Like the experience of other small businesses, 2020 has brought many challenges. The abrupt stop of in-person interaction forced me to evaluate how to continue to offer sewing classes and make some quick changes.
Before the pandemic hit I had been planning to offer virtual sewing classes and was fortunate to have already done some initial research and investment. When it was clear that in-person lessons would not be an option for a long time I ramped up efforts to create a comprehensive online learning environment.
In order to create an immersive experience that’s as close as possible to being in-person, using my phone, laptop or a single camera wouldn’t be enough. While one camera can be moved to different positions I found that it was clunky and didn’t provide the best vantage point for my students to see the actions in detail.
After testing different solutions, reconfiguring my workspace and getting feedback from students, I developed a multi-camera system that provides optimum flexibility to demonstrate sewing techniques for any project. My students get a very clear view and the interactive experience of chatting, asking questions, and providing feedback on their progress is just like being in person.
Pivoting completely to online lessons certainly wasn’t easy, but I’m so happy to still be able to offer sewing classes and see my students be successful at developing their skills. So far I’ve taught hundreds of hours of virtual lessons, and this has included new students who are learning how to use their sewing machine to advanced students taking on more complex projects. It has also enabled me to reach a broader audience and teach sewing to individuals and groups across the country.