11/3/12

Molly Crew Review: You CAN Sew from Modesty Matters

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For years and years ,I have thought that sewing is not my thing.  I’ve wanted to sew; I’ve wanted to teach my daughters how to sew.  My sewing class in 7th grade was a disaster for me, and my costume design class in college for my theater degree?  Well let’s just say they didn’t let me near a machine during practicum.  I have managed to learn a few skills but sewing continued to intimidate me until the Schoolhouse Review introduced me to You Can Sew! published by Modesty Matters.

The text and the DVD instructions work together to create a complete 12 week beginning sewing course.  In addition to the text and instructional dvds, the course includes:

  • Materials List ~ This handy list details out what you materials you need for the course, some items include a basic sewing machine, the manual for the machine, scrap fabric, sewing notions, and more. I found this list very helpful!
  • Syllabus/Outline ~ This overview lists the Topic, Skill, Classwork and Home Work/Follow-up for each class.  There are some classes listed together such as classes 36-37 which is the Skill Assessment: Make a Simple Apron.
  • Activities and Practice ~ This may be my favorite feature. Because my girls are beginner sewers and I am not much of a seamstress myself, this gave us opportunities to learn more or to gain confidence in a skill.
  • Review and Journal Pages ~ This could rival “Activities and Practice” for a tie for favorite feature.  You CAN Sew! encourages students to create your own binder to use as a journal and as a resource.
  • Field Trips ~ Our vehicle [or lack thereof] situation makes it difficult to do a physical field trip.  But that’s ok.  The curriculum gives suggestions for virtual field trips!
  • Exclusive, simple patterns and instructions from Modesty Matters ~ Patterns for both teen/adult and child sizes are included in a PDF File on a CD-ROM.
  • Sewing Glossary Compilation of Terms and Lingo ~ 28 pages long and arranged in alphabetical order. 

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This course, intended for ages 10 and up, teaches sewing in incremental steps. I’ve tried some other “teach yourself” sewing programs and those programs tend to use“make a project to learn the skills” type of programs.  I would get frustrated because I needed to know how to do something first and I often needed more practice with the skill.  You CAN Sew! teaches the skills you need first and then uses the projects as an assessment for those skills.  This approach gives confidence to a beginning sewer. 

Because of the step by step incremental approach, the program may appear to move very slowly and perhaps frustrate students who may have more than just basic or limited sewing knowledge/skill; however, for my family, this was wonderful and we could speed up a few things when needed or slow down and take the time we needed to master a skill.

The step by step approach also makes it possible for students younger than the target range.  I used this with girls ages 13, 15 and 17.  I originally thought we would do 1 class per day 4-5 days per week.  I envisioned us reading the text, watching the video and then completing the assignment.

So what did it look like in reality? We used it more like a co-op or how I imagine it might work in a co-op.  On Day 1 we started by watching the first several classes (4 maybe?) and then we spent the next couple of days reading the text for those classes and reading ahead for the next couple of classes. We also completed any assignments.  We fell into a pattern of watching 2-4 classes and then taking 2-4 days to work through the material.  This method allowed us to be together for the DVD instruction but gave us more flexibility for scheduling sewing time.  Sometimes the girls would work at the same time to keep each other company and offer encouragement and support.  We have averaged completing 5 classes per week working 3-5 days per week.

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Thoughts from BooBear age 17: “I have always wanted to sews but I could not find a sewing book that would give me the instruction that I needed. I need a lot of visual aid to show me how. I like Modesty Matters because it has the video that shows you how to sew. They are very good at explaining what you need and how to do it. I also enjoy having a binder to show what I have learned.”

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Thoughts from Turtlegirl age 15: “I liked that they gave instructions in the text and they showed you what to do in the videos. Sometimes, I was unable to remember the lesson and reading the text would help but it was good to review the video as well. I’m glad they have you take the time to learn the basics, and then move on to more difficult things.Overall, I like learning to sew with this product.”

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The first finished project: Pin Cushion

Thoughts from Tailorbear age 13: “It is amazing. I love sewing more than I did before. The instructions were clear. No one minute “take thread through loop like this” next minute, “do not take thread through loop”. I appreciate that she knows how to teach. I like the project(s). I like the videos. I am thrilled that I can go, watch a video, then go do my assignment. I also like how everything you learn in a video is critical for your project. Overall, I TOTALLY recommend this product!”

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 Looking forward to the next project: Simple Apron

 I want to make sure I give special mention to the customer service! When I flipped though the text and saw the journal pages, I hunted for a copyright notice and didn’t find permission.  I emailed Dee and she responded very quickly, not just with permission for my family to make what copies we needed but she included an attached file with all the “consumable” pages.  She says she sends this file to everyone who has asked for photocopy permission.  This file makes it so easy to just print out the pages I need instead of having to pull it out of the binder and make copies.  I also had an issue with an attached file for a corrected pattern.  Dan graciously re-sent the file.   I recommend reading more about the families who own Modesty Matters.  Be sure to read about the company as well.

Everything you see in the picture above is included for $159.  Well everything except the monitor. <grin> To read more about this product click on the curriculum page and scroll down past the brand new quilting curriculum recently released.  You’ll even find a video to watch.  And while you’re visiting the site check out the Free Stuff page and the current promotions page, where you’ll find information about free shipping and a sneak peak at the sewing curriculum.

I and my daughters highly recommend this program to any family wanting an easy to follow, complete basic sewing course to use at home or with a co-op.

Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about You CAN Sew! From Modesty Matters.

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All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. We should get back to doing this. I am looking forward to doing more projects. :)

    ReplyDelete