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Sooo, you want to sew?

Beginners courses, advanced lessons to be offered locally

April 19, 2008
The Advertiser-Tribune
By Cathy Willoughby,

Whether fixing a hem or creating a piece of clothing or draperies for the home, sewing can be a valuable skill.

To help local residents gain some basic skills, Linda Cooper-Smith will be offering lessons to novices and those more advanced at Tiffin Sewing Machine at 136 S. Washington St. The first beginner lessons will be 6-8 p.m. May 1 and 8, and another set of sessions will be offered 10 a.m.-noon May 3 and 10.

Cooper-Smith has been an avid sewer for 33 years, beginning with home economics classes in high school.

“Sewing was a part of the class and it just grew from there,” she said. “When I was older and was ready to get married, I made my bridal gown and the bridesmaid dresses.”

She did a number of weddings for friends and relatives, too, until it took too much time and was too much pressure.

“I’d rather teach other people to sew, and to think outside the box,” she said. “There are so many fun things to do with sewing nowadays.”

Her experience encompasses clothing items of all kinds, baby gifts, curtains and the recovering of couches and chairs.

Cooper-Smith will encourage those involved in the classes to be creative.

“For one of the projects, they’ll be bringing in things from their own closets that maybe don’t fit, or they are tired of it, and they’ll be freshening it up somehow,” she said.

One of her projects was to take a wedding gown she found and turn it into a christening gown.

“Why not make a heirloom for your children or grandchildren,” she said. “It would be fun to have a night to send everyone to Goodwill to buy something, bring it back and make something unique out of it.”

Cost of the classes are $40 plus supplies which is due at registration. Beginning sewers also can purchase a “sewing survival kit” for $85 which includes scissors, flexible ruler, measuring tape, tracing wheel and paper, straight pins, assorted color threads, sewing needles and a pattern and fabric.

If individuals don’t have machines, one will be provided for them.

“The majority of those who have a sewing machine have it because they want to know the basics, maybe to re-hem pants or to do alterations, simple basic skills and that is what they are learning,” Cooper-Smith said.

“I don’t think they have any idea that they can be creative, can do so much for so little,” she added. “You can refurbish your whole wardrobe, do window treatments. The more you know, the more you can do, the more you want to do, the more you want to learn.”

Sewing is great stress relief, she said, as well as using the creative side of the brain while making things for yourself, your home or to give as gifts.

“They’ll also make friends and build a network of people in the same predicament,” she said. “Sometimes you learn as much from each other and learning from someone else’s mistake.”

Fact Box

Class sizes will be limited to allow Cooper-Smith to give each sewer individual attention. Call to register at (567) 230-0390 or e-mail at



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