Hser Nay Makes A Skirt At Bishop Gibbons

Hser Nay modeling the skirt she is making

The bell rang and Sue’s art room began to fill up with students. Folasade was one of the first to show up.  With the help of the Army of Good Jon is raising money for her for college (you can read about that here).

Folasade was one of the kids I taught to sew at Bishop Maginn.  She’s still a regular in Sue’s classroom and among other things,  she helped paint the door to the art room this past summer.

So many of the kids that I’ve known for some years are graduating and going off to college.  Sue is a great help to them, teaching them how to work with financial aid and admissions.

I was hoping I’d get to see Hser Nay.  Jon bought her a stand for her smartphone so she could take self-portraits, something I found out she was interested in and good at the last time we were at Bishop Gibbons.

When she showed up Hser Nay showed me the skirt she is working on.

She told me how her family is moving and it’s been stressful for them trying to find a new place to live.  She said it had been hard for her to concentrate on sewing, but she wanted to finish the skirt if possible.

She used one of the wrap-around skirt patterns that had been donated.  And with help from Sue, she already had the panels of the skirt and the waistband sewn together.

But she wasn’t sure what to do next.

The beautiful donated fabric was silky, and not easy to work with. But Hser Nay had done a great job so far.

I showed her how to zig-zag stitch the edge of the fabric to keep it from unraveling, then she hemmed the long edges of the skirt.  Hser Nay chose a ribbon to add to the waistband to tie the skirt.  I showed her how to make a buttonhole on the waistband, to slip the ribbon through so the skirt would tie evenly.

She kept saying that she wasn’t good at sewing a straight line, but that’s not what I saw.   She made a perfect buttonhole on the first try.

Now the skirt just needs to be hemmed.  I told her if she didn’t get to it, we could work on it together the next time I was there.

While I was working with Hser Nay,  another student showed up and introduced himself.

Kah-reem was dressed in a white cape and hood that he had made with Sue’s help.  Today he was working on a gold mask that went with the costume.

This weekend he’ll wear the cape and mask to a local Comic-con.  It’s a character from Disney’s Owl House. Kah-reem is confident and charming, with a big personality.  I enjoyed meeting him, and can’t wait to see what he does next. (You can see more about Kah-reem  here, on Jon’s blog).

Kah-eem working on his mask and Hser Nay sewing her skirt.

Just before we left, two younger students who just started sewing yesterday showed up.  I gave them a few pointers and showed them how to thread the sewing machine.  But I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked.

I was reminded today how much I enjoy teaching sewing.  This summer I’m going to meet Sue and any of the students who show up and sort through all the fabric that has been donated over the past year.

Jon is buying some storage bins and we’ll organize the fabric so it’s easier for the students to access.

We hope to get back to Bishop Gibbons in the next few weeks.  I want to make sure that Hser Nay gets to finish her skirt before the end of the school year.

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