Only took two, because I was expecting a class of 4 and in the classes I teach the aim is to build peoples self esteem and confidence through sewing. Pairing the learners encourages them to make friends and build relationships with the person sat next to them.
I was slightly more nervous yesterday morning setting off with such gorgeous machines in the boot as the Janomes, but I am so glad I did.
My group yesterday are members of a well being centre for people with mental health issues. They come along the to day centre to take part in crafts, group meetings and one-to-one with their support worker.
As it was I had 3 lovely ladies attend, with 3 more learners to join us next week, and the machines were the perfect tool to build their confidence.
The Janome CXL301 has a needle drop, so the learners can be sure the needle will be in fabric when they take their foot off the peddle. Problems with co-ordination and the shakes, means the learners were concerned about the machine losing their place if they stopped suddenly. The needle drop facility stops that anxiety.
The choices of stitches were clear to read and easy to select. We didn't get onto stitch length and the more complicated stitches like buttonhole, but we did play with the basic stitches and all of the learners made choices about which ones they wanted to try.
The biggest bonus was the speed. The machine can be moved by the learner from fast to slow, and no matter how much pressure they put on the pedal it will only go slowly if that is how it is set. Perfect for people who have problems will foot tapping and sensitivity.
I am teaching the group for another 3 weeks and they are the most challenging I have worked with to date. They are great fun though and the machines were a real help in keeping the challenge of sewing to a minimum, making the learners feel confident.
Together we made square pin cushions to use during the course - a major achievement!
Today is one of the many reasons I love the work I do - to enable people to glow with pride after 2 hours with them is the best thing in the world!
Today I am off to my group in Gloucester with the machines. I have been teaching this group since the middle of August, so I will let you know their reaction to the new super, duper machines!