Basic Needs

Sewing Training Academy


The Sewing Training Academy (STA) is where people in Nashville learn commercial sewing as a trade for the purpose of employment.

The STA is helping to bridge the gap between the number of workers skilled in sewing and the abundant jobs available in the field. We are a program of Catholic Charities and were established in collaboration with the Nashville Fashion Alliance (NFA). Since our inaugural class began in August 2015, we've expanded our course offerings to include not only our Level I Foundations Course but also an array of higher level courses (and still growing).

Students of the STA have found jobs with local manufacturing companies and fashion brands, while others use the skills they gain to pursue entrepreneurial dreams. The STA strives to be a hub, not only a trusted source for employers to find great sewers and makers to join their teams but also a place where students can learn a trade and find their own path to success. We exist to help people better their lives through the skill of sewing.

See below for our course descriptions. For a full schedule of upcoming classes, please contact tquincy@cctenn.org.



Level I: Foundations
The Foundations Course is the first step of an STA student's training. Students have an opportunity to explore different kinds of sewing and see what career pathway they want to take. Students begin by learning the basics fo sewing on industrial machines. They put that knowledge into practice by sewing three individual projects, taking each from cutting to finishing with a focus on high quality sewing. Students learn by watching in-class demonstrations, having the opportunity to ask questions, and by doing the work themselves.

After building their quality and skill on industrial machines in their individual projects, students work as a team to sew a product in quantity. This gives them the chance to see what production work is like. Students continue to pay attention to quality sewing while building their speed.

The last part of the course takes students through basic alterations. This course give students a taste of different types of sewing work available, and lays a foundation of knowledge and skill to move on to higher levels of sewing.

Cost for the course is income-based sliding scale. There is a $100 flat fee that covers supplies for the projects a kit of sewing supplies that students get to take home at the end of the course. This class is pass/fail. Passing students are welcome to take higher level courses.

Before enrolling in this course, students will need to interview (either by phone or in person) with Trishawna Quincy, the program coordinator and instructor.

Level II Atelier: Challenging Patterns
Students must complete the Level I Foundations Course to enroll. This course gives students the opportunity to learn techniques of higher level garment sewing by completing three projects:
Lined Dress
Trousers
Button-Down Shirt
Students will do all the steps from cutting to finishing, focusing on quality sewing and problem solving. The fabrics used in this course will be similar in difficulty to those used in Foundations, as students gain confidence with increased challenges in garment construction. Students learn by in-class demonstrations, asking questions, reading instructions, and by doing.
Cost for the course is income-based sliding scale. Students will purchase their own supplies for this course; a list of supplies will be given before each project, nothing is needed on the first day of class. This class is pass/fail. Passing students are welcome to take higher level courses.

Level II Atelier: Challenging Fabric - Velvet
Students must complete the Level I Foundations Course to enroll and are encouraged (but not required) to complete Challenging Patterns before taking this course.
In this course students tackle one of the most notorious fabrics to sew: Velvet. They put into practice techniques for cutting and sewing velvet by constructing a tiered slip-dress.

Cost for the course is income-based sliding scale. Students will purchase their own supplies for this course; a list of supplies will be given before each project, nothing is needed on the first day of class. This class is pass/fail. Passing students are welcome to take higher level courses.
.
Level II Atelier: Challenging Fabric - Knitwear
Students must complete the Level I Foundations Course to enroll and are encouraged (but not required) to complete Challenging Patterns before taking this course. In this course students practice techniques for cutting and sewing knitwear by constructing several knit garments. Cost for the course is income-based sliding scale.

Level II: Alterations
Guest instructor Maggie O'Neill, alterations tailor at Nordstrom, will be sharing her knowledge from 30 years' experience doing alterations professionally. The class meets once a week for 5 weeks and includes homework assignments. Students learn to do pin fittings and perform basic alterations on both men's and women's clothing. This class is designed to lead to job and small business opportunities in alterations.

NEW Recreational Courses!
This fall we are offering a few project-based courses for the recreational sewer. These courses are a perfect opportunity for beginner sewers to start learning the craft. Anyone is welcome to take the courses. Students can bring in their own portable machines or use the ones available in the classroom. Classes will typically include four sessions. Upcoming project classes include a Work Apron Course and a Christmas Stocking Course.


Learn more about the Sewing Training Academy:

Catholic Charities USA (January 2016)

Styleblueprint.com (January 2016)

Tennessee Register/Diocese of Nashville (September 2015)

Nashville Post (September 2015)

WSMV-Channel 4 (September 2015)

WPLN/Nashville Public Radio (September 2015)

Nashville Business Journal (September 2015)

WTVF-News Channel 5 (Septemebr 2015)

Fashionista (August 2015)

Nashville Lifestyles Magazine (August 2015)




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