I can’t believe it’s already December and Old Spool has been open for just over 2 months already. It still feels like a dream every day I get to unlock the door at 609 Higgins Ave #3 and step into my colorful little studio. I’m so grateful for the countless new people I’ve met over the past 2 months and who’ve become students and friends. Even though I’m still working my day job in the mornings, it feels like my whole day is filled with friendly people who are excited about learning to sew!
One of the most important elements to me of the business when I was working to open the space here in Brielle were my after school classes for kids. I really wanted to connect with the generations below me and pass on my love of a craft that has been around for centuries but is steadily beginning to be forgotten about in school and in families. There’s a generation gap- the rise of fast fashion had something to do with it- of people who learned sewing from their grandmothers or grandfathers and those who have not. When clothing and household items became easier and cheaper to purchase than to make them yourself, more and more people abandoned their sewing machines for Walmarts and JCPenny.
It’s crazy to me that so many people consider sewing a “lost art” because I have so many friends who exist around the world who sew. But when I gave it a bit of thought, I realized it’s because my local community here at the Jersey Shore don’t often run into us sewists in their day to day lives! I’m happy to remind them that sewing is still a wonderful life skill and a fantastic hobby to get into, for themselves or for their kids.
With that, I give you the first few groups of kiddos that have started sewing in my Old Spool After School classes! I have 13 kids as of right now who regularly come by the studio to learn how to sew and are exposed to all sorts of projects- the first being a strip pieced and quilted pillow that the kids have full design responsibility for (to varying levels of crazy color combos!) and then they will tackle a very useful, reversible apron. A few kids have been taking classes since the beginning of October and have also accomplished a pair of pajama pants and a tote bag. Isn’t it amazing what a bit of practice and creativity can create?
Aren’t those pillows amazing!? I love that when you give them a chance to express themselves through the fabrics they choose, they really go wild. I get to learn a bit about each kid when I see what colors and fabrics they get excited about each time!
These amazing little ladies are the first group I was able to welcome into the studio. I’m so impressed with how much they’ve learned in just 2 short months! And above all else they all seem to be loving it, I’ve been told that at least 5 of the 13 are getting sewing machines from Santa this Christmas! That just makes my heart swell!
Now, I’m off to keep brainstorming projects that will challenge them and continue to inspire them! I’m thinking leggings and maybe some sort of funky applique project so they can have something they can wear and practice some new techniques. We’re in for an exciting 2019 at Old Spool!