From teacher to student: why I still take lessons

After 20+ years of sewing, you would think I’d know it all. But sewing is a lot like engineering – just because your title is similar, doesn’t mean that you can do it all. You wouldn’t trust a civil engineer to build your spaceship, and you wouldn’t take your MacBook to an aerospace engineer for simple repairs.

In the same way, there are seemingly endless types of fabrics & projects, each requiring its own set of skills or expertise. Sure there’s some overlap, but just because I can do one thing really well doesn’t mean I’ll rock every sewing project. Sometimes it’s trial & error, and my family gets to be my guinea pigs.

Because there is still so much that I don’t know about sewing, or have never tried, I love taking classes & learning new things. Last week I snuck in the time to take a class that I was really excited about – snack & wet bags!

The class was offered at Sewing a Rae of Sunshine, where I often teach but have never been a student! I have to say, now that I’ve gone as a student I may never want to go back as a teacher!

But really, even though I already knew the basic concepts of how these bags go together, it was nice to sew in community. And in an organized, dedicated sewing space. And before the sun went down. And before the kids were in bed. All things that normally just don’t happen if I’m sneaking in sewing time at home – where I sew after the kids are in bed, in the dark, wedged into the corner of our guest room that’s sort of set up with my sewing things. Or I work on the living room floor or the kitchen table, where my cutting mat sort-of fits. You get the idea…

Anyways, I signed up for this class in particular because I knew nothing about sewing with PUL – the waterproof fabric that keeps the wetness IN your wet bag, rather than spilling out into the world. I didn’t know what stitch to use, or if there was a special foot, or any secret tips from the “pros” that I should know about. I didn’t even know what type of needle or thread to use with it! And then there’s snaps – do you install them any differently? Any wise words about where to place them?! (It turns out there’s some serious logic to the snap placement on this wet bag – who knew?!). But seriously – sew many questions!!! The teacher, Laura, was patient & all of my beginner-level questions were kindly answered.

Sure, I could have Googled & YouTubed all of that & after some digging probably would have come across the right answers. But you can’t always trust everything that you read on the internet – I’ve come across enough sketchy sewing bloggers to know there’s a whole wide world of crazy to sift through. Then you have to factor in the cost of materials & time for trial & error. I have to say now that I’ve taken the plunge & taken my first class, I will probably just always want to pay for lessons when learning something new!

And yes, I could also just buy wet bags or snack bags, but then my husband wouldn’t have a Wookiee bag to show off BAHAHAHA!


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