It is my least favorite thing to do, un-sewing. I'm glad that my student enjoys doing it.

Next week we will attach her skirt to the bodice of her dress. It will be another adventure in gathering.


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