Tag Archives: learn to sew

Spring 2016 Sewing Classes

Here is the schedule for the Spring 2016 Sewing Classes in Shreveport/Bossier.  You can see class descriptions here.

Please contact the continuing education department at the appropriate school to sign up.  If you are interested in a class that isn’t listed below, just shoot me a message and we’ll see what we can do.

Monday, January 11 6-9pm Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine @ LSUS

Thursdays, January 14 & 21 9-noon Sewing Basics @BPCC

Thursday, January 21 6-9pm What Else Can Your Machine Do? @LSUS

Mondays, February 1 & 8 6-8pm Learn To Read a Pattern  @LSUS

Monday, February 8 9-noon Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine @LSUS

Thursdays, February 4 & 11 6-9pm Sewing Basics @BPCC

Thursday, February 11 9-noon What Else Can Your Machine Do? @LSUS

Thursdays, February 25 and March 3 6-8pm Beginner Pattern Sewing @BPCC

Monday, February 29 9-1pm Learn To Read a Pattern @LSUS

Monday, February 29 6-8pm Perfect Pillows @LSUS

Monday, March 14 6-9pm Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine @LSUS

Thursdays, March 17 & 24 6-9pm Sewing Basics @BPCC

Monday, March 21 6-9pm What Else Can Your Machine Do? @LSUS

Mondays, April 4 & 11 6-8pm Learn to Read a Pattern @LSUS

Thursday, April 14 9-1pm Beginner Pattern Sewing @ BPCC

Monday, April 25 6-8pm Perfect Pillows @LSUS

—-I would love to do a Serger class, but the demand is not always high enough for the schools.  If you are interested in a local Serger class (the basics like threading, tensions, rolled hems…) please let me know and we’ll pull one together.—-

Beginning Sewing Class January 27th

Just a quick reminder!  I’m offering my beginning sewing class twice next week.

9am  Monday, January 27th at LSUS.  Sign up here.


5pm  Monday, January 27th at Lil’ Miss Priss.  Sign up here.

If you’ve never used a sewing machine before, this is the class for you.  Learn how to thread the machine, fill a bobbin, balance the tension, and sew a straight seam.  Create a finished pillowcase while you practice.  You can bring your own sewing machine or use one of the machines provided.

Supplies:  Three (3) pieces coordinating 100% cotton quilting fabric in the following amounts:  Fabric 1 (1yd), Fabric 2 (1/2 yd), Fabric 3 (1/4 yd); all-purpose thread; sewing shears; straight pins; size 11 universal sewing machine needles; sewing machine and manual. Machines are provided at LSUS.  Please message me if you need to borrow a machine at Lil’ Miss Priss.


Sewing Machine Love: Your Sewing Machine Manual

Where is your sewing machine manual?   Why do you even need it?

Your sewing machine manual is the go-to reference for the maintenance and use of your machine.  Having trouble balancing your thread tension?  Go to your sewing machine manual.  Can’t remember which bobbin to buy?  Go to your manual.  Should you oil your machine?  Go to your manual.

So…where is your sewing machine manual?  Can’t find yours?  Inherited mom’s old machine and no manual?  Try here.  You can also try eBay.  If you do have yours, is it close?  I keep my manuals right here, within arm’s reach:

sewing machine manual

Every sewing machine manual is slightly different.  Some are only a few pages long, others are 1-inch thick spiral notebooks.  Some have 4 different languages within them.  Your manual isn’t going to be much help if you don’t know what type of information is inside.  Here’s a little create-your-own table of contents for the information I use the most in my manuals.   

Tension Maps for Your Serger

series label

With all those dials and knobs on your serger and all the thread options available, balancing your serger thread tensions can be very intimidating. 


Making a tension map can be very helpful.  I could show you myself, but why recreate the wheel.  Watch this video instead:


Just a few notes of my own: 

1.  I started with all my dials on a 4.  Then I changed the first dial to a 0 and worked my way up.  As I found each thread’s ideal tension, I adjusted the dial to that and move one to the next dial on the left.


2.  I actually found that I needed to make a second set of tension maps for use when I use woolly nylon in the looper threads.  I don’t know if youl’ll need to too.


Simplicity 2211: Lisette Skirt and Top

***Edited May 9, 2014:  Two years later, this is still a favorite post on this blog.  These Lisette patterns were so stinking popular!  Simplicity 2211 is the Market top and skirt.  As of today, the pattern was still available only in certain sizes on Simplicity.com.  If you’ve stitched up this top or skirt or both, I’d love to see them.  Just leave the link to your post in the comments.***

Simplicity 2211


After blogging about this top back in July, I finally took the time to finish the skirt!  I love these Lisette Patterns.  You can find my pattern review here, but here’s the nitty gritty.





I love the instructions in these Lisette patterns.  I followed the instructions by the letter on the shirt, without any difficulty. While I could have put the skirt together with my eyes closed, I followed the instructions to see if it was worth recommending the pattern to my sewing students. It definitely is!

Simplicity 2211 Lisette Skirt Front

The skirt is really cute, but I wish, wish, wish it had pockets! I also prefer an invisible zip to a lapped zipper, but that was an easy fix.

I used cotton poplin from the Lisette line for the top and a white canvas for the skirt.

Simplicity 2211 Lisette Skirt Back

I probably will not make the skirt again, as I have so many other skirt ideas rumbling around in my head. I would definitely recommend the pattern to others, even beginners. I think Lisette’s extra tips are well written, easy to understand, and perfect for novices. If you decide to make the skirt, take advantage of your blind hem foot to help you get the perfect topstitch along your skirt panels.

This is a really cute outfit and will be perfect for the spring (when it actually gets here on the calendar!).