Leaving them in stitches

Barb Seidel teaches kids the art of sewing. Photo by Becca Keating.

It’s been 15 years since Barb Seidel opened the doors to her home sewing studio in Cleveland Heights and began teaching local kids a unique set of skills. An accomplished seamstress with a background in art education, Seidel combined her passions for teaching and sewing to create a successful series of after-school and summer classes for kids from ages 8 to 18.

Today, her simple studio is equipped with modern machines and a variety of supplies, giving students everything they need to learn to sew. Ever-committed to personal attention and fun, Seidel’s classes are small, encouraging a warm, close-knit learning environment.

In the days of the Internet, video games, and instant gratification, learning to sew in such a setting provides kids with a refreshing dose of one-on-one interaction. Seidel starts slowly and simply, helping her students build their skills step-by-step. They learn the basics of pattern-reading, measuring, and both hand- and machine-stitching. Beyond spools and stitches though, students develop coordination and foster patience—ultimately giving each student the satisfaction of saying “I made it myself.”

Seidel’s students learn to make simple accessories, stuffed animals and, most importantly, wearable garments. If you have a fan of Project Runway or Fashion Show at home, these classes offer kids a unique introduction to the world of sewing and design, and allow them to try the skills they see on television first-hand.

Give your kids the gift of creative independence! Summer classes are forming now. For more information on Seidel and her classes, call 216.371.3333 or e-mail baseidel@gmail.com.

Becca Keating is a Cleveland Heights native and a third-year English major at Case Western Reserve University.

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Volume 2, Issue 6, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.18.2009