The Sewing Place

Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome

warpbywarpweft

Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« on: November 29, 2017, 15:01:12 PM »
I'm not sure if this is the correct place for my post, or if it would be better under another topic  (apologies I've got it wrong!).

I used to have a very corporate job, the one bit of it that I loved was training and coaching.  Fast forward a few years and I need very flexible working arrangements. 

I have had an idea that I could teach sewing, it's somthing that I've been able to do since I was 7 or 8.  I have a house full of things I've made, good enough it would seem for freinds to say 'do it'.  The thing is that they can't sew at all...

I have no idea if my sewing is good enough or not!  I seem to be suffering with a massive bout of imposter syndrome.  I would start out with complete and utter beginners, people who don't know a needle from a pin, and go on from there. 

I've always been a bit of a maverick break the rules, try and see just for fun type of sewer but somewhere along the way I've learnt how to follow a pattern and draw up a made to measure skirt block!

Any opinions, thoughts or advice would be wonderful!

Sandra

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 15:13:29 PM »
You don't know until you try and if you've got enough motivation to make a start, then go for it.

Would you try small groups of people, or one-to-one? Where would you teach it? What would you be teaching...craft items...clothing?
Are there any other sewing groups locally?

I've sometimes thought of trying something similar myself, but lack confidence.

"I have no idea if my sewing is good enough or not!"... 0_0 Ha, ha... Same here! Altering clothes has been my only job for 35 years, and I still doubt myself.
I remind myself at times that some people are amazed that buttons can be sewn on and a simple seam can be restitched.

Sandra.
xxx

sewingj

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 15:45:26 PM »
If you already have experience of training I think that would be a big thing in your favour - so often people can do something really well but can`t teach to others!

If you do start off with beginners I think you would be fine. Perhaps you could then  further your own expertise as you go along - maybe getting a few qualifications?  I am  concerned about people who don`t have real skills but think they can tell others what to do - and charge them sizeable amounts for doing so.  There is a lady local to me who runs sewing workshops but I`ve seen the garments that she produces and I really am not impressed!

Lowena

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 15:52:43 PM »
You might do better to get a qualification rather than jump straight in. Doing the course would inform you as to whether your current skills are good enough
Triumph of hope over experience :D

Vegegrow

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 15:55:21 PM »

I think if you have training skills that's a great asset.. as Sandra says have you  considered who or what or where .. What about finding a class to try and see how people work.. preferably not too close to home ..you don't want to upset people
"The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary." ~Mary Kurtz

BrendaP

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 16:25:43 PM »
If you've got training skills behind you and a reasonable knowledge of the subject you should be able to do it.  A good teacher can teach above her own skill level.

What you do have to think about is where you are going to teach and how it would be advertised.  Local Authority "non-acedemic" courses, if they still exist in your area, will probably have very high fees which means that they are difficult to attract the college's minimum numbers of students.   That means you will probably have to find your own location, ie rent a small hall and sort out the logistics of having cutting out tables, sewing machines etc, do your own advertising and be responsible for insurance etc. 

It's not a non-starter, but there's more to think about than just "is my own sewing good enough?"
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Lowena

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 16:44:07 PM »
You must tell HMRC even if you don't earn enough to qualify, and insurance is compulsory too.
Triumph of hope over experience :D

warpbywarpweft

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 17:11:59 PM »
Thank you for your replies, it's given me lots to think about.

My plan would be most definitely to further my skills as I went along.  I'm thinking of a very long term plan, my youngest child hasn't even started school yet so I would be starting very small, 1-2-1 with one machine, then 2 machines later on and so on (we're taking tiny start up budget).  I am interested in working with the utterly clueless, not because they are easier to teach, more because I think it would be great to get someone who thought that they would never be able to sew to a place where they can make things on their own.

I'd love a qualification but it's a bit chicken an egg, any courses that stretch me enough cost ££'s, so back to the original idea, I need to further my skills as I go.  City and Guilds used to do great courses but I'm not sure where you can find them now.  I did part 1 of the fashion and design course, it was very good.

Funnily enough the other, logistical side of the idea I have been able to figure out.  I have found people who teach their (non sewing) skill from home and they have been really open about how to make that part of things work.

I did a craft workshop  (I thought pretending that I couldn't sew wouldn't feel quite right) and I, quite openly, got loads of ideas and tips too.

Local to me there are quite a lot of sewing workshops popping up, but we live in quire a densly populated area so I'm not too worried about that. Some of them advertise as being sewing teaching but are more like felt kit assembly... but then part of me thinks goid for them for having a go!

I feel very fortunate to also have a tax accountant in the family, I've already quizzed them on a few things!

Lachica

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 17:36:15 PM »
Many fabric shops with spare space host clubs. I go to a one which is meets in a studio space above a fabric warehouse. Most other members met at a class for beginners there, and they said the teacher was good at explaining the basics but some people were disappointed that she didn't cover more advanced techniques. If you have teaching/training experience you'd be able to teach sewing, especially if you can help them with the basics. I would get them to bring their own machines though. Like selling, you have to believe in yourself first.
Mary

Roger

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2017, 18:55:16 PM »
Go for it! As has been said- being a teaching communicator is the toughest part and you have that sussed!

I had an amazing day with a sewing tutor, and would love to repeat it, it was a getting to know your machine.... I took the 500a (out of its cabinet) and all the odds and attachments I have for it, she started by checking it over lightly tweaked the tension, advising me to oil it more, and being shocked at how high the foot could raise. Then taught me a range of functions: correct starting and stopping, appliqué, blind stitch, a few different hems, buttonhole making, attaching elastic, curved hems, then started working through the highlights of the manual different stitch patterns, quilting, stabilising. I made a small pillow with decorative stitching and a little quilted purse with a zip. It was so useful! The only thing we didn’t cover that I would have loved to was double needle stitching, a little niche on a 500 because you just stick in 2 needles.

If you do get started and want a guinea pig I’d be happy to, distance permitting :)
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

Ohsewsimple

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 19:26:37 PM »

As someone who has been doing just this for over 13 years now, WOW, hadn't realised it was that long! :o   I can assure you that teaching the clueless is definitely not an easy option.  :)
Like you I had always trained staff in my previous jobs.  I always enjoyed that aspect of it.
 I was asked if I would consider replacing someone who used to teach dressmaking at a shop.  After various discussions and listening to friends, who had taken classes at night school, day school etc, complaining  about them, I decided that the format of 'bring your pattern and fabric and make something' didn't really work.  So I spent several weeks planning  out a course covering various techniques. 

If you have been training then you can teach, and you have a qualification in the C&G. After I had done mine I was tempted to do the teaching qualification but realised that I would be governed by rules and regulations if I taught in adult ed.  and I had no desire to be constrained in that way.  I'm not sure C&G is open to all ages  now.  They were changing it some years ago.

You need to think about what you want to teach and the level you will aim for.  I teach beginners techniques but also have a group that now make clothes and get help and advice in the class.  They have gone from complete novices to using knits, chiffon, making trousers, coats and being REALLY picky about the fit of their creations.  :)

As already stated, you need to think about where you will teach, will you provide equipment etc,  and insurance.  my students bring their own machines.  It is better if they are using something they are familiar with.  If hiring somewhere the machines will need pat testing.

How many people you want to teach at any one time will depend on the type of class you run, time allowed and the space available.  I have 6 at a time and that is enough.  It can be a challenge to get round to sort everyone out sometimes.  And beginners always have lots of questions and that takes up time that you may not allow for.   

My tutor always used to say that you just had to be a week ahead of your students.   :). I always make sure I have read through my notes, looked at my diagrams and have everything sorted before I start.  It just makes you look better.  :)

BrendaP

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 20:38:50 PM »
1-2-1 teaching is very demanding.  If the student is getting on OK with something you feel a bit guilty just twiddling your thumbs until s/he is ready for the next bit.  having too many in a class means that you can't spend enough time individually.  4-6 at a time is maybe the easiest if they are all total beginners.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Surest1tch

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 21:42:02 PM »
You might do better to get a qualification rather than jump straight in. Doing the course would inform you as to whether your current skills are good enough

I totally agree with this, I have no idea how old you are but if you're young enough a qualification could open a whole new world up for you.

warpbywarpweft

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2017, 10:19:53 AM »
It’s interesting to hear what you did on your workshop Roger, thank you.  Especially after reading your replies I think that I would be wise to start 1-2-1 and build up from there, what may be a more advance skill for once person might be simple and basic for another perhaps?
I remember at the time being very keen on the idea of progressing to the C&G teaching qualification, I also didn’t want to be constrained, it was a very good but very strict.  One of my friends that wants to learn is going to need to be able to sew with very little resources, budget or time so as good as they are C&G methods may not really fit for her.
Can I ask how it works when people bring their own machines?  I did a sewing day with a friend a few months ago (just for fun, a day of child free sewing), she brought along an ancient old beast of a thing that charged off at full speed with when she so much as looked at the foot pedal.  The machine had other issues (it probably needed servicing) so all in all she didn’t enjoy it as much as she might have otherwise.  It was a world away from the experience that you can have from a nice well-behaved modern machine!  I know that you should be able to sew on anything, but I thought if I was in control of the type of machine used then I could provide a better experience. On the other hand, in the area that I live in some people interested in learning could well have bought a machine that was the price of a small car.
Yes to being a week ahead!  I have a list lined up on my mind for my friend, I just need to write it down perhaps!
I don’t think I am that young sadly…I’d love to do a course but I think I need to plan that in for when my smallest gets to junior school and I will be well on the way to a big 0 birthday buy then, but you’re never too old and perhaps that would be something to work towards.

Holly Berry

Re: Good enough to teach sewing / dealing with imposter syndrome
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2017, 13:07:29 PM »
Speaking from the point of view of a learner, paying for tuition, I would like to know that the person instructing me was competent and knew what they were talking about. One way of ensuring that is seeing they had qualifications. The key here for me would be they are taking my money so I would want a qualified person. Also if they were providing equipment that it was fit for purpose and safe.

I am a member of U3A, which is an organisation for retired and semi-retired people who have skills they can impart to others who want to learn that skill, for free. We have a beginner sewing group that I help run and a pattern drafting group that I run. I did an adult ed course on pattern drafting course many years ago, so just ensure I am at least a “lesson” ahead and have prepared what we are learning. I like you was a trainer at work and instructed in a class situation and 1:1 basis.

Maybe you can help run a group on a volunteer basis to see how you get on and what, if any, qualifications people would expect you to have.

Procrastination get behind me