Annabel Wrigley originally hails from Sydney, Australia but now lives in the USA. She seems to have almost fallen into teaching children to sew when she began teaching her daughter. From there her sewing teaching has grown into four wonderful books on sewing with children, popular children’s sewing classes and fabric design. You can find Annabel at Little Pincushion Studio.
What age are the kids you teach?
Ages 7 and up
How long have you been teaching sewing for?
Around 9 years
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I trained originally as a nurse and worked in Mental Health for many years in Australia. We moved to the USA when my children were very young and started teaching my daughter to sew when she was about 5 years old. She took to it immediately and I soon found myself teaching a few of her friends. From there it really took off and I needed to find a space to teach and decided to make this teaching thing into a real business.
I have loved writing my 4 kids’ sewing books with CT publishing and have several videos on Creativebug. I am currently teaching around 60 children per week and when I am not teaching, I am designing fabric for Windham fabrics.
Do you have any tips or tricks that you’ve found helpful in teaching kids to hand sew?
I find that hand sewing on felt is a great way to start. I also like them to practice with the felt in an embroidery hoop. It gives kids a little more control and makes sure that no little bits of fabric get in the way.
Have you had any students you can tell me about whom learning to sew really benefited in some way?
Definitely. I have had some students with quite a few confidence issues and sometimes their frustration with themselves gets a little too much for them. The thing I have seen in these cases is that perseverance creates such amazing confidence. It is a beautiful thing to see!
Is there any tool that you find particularly useful to use in your classes?
Believe it or not, one of my favorite things is using button thread for hand sewing. Button thread is almost unbreakable and is wonderful for kids who tend to be a little rough on thread when hand sewing. I also really love using Frixion pens as I can write all over the kids work with sewing instructions and then erase the marks with the iron.