Life of Johanna

On teaching sewing classes

Last weekend I taught two sewing classes at the SewNordic 2020 fair in Oslo, Norway. And it was so much fun!

Day one was dedicated to sewing a workout top and the second day we made joggers. It was my first time teaching a proper, large sewing class, so needless to say, I was a bit nervous and did a lot of prep work beforehand to make sure I had what I needed to assure that the classes were as good as I wanted them to be.

For the workout top class, the participants could choose between a traditional Polyamide/Lycra activewear fabric and a technical merino waffle knit, as I know that some sewists prefer to work with natural fibres, even when it comes to workout wear. The base pattern they used was a close-fitting top, and the students ended up doing lots of different variants of the pattern.

The steps for the workout top included using a serger for the assembly, the best sewing order, stabilising shoulder seams, inserting ribbing, using coverstitch machine for hemming, binding and stitching down ribbing and learning about different knits and how to adapt patterns and methods accordingly as well. I’m so proud of my students and their skills, enthusiasm and eagerness to experiment and try out new things!

Day two, the class was about sewing joggers. The purpose of this class was both to be a primer on sewing knit pants and also meant as an introduction to how we can use the coverstitch machine in really creative ways, that goes beyond hemming. So the participants got to try out things like sewing binding with just a chainstitch and doing reverse decorative coverstitching. Again I was blown away by all the creative ideas that came up in this class, so even though all made the same base pattern, the end result was really diverse!

Since this was also a sewing industry event (the global bosses of both BabyLock and Janome were there!) the participants had access to brand new, top of the line machines and tools, which was obviously awesome. Plus we had a bunch of amazing technicians at our disposal that was happy to share their knowledge. The organisers did an amazing job putting this event together, everything was so well planned and professionally executed, which made my role as a teacher very stress-free.

For the class, I also brought patterns (by Pattern by Malena), fabrics and notions so the participants didn’t really have to bring anything for the day, which was sweet compared to many sewing gatherings where we have to bring quite a lot ourselves. And schlepping machines and stuff can be pretty cumbersome sometimes!

I enjoyed the teaching the classes immensely and had so much fun connecting with fellow sewists, so this is definitely something I want to do again in the future. Especially now that I developed the curriculum and learning materials for the classes, it feels a bit wasteful to not do them again in some form. Not sure how and when all that will happen, but it’s something to add to my list of things do figure out for the future.


  • Corey
    February 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Did you get a chance to use the janome 2000 serger with air threading, if so, can you let me know your opinion on it. I might get this over the babylock, much cheaper and i like ability to adjust the tension myself.

  • Esther Lara
    February 2, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    I hope Sewing Nordic will take place in Sweden sooner or later, and then I absolutely have plans to come!ç

    • Johanna Lundström
      February 7, 2020 at 4:17 pm

      Yay, that would be awsome! I hope they will do it again and move around too, since Sweden has a pretty big sewing community these days

  • Amurawaiye Matthew
    December 21, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    I am very happy 😊 about the teaching. I love it and how can I participate in what you are doing?


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