I couldn't resist sharing this lovely article written by Joyce Jones for her local American Sewing Guild chapter newsletter. I was incredibly humbled by the kind words she shared about her experience with my courses but even above that I love the sentiment of her words in regard to the incredible impact that an instructor can have on one's ability to learn and excel in any subject.
Have a read, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did...
written by Joyce Jones for the
Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Sewing Guild
If you have a minute for quiet reflection, conjure an image of your very best teacher. Not the one who made you laugh, liked you best, or never assigned homework. Dig a little deeper and visualize the teacher who made things click. You know the one I mean. The one who made you feel capable, curious to know more. If you’ve pulled up a face and a name, and perhaps even a smile, you’ve experienced a Magical Match!
I have a few such teachers, and several have been sewing instructors. These are women who make sense to me. I can follow their explanations, and I can take the information and apply it on my own. Each of them has a passion for sharing their expertise unselfishly and graciously. Perhaps more important, each of them has challenged me to grow and hunger for the next piece of information. Sometimes I have been extremely fortunate and have been able to study with these mentors in person. But right now, with the safety concerns of our daily lives, I am gaining lots of opportunities to learn online, and as a result, I have been working with an instructor who has afforded me another Magical Match.
Alexandra Morgan is an experienced pattern maker who has brought her industry knowledge and logical approach to experienced home sewists and budding personal pattern makers and designers. She has transitioned her knowledge to an audience eager to learn more about fit and design. As a result, she developed In-House Patterns Studio out of her home in Canada.
The emphasis of her sewing workshops and tutorials are to help home sewists achieve personal fit, improve garment making skills, and experience personal pride in the final products. Those goals really correspond to my own sewing journey and belief that there is always more to learn.
I am working my way through her courses, and I am currently creating a knit bodice sloper with her instruction. If I can remain focused and disciplined, I will end up with a pattern that can be revised for fabrics with varying degrees of stretch and interesting necklines and design details. All without sacrificing fit. I am determined. My personal goal is to complete the knit bodice sloper and Full Seam Ahead Volume 23 Issue 3 Page 14 Fall 2020 one on the woven bodice sloper followed by the Fitting Essentials course and to write another article for the winter newsletter to reveal my progress. A little sense of obligation might help me focus.
If you would like to learn more about In-House Patterns Studio, sign up to receive Alexandra’s free booklet, The Perfect Fit Guide: Six Steps to Getting the Right Fit. This will help you become familiar with her approach, and perhaps you, too, will experience a magical match. She has numerous free tutorials on fit, many of which are only 15 - 20 minutes long. I particularly like the one on shoulder adjustment. Some videos are offered free in a series, showing a particular fitting conundrum through several steps. She also offers intense courses, for which she charges, modestly in my opinion. She does answer questions, and some courses have a community portion with women from around the world as your classmates. They will also respond to emails and photos you post. Alexandra also has a small pattern line which will soon be expanded to include plus sizing. I especially appreciate the inclusion of cup sizing for a better bodice fit. I am appreciative of Alexandra’s encouraging attitude and generous spirit. No question is ever considered silly and various learning styles are always respected.
Which sewing instructor offered you a magical match? I would love to read all about it in our next chapter newsletter. Why not start jotting down some notes right now?
The American Sewing Guild is a national sewing organization with its home base in Houston, Tx. They have a conference each summer and they send ideas, articles, and tips to members on a regular basis. The Northern Virginia Chapter services a wide area from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Washington, DC to Richmond, VA. Neighborhood groups meet monthly with a program for the meeting and a chance for "Show and Tell".
Joyce's neighborhood group is "Sharing Thread", which is from the Springfield area of Northern VA. Joyce and a fellow member Bonnie lead the group and facilitate the selection of monthly programs for the year and share information from their Chapter Advisory Board. The Northern Virginia chapter has 4 newsletters a year, a Spring Fling luncheon and fashion show with a guest speaker, 3 days sewing retreats each summer and winter, a fall Annual Meeting with a speaker, and 4th Saturday programs and presentations 4 times a year.
Beautifully written don't you think? I would love to hear your answer to the question Joyce asked in the article: Which sewing instructor offered you a magical match? I'd love the hear why as well. Maybe your match will be someone else's too.