As sewists, we’re always learning. New techniques, new fitting alterations, new patterns – it can be scary to take on by ourselves! Sometimes what we really need is a helping hand from someone more experienced who can help us over those hurdles.
That’s where Project Mentors come in. Say you are nervous about making your first knit dress, and you wish someone could help you understand the alterations you needs for your figure… or maybe, like me, you are confident with basics but live in fear of some more complex project! (I am absolutely terrified to make a button-up shirt. All those tiny pieces and topstitching!) A project mentor can help you get started, and most of all, tell you that everything will be ok.
- help choose the right pattern, fabric or size
- suggest fitting changes based on pictures of your muslin/practice version
- link to tutorials for alterations
- advise on construction techniques
- troubleshoot any problems that come up
- remind you are awesome, and you can do this!
So how could you find a project mentor? Easy! Head over to the trusty Curvy Collective forum, and put a post under “Find a Project Mentor!” Tell us exactly what you want to work on, and how we can help. (For example, “I’d like to try making a t-shirt, but I don’t know what fabric or pattern would be easy to work with.” or “I’m sewing pants, and I just can’t get them to fit!”) Leave contact info, like email or Twitter account, or stay in touch through the forum. Fingers crossed, someone should offer to mentor you through your project soon!
Experienced sewists, you are the other half of the equation. If you see someone asking for help in an area where you feel confident, get in touch with them! We’ve all got skills to offer, whether we’ve been sewing for months or decades. You don’t have to be an expert – just a cheerleader with some knowledge (or Google skills to find good tutorials!) If you are interested in mentoring, you can also leave a post in the “Find a Project Mentor!” forum describing your sewing strengths. Of course, if life gets too busy you can always say “not right now” to someone wanting a mentor… and since you are just helping someone through a single project, it’s not a long-term commitment.
What do you think? Would you be interested in being or finding a project mentor? If so, hop on over to the Forum and leave a comment!
Gillian is a elementary teacher who loves to sneak sewing into her lessons as often as possible! She blogs at Crafting a Rainbow.