Half term. It's not as if I didn't have anything else to do with my time. I was half way through the Spring term. Or 'The Term when the Year 11s start to Panic' as I prefer to call it.
The very first Forest Hill Fashion Week was drawing to its glorious close and, by rights, I should really have been kicking back with a pile of DVDs and a (few) bottle(s) of wine...or exploring some exotic far away city with only my Rough Guide for company.
But anyone who knows me is only too aware that my idea of relaxation actually happens to involve sewing. Quite a bit of it.
So that's how I found myself rearranging my kitchen early on the Tuesday of half term ready for my first Super Sew Me! clients.
My two eager girls, aged 9 and 10, had never met before. Yet they bonded immediately over their obvious love of fabric and sewing. A few minutes in and we had already learnt that Laila loves designing. She arrived with a bag of fabric and a brimful of ideas. Lizzy was the loquacious one. A lover of all things purple and enough optimism to fill a stadium. We were all going to get on like a house on fire (not literally, panic not).
Teaching children really hones your explanation skills. On the whole, if one of my pupil gets it wrong it's usually because I haven't put it quite right. It was clear that my two trainee Sewing Warriors wanted to learn (images of sponges and puddles spring to mind) and I was equally eager to give them the best sewing experience that I could create. Plus, don't forget, it was my half term too and I was up for having some fun!
It's probably no secret by now that I was bored senseless by my needlework lessons (textiles technology now, if you please) when I was at school in the Dark Ages. I'm not sure whether it was the curriculum or the teacher that was to blame (sorry,
anonymous Needlework teacher). I just did not 'get' it. Not so MY lessons, I decided. *determined face*
Super Sew Me! took place over three consecutive mornings. We went over the basics of threading and using an electric sewing machine. Lizzy brought her mothers old machine (there's something about this that makes my heart soar) and Laila worked from one of mine. Homework that evening was greeted eagerly by both. The girls arrived the next day brandishing their handiwork proudly. Laila arrived early to practise as her very own sewing machine was on order.
And then they were off and away! Choosing colours and making Tote bag patterns and debating the advantages of contrast versus matching fabrics.
We discovered that Laila is rather impatient and she learnt that steady produces more quality sewing. Lizzy learnt that she can rely upon her own instinct and that when she is calm she can produce brilliant results.
We had great fun together and - if their beaming expressions are anything to go by - they were thrilled with their achievements. I'm sure that, armed with my instructions and their new confidence and Sewing Warrior status, young Laila and Lizzy will go from strength to strength.