Thank you for visiting YourSewingCoach.com!
My name is Sandy Davis. I’d like to say, “hello and welcome” to my corner of the sewing world, where anyone who’s willing can learn the basics of sewing. I promise!
You are invited to look around my website, where I share my passion and love for teaching beginning sewing, so you can learn how to operate your sewing machine, as you also learn basic sewing techniques. Please allow me to be Your Sewing Coach and I’ll help you kick your fear and intimidation out the door!
A Little About My Background
I have been married to my husband, Lee, for 18 years. He is my best friend, my best coach and mentor, my best encourager, and my life-long partner. We are both committed Christians and love to be active in our church.
I’ve been sewing since childhood but didn’t develop a true love and passion for it until early adulthood. As a child, I wanted to learn to sew. And, with my mother’s help and direction, I made a simple pair of shorts. (She made most of my clothes throughout high school.)
I didn’t sew anything again until 7th grade Home Economics class, where I made an apron with pockets across the front. But, the idea came to me to add something that wasn’t in the directions: my first creative idea – a matching potholder. That was my first venture into creating something of my own.
None of the other students had a matching potholder, and my teacher was actually rather impressed with my blossoming creativity.
Another Long Break From Sewing
Again, I took a long break from sewing during high school due to being involved in extra-curricular activities and as a farm-girl, I was responsible for some chores around the barn and the garden.
But, after marriage and the birth of my second child (my first daughter), I had an interest in getting back to learning the basics of sewing so I could make my little girl some cute clothes that were different from the other little girls’ clothes.
Since finances were tight, sewing seemed to be the ideal way to provide new clothes for my daughter on a budget, and later for two more daughters, and my son, as well as myself and several men in the family.
Learning To Sew Took On New Meaning – From A Beginner Sewing Book
As time went on, learning to sew took on a new meaning for me. I learned to sew almost everything: my own clothing, my children’s clothing, men’s shirts, jackets and pants, ruffled curtains, covered pillows and baby bumper pads – with help from my Mom and my Mother-in-law (over the phone, actually) – and from reading a beginner sewing book while putting into practice each of the techniques I was learning along the way.
Yes, you really can learn the basics of sewing from a book! However, in today’s world, there are so many more ways to learn to sew: on the Internet with blogs, tutorials, courses, and videos; live, in-person classes; television shows on public TV; and DVDs from nationally-known sewing experts.
My First Formal Training As A Sewing Teacher
There were no formal training classes at the local university for sewing or textiles and none at any of the technical colleges in my area, so I began to pursue sewing training in other places. I wanted to learn the basics of sewing from the experts, so I could be sure my sewing skills were credible.
My first formal training, 29 years ago, was with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service’s newly formed program called, “Master Volunteer in Clothing Construction.” It was just what I was looking for and required an interview with a committee and showing samples of clothing items I had already made.
If accepted, I would be required to go through two years of training in sewing basics and training in how to teach to all ages. Wow – what a journey that has been! For the first several years as a volunteer, I taught 4-H and Homemaker groups.
In 2007 I started a monthly adult sewing group at our local public library, still teaching as a Certified Master Clothing Volunteer. After teaching professionally for about two years, in 2012 a local sewing machine dealership asked me to teach private lessons in the store.
Later, as I became more familiar with what students wanted and needed, I developed the idea of teaching “Customized Private Lessons,” where the lesson was tailored to what the student wanted.
What Qualifies Me to Teach Sewing?
After being accepted into the Master Clothing Volunteer program, I continued pursuing as many different avenues of training as possible with the goal of getting as many qualifications as I could so I could teach with authority.
My qualifications in nine different areas were earned over the course of about 16 years, with the following certifications and licenses:
- Palmer/Pletsch International School of Sewing in Beginning Sewing and Fit, with teacher certification in Portland, OR (2)
- Sulky “Sit ‘n Sew” teacher certification (1)
- Martha Pullen Licenses in Beginning Sewing, Serger Sewing, Heirloom Sewing, and Creative Embellishment Sewing, in Huntsville, AL (5)
- Islander Sewing Systems teacher certification in factory methods and shortcut sewing techniques (1)
Over the past 12 years, I have taught group sewing classes, customized private sewing lessons, and am a former co-owner of The Red Barn School of Sewing where I taught group classes and one-on-one lessons with my sewing sister and business partner, Kathleen.
My responsibilities included setting up and maintaining the school’s website, writing the newsletter, and developing curriculum. Kathleen and I found that most of our students were eager to learn the basics of sewing – and we stayed really busy teaching them!
My Sewing Students Give Me A Lot Of Joy
My love and joy of sewing is confirmed as I see the “light bulb” come on when a student understands a new sewing technique or concept; and then see that student go on to make clothing, gifts, home decor items, and some to even start their own sewing businesses!
Some of my students have even entered their makes in their county fair, and/or the Kentucky State Fair, winning blue ribbons.
I have a strong desire to help beginners get over their fear and intimidation of learning how to use their sewing machine and learning the basics of sewing as they develop new skills.
Teaching for 28 years has been such a joy, so I decided to share my passion and my knowledge of sewing with you through this blog.
So, let me coach you on how to set up your sewing machine for the first time (or again), teaching you how to use your sewing machine to its fullest potential, as you make your first (and many more) sewing projects or gift items.
You’ll be so glad you learned this valuable, lifelong skill – a skill that no one can take away from you, and one that gives you many, many hours of satisfaction. And contrary to popular belief, sewing is NOT a dying art!
You’ll be saying, “I made it myself!“
Sandy Davis, Certified/Licensed Sewing Teacher