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Thread: Home Ec Class

  1. #1
    Member boopeterson's Avatar
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    My hubby's niece is home schooled and her mom wants me to do a Home Ec class with her. For the sewing part I have planned to make a apron, I would like us to make 5 of them to use them in the cooking part. And for the cooking part I have planned to get together with her mom and grandma and her great grandma to make Christmas cookies. It will be like a 4 generation cooking class for her. With all the cooks in the kitchen she should learn quite a few little lessons.
    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what all I should show her on the sewing part? Besides the apron? I'm not sure if she has ever sewn anything before..I know she dont have a machine. I have 4 so she can use on anytime she wants to.

  2. #2
    Super Member Minnesewta-sam's Avatar
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    My home-ec teacher introduced me to quilting 30+ years ago. She was my mentor in more ways than one. Here are some suggestions for the sewing part of the program.

    ** Teach her how to shorten a garmet...pants, dress, etc.
    ** How to use a store bought pattern...mark darts, match dots, etc.
    ** How to thread machine, wind bobbins, clean lint out of machine, oil if necessary, seam allowances.
    ** Different fabric types
    ** How to install a zipper or snaps or velcro
    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Super Member lauriejo's Avatar
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    You will probably have to start by teaching her about the basic sewing tools, and their uses. If she hasn't grown up in the home of someone who sews, she won't know about different kinds of scissors or needles (the kind of things we take for granted). I would also teach her how to sew on a button, and then let her pick a project she would like to try.

  4. #4
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minnesewta
    ** How to thread machine, wind bobbins, clean lint out of machine, oil if necessary, seam allowances.
    Definitely basic machine maintenence! I nearly sewed my first sewing machine to death, not knowing that they needed oiling and such. It sounded so much better when my fiance (now husband) cleaned it out for me the first time.

  5. #5
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    As important as what you teach be sure to explain WHY it is that way. For example, explain why you would use cotton and not polyester fabric for an apron you are going to cook with, why the stitch length needs to not be too long or too short, etc. Later for the foods portion be sure you explain (or have her look up on the internet) the purpose of each ingredient and why it is important to measure properly (same is true for the sewing part), not make substitutions willy nilly, etc.

  6. #6
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    How to sew a straight seam, measurments on a tape measure. How to nail a nail, right on, left off with a screw, where to find a water/gas main on a house or under the cabinet behind appliances (not quite sewing but useful) Have fun!!

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    First thing we were taught about sewing in Home Ec was how to lay out a pattern, mark the darts, pin to straight of grain using the pattern arrows, and how to cut the pattern on the fabric. Then how to thread and sew on the sewing machine. Sewing simple pj pants would be a good starting project. Remember clothes are sewn using a 5/8 seam. That seems huge to me now.

  8. #8
    Senior Member merrylouw's Avatar
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    I did some pillowcases from a tutorial given on this board recently. It was fun and easy to do. and would be good practice for straight seams and quarter inch.

    http://www.overallquilter.com/latest...-14-pillowcase

  9. #9
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I learned how to make tailor tacks in Home Ec, talk about useless info...

  10. #10
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Here is a site that combines sewing and good works - your niece can learn two things at once.

    http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/

    They make simple dresses out of pillowcases for girls in orphanages in Africa.

  11. #11
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    A tour of a hobby/fabric store. Home decor. How to use appliances in the home. How to clean a house properly. Babysitting tips.

  12. #12
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    In my home ec classes we made pillows out of a kit to learn curves and how to hand sew the seams closed then we had to pick out an easy clothing pattern I made a kids dress for my cousin. We learned to sew buy following lines on a piece of paper. the the pillow and outfit. We also had to make a duffel bag which was really fun. I miss that they no longer have Home ec in my area! Have fun!

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    How sweet of you to help your DN out with this...
    I would love to be involved in a 4 generation cooking class too!
    There could be a lot of pictures snapped, and a recipe/scrap book might fit into one of her other classes, too. :D:D:D

    You may want to check out the requirements for a Home Ec course in her school district. We had certain criteria that had to be met in picking out our patterns and fabric.

    We had to learn to buy fabric to match the pattern we chose.
    How to lay out the pattern, what bias was, lenghtwise and cross grains.
    The pattern had to have a zipper, buttons/button holes.
    We had to machine hem the garmet.
    We learned about needles/threads, which needles to use with what kind/weight of threads and with different fabric types.

    There may have been some other requirements too, but it has been 37 years since I took this class LOL and this is all that I remember off the top of my head :D

  14. #14
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    I pm'd you with some suggestions. You are going to have so much fun!!

  15. #15
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I'm a retired teacher. Our Home Ec. teacher had them make 9 patch quilts.

    Basics for sewing would be:
    How to thread a machine.

    Mending!

    How to read a pattern & do 1 step at a time.

  16. #16
    Super Member pab58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minnesewta
    My home-ec teacher introduced me to quilting 30+ years ago. She was my mentor in more ways than one. Here are some suggestions for the sewing part of the program.

    ** Teach her how to shorten a garmet...pants, dress, etc.
    ** How to use a store bought pattern...mark darts, match dots, etc.
    ** How to thread machine, wind bobbins, clean lint out of machine, oil if necessary, seam allowances.
    ** Different fabric types
    ** How to install a zipper or snaps or velcro
    Good Luck!
    Yep!!! That all sounds very familiar to me!!! But my first home ec class was about 40 years ago!!! :roll: My class was divided into four parts: 1=sewing 2=needlearts such as knitting, embroidery (by hand), and crocheting 3=cooking 4=child care. I can't remember if it was during the 2nd or 4th part where we also learned about proper grooming (ourselves, not animals :lol: ) and etiquette. To this day I NEVER brush my hair or put on make-up in public!!! :lol: :lol: I can still hear my lovely teacher telling us that it wasn't the proper thing to do. :wink: Our first sewing project was a coin purse that had a snap closure. We then made a tote bag, and after that we made a skirt. I chose not to make a mini or a midi so I made a maxi -- remember those?? Boy, does that take me back!! I still have the coin purse and the maxi skirt (and the Simplicity pattern). I keep them in my cedar chest. :wink:

  17. #17
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    I would have her work with some hand sewing, too.

    So many people will toss a garment if it needs a button or there is a small break in the seam line.

    A square hotpad with cotton towel or cotton batting as filler could be made envelope style and she would learn to pivot at the corners and slip stitch the little opening closed. Cross hatching the hotpad after turning right side out gives additional practice of sewing a straight line.

    Using a sample of two fabrics sewn together to create a seam line, create some opportunities: running stitch or backstitch to close a broken seamline. You could use the opportunity to look at one or two of her garments and discuss how she can shop for garments and rescue clothing that needs a little repair.

    Last, but not least, she needs to know how to sew on both a shank and shankless button. Perhaps decorate a sweatshirt or small tote and sew on some buttons as decoration. I used to use 1/2inch ribbon bows and little heart shaped shankless buttons to decorate a child's shirt or sweatshirt as a gift. (Buttons and bows theme - can use variety of colored ribbons.)

    She could make a small fabric case in which to keep her package of pins, package of needles, and small scissors (I used child's scissors purchased for $1. school supply.), tape measure, five or six inch ruler. If you have the patience she could even put a zipper in the case without using right side top stitching.

    I can't wait to have my DGDs visit so we can do some sewing. One of their projects will be a pillowcase. I loved teaching youngsters when I was first out of college because they were like sponges soaking up all the info and willing to try just about anything. If it's fun, it's a cinch to complete!

    By the way, we don't always have machines available, so I stressed the hand techniques. Thanks for reading my book:-)

  18. #18
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    The first thing I learned to sew in 4H was a skirt with an elastic casing. We were each able to complete our skirt in one lesson and no pattern was required. We were all so thrilled and anxious to learn more!

  19. #19
    Junior Member gotthebug's Avatar
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    I agree with many of the folks before me. She needs to be taught how to do basic mending. (buttons, stitching up a split seam, hemming) As for projects, be sure to choose something that is meaningful to her and that she will use. I'm not so sure an apron will be that meaningful to a young girl. Some of the tote bag patterns are very useful and can be VERY cute. My own daughter started with basic pajama pants. Set her up to be successful and she will learn to love it. If she struggles too much she will probably lose interest.

  20. #20
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    I had never touched a sewing machine, etc., until Home Ec. I learned how to make a skirt (I had to buy a pattern, insert a zipper, make a buttonhole and sew on the button, hem by hand and use the blind stitch), make a book bag or purse with zipper, and make any other garment we chose (I picked a t-shirt top).

    For cooking, we had one day of cookies, baked and no-bake and one day of a complete meal. We researched recipes, drew up a grocery list (after consulting in the cabinet), and shopped with a specific amount of money. We cooked the complete meal with appetizer or salad, main course with two sides, a bread, and a dessert. We then had to do the dishes and clean the kitchen, including the floor!

    They were good lessons I've used to this day. All of them.

    We did learn "proper" grooming and how to sit and bend gracefully, walk like a lady, and voice control.

    We learned how to make potholders with a loom and sew the edges to stop from raveling. We learned crochet (basic stitches) and knitting. All 3 of these I was doing well before 10.

    I was cooking by 8 or 9, my dh was cooking at about 7. I taught my children to cook from scratch at around 10. All of us were responsible for 1 meal a week, 3 kids, dh and self. One night we got pizza, and one night was sandwiches. We had some awful meals but we survived.

  21. #21
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    I learned how to make tailor tacks in Home Ec, talk about useless info...
    Remembering carbon paper - in different colours!! Does anyone use THAT anymore? For darts I just pin mark the top and the point and fold and sew.
    But then, I don't use pins much in quilting.
    Lazy? Me? Darned right!

  22. #22
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Home Ec - Pffft!
    My mom taught me to sew when I was 8. By the time I got to grade 7 home ec, I was drafting my own patterns.
    Then I had to make something from a 4 piece pattern? I was put out. I brought a pattern and fabric from mom's stash, and was told "No, you can't make that. It's too difficult. You need to buy a 'super simple' pattern".
    So, I made that dress, and wore it to class the next week.
    After that, they let me bring whatever pattern I wanted. :P

  23. #23
    Super Member brendadawg's Avatar
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    And by all means, teach her to press seams. I was surprised when I sat down to have a "sew-in" with a friend once. We were making the same dresses for our little daughters. My mom taught me to ALWAYS press the seams (open); my friend didn't pressy any of hers. And then she wondered why my garment looked so much better than hers. Like mother said -- can't take shortcuts sometimes.

  24. #24
    midnights_cat's Avatar
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    learning to hand sew is very important and should be the first lesson to learn. It will also be the last thing she will forget.
    even if you only make some small items by hand it will help her to understand the machine side of sewing, the other thing you could teach her is all your fancy hand sewing stiches, even though we have machines to do most of this for us now, it still find it very relaxing to sit and do fancy work by hand. :thumbup:

  25. #25
    Junior Member doglover's Avatar
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    I recently taught my granddaughters how to sew. I almost lost them on "how to treat the sewing machine with good maintance". Then I got them back when I introduced them to pillowcases and tote bags. Now one loves to sew but the other one still loves sports more.

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