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Textiles with Monica and Jen

At La Escuelita, kids have been working with two of our most exciting volunteers to learn how to make their own textiles in the Makerspace.

Jen Sandlin teaches kids of all ages how to sew on Mondays and Wednesdays. She starts by showing them how to sew by hand, and the techniques involved to make needlepoint art. Together, they make customized bookmarks that the kids can take home. Once they've mastered sewing by hand, she then leads them through the process of using a sewing machine. With nothing but a needle and thread, the kids have made everything from stuffed pillows to shirt pockets.

Monica Alexandra has taken over the textiles table on Tuesdays. She takes five or six students under her wing every week and teaches them how to knit, crochet, and stitch. Like Jen, Monica starts with the basics of her craft. The kids begin with nothing more than two knitting needles and a ball of yarn before working their way up to more complicated structures. These projects take more time, but we've already seen a completed wallet, some purses and several bracelets.

Jen initially had a rough start getting into sewing. She says that her grandmother tried to teach her when she was young, "but it didn't stick". It was only once she was in high school that she started sewing again, and even then she stayed with it because she could turn to YouTube to answer her questions. "I really think the Internet is one of the best teachers out there," she says. "Especially if there isn't a Makerspace nearby, or anywhere else you can find resources in person."

Monica, on the other hand, has been making textiles her whole life. She was taught in a Waldorf school, and has continued to live and to teach with that Waldorf mindset. She believes in Maker Education, the Maker Mindset, and the opportunities La Makerspace can offer the students at La Escuelita.

Thank you for volunteering, Monica and Jen!

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