Thursday, July 15, 2010

HOME EC [full details and registration!]

Home Ec is not just for teenagers anymore, it's for everyone, everywhere!! Rachel, Leigh-Ann, and I have created this class for beginners and those who want to develop and polish their sewing skills! We've planned 3 Guides, 26 step-by-step Projects with at least 1 new Sewing Technique in each, 3 Live Chats and a tips post on How to Invent & Adapt projects of your own!

This class is different than others we've taught. The projects are each amazing and useful, but the real purpose of each project is so that you can learn a specific sewing skill, one step at a time, practicing and learning along the way. We've also decided to show previews & describe to you EACH project so that you can see what you learn and how much skill you'll obtain by the end of Home Ec. The value is insane!

Today= see previews of the 1st half of our projects
MONDAY= see the photos & descriptions of our 2nd half

*See the end of this post for a Full Project List

EarlyBird Guides


How to Work your Sewing Machine - Video

A video guided tour of your new Sewing Machine... filling & loading your bobbin, threading your machine, adjusting stitch length, needle alignment, using the presser foot and backstitching. Plus a few tips for straight & even stitch lines and my favorite sewing habits!

Tools of the Trade - Post

Fabric and craft stores can be overwhelming, especially when you're just learning how to sew. Did I get everything I needed? Did I get anything I needed? As someone who has spent a great deal of their life both shopping and working in those stores, I've learned nearly every product top to bottom. So, for my first post I'll be covering a range of what you may need and why, as well as share a few helpful shopping tips.

Tips & Troubleshooting - Video

I'll be covering basic problems you may run into using your sewing machine and what to check first before taking it in for a check up. In my video, you'll get a few tips on keeping your machine clean and running smoothly and a basic run down on what to expect to pay for a new machine or tune up. Don't be afraid! Your machine is your friend!

Project Previews - Part 1 of 2

Cloth Napkins (2 Ways)

Set a more beautiful table with handmade cloth napkins! You'll learn how to make two styles with basic techniques that will help you master larger projects later in the class. You can feel good about setting your table in style because cloth napkins reduce waste and help save money! Introducing: squaring up fabric, simple hemming, adding Ric-Rac edging. With a focus on mixing and matching patterns.

Drawstring Gift Pouch

Instead of wrapping a gift with paper, create this pretty drawstring gift pouch that acts as a bonus gift and reusable bag! You'll learn how to create a pouch, Also great for business owners packaging products and making a great impression! Introducing: making a bag, joining 2 fabrics, drawstring casing, square corners, strong slit.


Reusable Grocery/Book Bag

Finally a grocery bag that can fit lots and be carried over the shoulder for one big trip into the house. This bag isn't just beautiful, but is also machine washable and also great for the environment! Introducing: Making a larger bag, straps, strong x joints.

Round Bunting

Learn how to create fabric circles and put together a new take on classic bunting. Ideal for a nursery, shower gift, or a playful display in your studio! Easily customizable and simple enough to finish in an afternoon. Introducing: Creating fabric circles and machine applique

Supplies Roll-Up

The perfect caddy for your supplies, your boyfriend's wrenches, your kid's markers or your sharpie collection! Made with an oilcloth or vinyl exterior and an adjustable strap, this roll-up is durable, flexible and just what everyone needs! Introducing: creating sections, working with thicker material (and needle), installing an adjustable strap

Ironing Board Cover

Replace your dingy old ironing board cover with a shiny new one, and make everyone's least favorite chore a little bit more fun. Introducing: using old cover to create a pattern for the new, edge-finishing options, elasticizing an edge, calculating fabric required.

Curtains (2 Ways)

Curtains can be extremely expensive but not when you make them yourself! Choose grommets or a bunched 'ruffle' top and sew window treatments to suit every room in your home! Introducing: lining up a pattern, double hemming, spacing & installing large grommets.

Quilted Pot Holder

Pot holders are a dying breed... no more cork ones in this house, I want cute fabric ones protecting my pretty table :) Work with batting to create a layer of insulation, and quilting to keep the potholder thin and flat. Introducing: batting, closing in a double sided square, blanket stitch.

Reversible Bib

Bibs don't have to be tacky. Learn to make your own with fabric you have on hand. You'll learn straight line quilting and how to work with double-fold bias tape. Introducing: quilting straight lines, adding bias tape, drafting from a pattern.

Hemming Jeans At Home

We can't all have an industrial "jean machine" in our homes (though I'm definitely hoping I someday will!), but it's still possible to end up with a nice looking hem when you're either pressed for time or pinching pennies. You'll pick up techniques for shortening your favorite denim using both hand and machine sewing. Introducing: determining correct length, working with heavy materials, determining your machine's limits.

Zippered Pencil Case

Gather all your cute pencils and markers because as soon as you finish this project, you're going to want to use it! Sewing a zipper can feel so intimidating but it's actually pretty simple, don't be afraid! Introducing: installing a zipper, lining a pouch

Resizing a Shirt or Dress

Don't throw out your grandma's vintage mumu! With a few basic tricks, you can resize vintage clothing to fit your body type. Introducing: hemming, taking in at the sides, learning your measurements and silhouettes that are most flattering.

Jersey Wrap Skirt (Forgiving Raw-Edge)

This super-basic skirt, which you will draft from your own measurements (using math--gasp!), is both forgiving to your figure and to your skill. Lots of finishing techniques are not only difficult, they're time consuming. By leaving the edges raw, we leave time for more important things, like creating the perfect fit. And looking totally cute in your new skirt because, hey look at that, you're already done making it! Introducing: drafting a pattern from measurements, properties of stretch fabric, getting comfortable with clothing construction.

Plushie Toy

Babies grow out of their adorable clothes so quickly but you can give them new life in the form of their favorite new plushie! Using a provided pattern and easy directions you can make these gender neutral creatures for your favorite little one. Introducing: working with jersey cotton, customizing a pattern.

PLEASE NOTE: Part 2 preview photos & descriptions will be posted here on Monday :]


This is a 5.5 week online class open to students worldwide, developed and taught by Leigh-Ann Keffer, Rachel Denbow and Courtney Tucker. The private class blog will be up for 1 full year so that you can check back and take the projects at your own pace. There are no project deadlines or grades ;)

Home Ec starts on August 10
(with Earlybird Guides in Early August)

Class fee is $60us



Home Ec Registration is in the TOP RIGHT SIDEBAR OF THIS BLOG (paypal "buy now" button).


Sign-Up Information

- When you sign-up for Home Ec, you will receive login information to the private blog within 36 hours (plus an invitation to the Student Lounge 1st sent on Tues, July 20).

- Please fill in the Name & Email address box (above) so that we can send your login to the correct address :)

- Class fee is meant for one student and is non-refundable after you've received your private class login.


- Your teachers are here to help you! We will answer all the questions you leave in the comments of our projects and we look forward to seeing what you make and supporting you along the way.

- We have planned 3 chats where you can type-chat live... getting to know us (and each other), asking questions, and receiving sewing advice. These chats take place in our private blog.

- Home Ec Class includes access to a private social group for Home Ec students only. This is like a 'student lounge' where you can make friends, compare projects, support each other and post photos. (Back in Indie Business, this was a really fun feature!!)


- This class is not a kit. You will receive supply lists in July (use thrifted fabric to massively reduce fabric costs... start collecting vintage pillowcases & few flat sheets, they work great!!).

- A sewing machine is needed for this class. (If you're in the market for new one, LA recommends a "Singer Advance"... well made, nice features, affordable in comparison, easy to use and found at stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Joanne's).

- The class takes place in a private blog exclusive to Home Ec students.

- 3 Guides will be posted in early August before class officially begins (on Aug.10), but they can be viewed at any time throughout the course (if you don't login in ahead of time).


Leigh-Ann: Sewing since 1993, Self Taught, Hobby Sew-er.

Rachel: Sewing for 8+ years, Quilter, Seamstress and Innovator.

Courtney: Sewing for 7+ years, Quilter, and Professionally Trained Seamstress.

Full Project List

[ Teacher Legend: Leigh-Ann | Courtney | Rachel | Team ]

EarlyBird Guides

Video: How to Work Your Sewing Machine

Post: Tools of the Trade

Video:Tips & Troubleshooting

Part 1

Cloth Napkins (2 ways)

Gift Pouch

Reusable Grocery/Book Bag

Round Bunting

Supplies Roll-Up

Ironing Board Cover


Quilted Pot Holder


Reversible Bib

Hemming Jeans

Pencil Case

Resizing a Skirt or Dress

Jersey Wrap Skirt

Plushie Toy

Part 2

Duvet Cover

Cushion/Pillow Case with Piping

Fabric Storage Cubby

Laptop Case


Full Apron

Leather & Canvas Purse

Mod Table Runner

Drafting/Creating a Pattern

Shoe Organizer

Messenger Bag

How to Read a Commercial Pattern

Flying Geese Quilt

How to Invent & Adapt Projects

Last C H A T

A Few Quotes from our Sewing Friends...

"Sewing has made me a happy happy girl. I highly
recommend learning how to use your machine - you won't regret it - and
will find yourself spending less and less time at the mall, and more
time online figuring out how to make your own version of some of your
favorite $300 dollar dresses! Plus, having a reason to browse fabric
shops. That's my favorite part." -Jill of

"Sewing sort of fell into my lap about 18 months
ago, and I'm so amazed at all it's brought me: a wonderful group of
new friends, satisfaction in creating something cute & sassy,
and most recently being able to quit my day-job to sew full-time.
Playing with fabric and creating cute gifts is the best!" -Maggie of

"I love to sew accessories for
my home, clothes and just general repair. It can be very relaxing and a
great stress reliever.

I sewed most of my childrens clothes, blankets and some
toys when they were young and it was so rewarding; seeing them wear and
play with things I'd made was incredible." -Sharon


If you have any questions, please e-mail Leigh-Ann ( with "Home Ec" in the subject line.

xoxo, Courtney, Rachel, and Leigh-Ann


Unknown said...
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Michele said...

This is a fantastic idea, Courtney. I can't participate this time around. Will you be doing this again soon?

courtney.janelle.sews said...

Hi Michele, we haven't decided whether or not we will offer the class again, at this time we're assuming it's a one time thing. But of course I'm hoping we'll be able to offer it again!

Elyndis said...

I love the idea of this class! When is the last day to sign up?

courtney.janelle.sews said...

Hi Elle, I believe as of now it should be the 9th, day before class starts. But I'm sure we will be posting again as the due date looms :) Thank you!

Hannah Genevieve said...

Hii! I was curious, are you going to be posting this class again because I've started sewing some and I think this class looks amazing. Actually I think everything you sew looks amazing :]