Saturday, October 31, 2009

Homework woes

It is an odd thing for a student to say, but I wish I had more homework. My class meets one day per week for four and a half hours. The first hour is spent in the classroom as the instructor demonstrates new techniques. We spend the rest of the time in the lab. I usually have to rush to finish my assignments. On two occasions I had to turn in items with which I was not happy because a finished but poorly sewn project is better than no project at all.

The only homework I have had this semester was to buy supplies and to cut out lots of 5" x 10" muslin rectangles. There are no homework assignments that require sewing. I would like to be able to work on my assignments outside of class, but that is not possible. My instructor does not object to students finishing assignments at home, but the work must be done on industrial machines. My only machine is a cheap home lockstitch. My last two assignments in class were done on an overlock.

More time to work on my assignments would be nice, but what I really need is more practice time on the machines. At the start of the semester industrial lockstitch machines scared the heck out of me and I had nearly no control of what I did with them. Ten weeks in and I love industrial machines. My home machine now seems slow and under powered. My sewing skills still require a lot of improvement, but I can now use industrial straight stitch, overlock, and coverstitch machines with some small amount of confidence. Most importantly, I see myself improving every time I sit down at a machine.

There is a lesson in all of this; perhaps the most important lesson of the semester. Sewing is not an innate skill, it is learned. Practice makes perfect. To become a master of my trade I must spend as much time as possible sitting at a sewing machine.

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