Lawrence woman starts sewing class, bringing back home economics skills

Local News

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT)– Some people may not have ever had the chance to learn to sew, especially as home economics classes became less common. So, 24-year-old Catherine Bell is bringing back the skill, taking the teaching into her own hands.

Bell has always loved sewing since she was a kid thanks to her mom, Mildred.

“She taught all of us how to do the mending,” Bell said.

Catherine is eight out of 11 kids, so she had a lot of practice making shirts, stiching and fixing, right in her home.

Her love for embroidery was more than a hobby. She went to Johnson County Community College for apparel design and technology, interning with companies like Victoria’s Secret and J. Crew in New York.

Once she got back to Kansas, she started doing private sewing lessons. That’s when one of her clients asked her to start her own group classes.

“At first I was like, ‘I’m not a teacher,'” Bell said. “But she had asked me again and I thought, ‘let’s give it a try’. We did one class and after that, I fell in love, she fell in love. She started telling more people. More people started to come. Now here we are.”

Bell and her mom started the Sew Simple Sewing program in August of 2016. It’s for children and adults who want to learn how to sew and design on their own.

“I like learning different steps and how to sew,” Stell Huebner said, one of Bell’s students. “Almost every class we learn something new. How to make curves or how to pivot. I really like it.”

“Sewing and a lot of home ec skills have been taken out of the public schools,” Bell said. “With that being a number one place where a lot of people were learning how to sew, that took it out of being a natural skill people used to have.”

Bell doesn’t want her students to just come to class and learn how to make their own things. She wants this to be an example of learning confidence and giving your all in anything they do, just like she did.

These classes aren’t just for kids in Lawrence. Anyone around the area is welcomed to sign up. Click here to learn more about the classes.

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