The sewing runs

801The first 10 weeks of the Nähkurses are as in flight and the participants, as well as we employees, are all equally enthusiastic. And so we don't want to stop on Fridays with sewing. It is just so nice to have a project together and to be able to complete it and so it is worked out with great zeal until the last minute.

There is a truly wonderful and blessed time behind us. We grew up slowly and got to know each other in the morning before the course with a cup of tea or coffee. Meanwhile, we are having fun with each other and telling us stories from our lives, just as you do among friends. Manchesmal becomes a challenge when there is no translator, but basically that is not really bad, because we still have our hands and feet and so it can be really cheerful.

The great thing is that in this short we are an absolutely mixed pile in terms of languages and origin. I enjoy this full, because such a variety of different origins is totally exciting. And here and there every time has problems to communicate and so, whether we like it or not, we depend on each other. So we have the languages Khosa, Zulu, Shona, Afrikaans, English, German, Dutch, Korean and fast American English. Although it must be said that English is the most spoken, or at least somewhat understandable, even my German English;-)

In the ensuing devotions, the participants are usually somewhat more repressed. Everything is new to you. But again they come out so slowly and ask questions, or speak their thoughts on the subject then during the sewing. And that's great. We do not want to give them the faith over cuffs, but to bring them to life as a Christian.

But now to our sewn Networks:

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We started with Manual work. That was a bit tricky for some of us. This was followed by Machine Science and off we went. The first one sewn with the machine was a Pillow Coverfollowed by small heart-shaped or circular Pillow. To practice and internalise this application of straight stitches or curves or even zigzags, there was a unit where they had to follow only these applications. For some, this was a real challenge.

242342Then came the Highlight-The apron.

Then they needed a little longer, but the results could be seen. Moreover, it was personally an extra great gift for me to see how each of the women radiated and proudly presented her consummate work.

Also when sewing the Skirt, in children's size, they sewed full of zeal. Unfortunately, Beaulla was not involved in this project because she had to go to Zimbabwe, but her older daughter, more blessing, was there and served us as a model. The little mouse was so sweet. She posed with each newly finished skirt a piece more self-confident. It was fun to watch. The women also motivated her to get her skirt ready, so that she could wear it.

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I started the course with Grietjie, a South African (in the first photo, at the bottom of the picture, with glasses). She had already given such a course and so we could benefit from her experience in this. She takes over the main part of the explanations, which always came to me very much, because I was simply missing most of the subject-specific vocabulary. But when it starts, I am an equal partner for women.

During the course I have brought Marieke (Dutch) to the boat, so that we are three heads and therefore the arrangements and plans are somewhat easier. Grietje is a passionate Nählehrerin, but in terms of planning and collusion, it is very chaotic. And so my hoped-for theory was to get a better agreement and a little more structure (German Eben:-)), in a good practice. In addition, Marieke (at the bottom of the picture at the far left) is a co-worker in the Meetse-AidsHopeCenter and therefore a good contact person, not only on site.


My first sole steps in explaining and teaching, with Marieke in the sleeve, I have also already trusted. Grietjie dropped out for three times since she was at a conference. And so I dared. It wasn't that easy. Everything lasted a little longer for the women, since I have often repeated myself, so as to really bring everything understandable. But in the end everything worked out great.

I am thankful to God with all my heart that he made it possible for us to make this course, there in the township, together. Also that we have enough sewing machines available, as well as more than enough material donations, so that we could sew to our heart's content, is more than a gift.

At the beginning of the planning I was with absolute zeal to get to know all about sewing and so-called quasi any info I could get just so on and organized, without I actually really perceived the whole short with everything what belonged. But when I was just about to start the course, I got willies and was afraid to start.

When sewing it is often the same. We are looking for a project; Then cut the fabric and get willies that maybe it might be a little bit too small and then everything would be spanked. But then the first closed seams come and the piece gradually takes shape and then we can actually see what it might look like. And you get new courage from it and you continue to sew with growing zeal.

My zeal also grew again, when the first day of the course was over and everything had not only worked out great, but also made us all really fun. The course was running.

But then came the first little difficulties that brought me to despair. Structure and planning, everything my German heart so coveted, had somehow stayed on track. Grietjie was an absolute opposite of me and not a team player, which was a real challenge for me.

There they were again, all the strings and crooked seams that you see when you turn your piece on the left and examine it. A single mess. That couldn't be anything, I thought to myself. But then God turned my piece around and showed me the right side of my in the resulting work and then I realized that even through all these threads and crooked seams The great thing has become so wonderful. God has an overview.  So he showed me quite clearly, after the three weeks that Marieke is part of the line. This was the first joint meeting of our employees. And what can I say, the chaos was present with Grietjie, but we are now on a good common path. Thanks to our Creator, who holds the strings in his hand, we can work together and accept ourselves as we are now.

God bless you

Your Christiane

Categories: Information | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on "The sewing runs

  1. Katja

    Thank you, Chrissi, for the Great report!! It is so good to hear from you and helps you to stay connected with yourselves! And of course, it's just great what God does to you! God bless you with a lot of trust and deep faith!!

  2. Chrschmidt

    Thank you so much, Katja. Glad you liked the report. I am also very happy to hear from you this way:-)

  3. Carmina Wool Bat

    Dear Chrissi,
    I read with great interest your report about the sewing course with the women! I admire what you do and how God guides you! God is really good!
    I will be running a sewing course with refugees (all Afghan women) together with one from our community (Ana Paula from Brazil). We are in the process of planning. But we still need some things and I am still thinking about the language. Jesus must act!
    I want to start in November. My question: Who is thinking about a sewing project with you? Do you have the pattern from the internet? Do you have an interpreter?
    God bless you and much strength!

    Carmina Wool Bat

  4. Chrschmidt

    Hi Carmina
    Sorry that it took so long with my answer. But here it is and I hope it helps you a bit more.
    We had a self-written curriculum, but unfortunately it was not very optimal. I have seen some free sewing beginner courses on the internet and found them really good. If you can't find any free courses in German, try the English sites, you'll definitely find what you're looking for.
    From my still fresh experience, I would highly recommend that you take a lot of time to go through the materials customer, the tools and the sewing machine and the coming steps of individual projects very slowly. Step by step, together.
    It sounds a bit strange, but because of the language alone, it is a great advantage if you practise it this way and then everyone follows along evenly. It doesn't cause frustration for those who have never sewn before. It also gives a sense of security that no one is left behind. If you already have experienced sewers with you, give the advanced sewers practice tasks for the time when others still have to keep up with their project (such as sewing up and down fabric in a zig-zag pattern; sewing curves and serpentine lines - every woman should have done this at the beginning, so you can quickly see how confidently they can already sew) or involve them in helping the others. Then you can teach them to become helpers or even leaders for the next course.
    What was also very good was that we started with handwork. Different stitches, techniques and the practice of working the material by hand helps to understand that different materials feel and work differently. In addition, there were some ah-ha moments for the women when they later had to sew the "same thing" with the machine as by hand.
    In retrospect, it also became very important to me that the women start each lesson by cleaning and "taking apart" their machine. (Each woman was assigned a specific sewing machine, which she then used for each sewing session) This gave them a recurring insight into the machine and provides a routine for threading the yarns.
    As far as the projects are concerned, I would recommend small beginner projects that they can then take home quite quickly, e.g. a bible cover, small pillowcases, bags and pouches. Be careful to think about and talk about how many (e.g. bags,...) they can make for themselves right at the beginning. If there are women who find sewing easy, they will quickly get carried away and want to make a second or third bag, and then it might be difficult or expensive to buy your materials. One option would be for them to make the 2nd and 3rd bag for sale at your book table, or they can buy the bag themselves.
    Have you already thought about what the goal of your course should be?
    Do you just want to teach women to sew? Give them an income with it? Or teach them to sew to make projects for the community?
    Will you take a contribution towards expenses or offer the course for free?
    I would be very interested!
    I hope I have been able to help you a little further in your preparations. If you still have some questions, feel free to email me at my private email address. Then I will try to answer immediately;-)
    All the best and God's blessings to you!
    Your Chrissi

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