Schools should teach boys to sew

Sewing school in Meerbusch: How carefree children learn to sew

Anke Horstmann teaches tailoring to children and young people in her workshop "muster-Stück" in Osterath. She founded the sewing school 14 years ago. It had to be closed due to Corona. Now courses are taking place again - with conditions.

Originally it wasn't supposed to be a sewing school at all, says Anke Horstmann. “I actually wanted to restore children's furniture and do some manual work. But then from the first year it was a school for children, "says the 55-year-old. In 2007 she founded the company muster -stück, and sewing and handicraft courses were added in 2008. In the meantime, sample-piece has developed into a sewing workshop for children, Adolescents and also adults developed.

Horstmann worked for many years as a decorator in the Carsch-Haus and Janssen-Pralinées in Düsseldorf. Then the trained display designer reoriented herself professionally. "Through my daughter's kindergarten, I got around to sewing with children in small groups," she says.

Courses and contact of the sewing school sample pieces

Where sewing school sample piece, Kaarster Straße 18 in Osterath.

When Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; during the summer holidays on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What sewing courses for children and teenagers, max. Four participants per group. Materials on site.

Contact www.muster -stück.de; Registration under 0163 5088333.

Then everything happened very quickly. Primary school children and children who go to secondary school come to Horstmann's sewing courses. Boys like to come too, reports Horstmann: "I also had a workbench here and wanted to give handicrafts lessons, but the boys wanted to sew elephant pillows or a gym bag for soccer training," she says with a laugh. Of course they are still in the minority, but sewing machines are not just girls' business, says Horstmann. "Sewing machines are very technical and using the pedal is like driving a car," she explains.

A week ago, Anke Horstmann received official permission to teach in her sewing school again. But there are also certain requirements that had to be met. In the workshop, the children have to wear face masks, the sewing machines have been rebuilt so that there is enough space. In addition, only four children instead of the usual six children are allowed to participate in each course. The fact that the groups are now smaller is a financial disadvantage. But Horstmann is happy that things are starting again. Because before the forced closure due to Corona, a course started that she still wants to finish.

Horstmann samples everything that can be sewn beforehand. Because sewing instructions are often complicated and difficult to read. According to Horstmann, the work is easier to convey on an object. Your sample pieces are then in front of the children on the sewing table. Horstmann starts small: First, the children sew cushions with appliqués so that they can learn to adjust the sewing machine and connect fabrics with one another. Small bags, gym bags and rucksacks follow. "Even if a seam gets a little crooked, the result is nice in the end," says Horstmann. Only in the advanced courses are clothes sewn. "I think it's a shame when you work on a project for a long time and it doesn't fit you imagined it. It's frustrating, and children are picky about that too. "

Mostly the material inspires the children, Horstmann leaves room for creativity. The different fabrics are included in the course fees and the children can choose them as they please. “Adults often work tone on tone and children combine things and are much more open and less fixed. It's amazing what you see in the fabrics and what you do with it, "says Anke Horstmann, astonished.

While the sewing school had to remain closed for almost three months due to the corona pandemic, Horstmann started selling fabrics during that time. Although she doesn't have as much choice as a fabric shop, a lot of people came and bought fabrics to sew their own fabric masks. Horstmann was also able to use the time to sew new samples. "I turned the workshop inside out and prepared for the summer," says Horstmann.

Because then the hot phase begins. "The summer holidays are actually always fully booked, so I can offer a lot," says Horstmann. The 55-year-old doesn't even bother with individual appointments, because you can't do much except explain the sewing machine and the fabrics. Everyone can be found from July Courses take place in the morning. During the holidays, the children are also allowed to bring their own sewing machines and leave them in the sewing workshop for the whole week.

There is then also the opportunity to play around a lot and try out the various machines, such as Anke Horstmann's overlock sewing machine. “Children are used to not being able to do things and to learn new things. Adults are often more critical when they approach something new. "

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