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What's a SkillCard™?
This article was published on Thursday 02 March, 2006.

SkillCards are the underlying support structure of the DIRECTIONS learn to sew system. All the Lesson Modules and their corresponding garment projects rely on the SkillCards that came before to avoid having to repeat repeat repeat. By the way, did you know that Pete & Re-Pete went off fishing on a boat? Pete fell off. Who was left?

A SkillCard is a piece of sewing information. These pieces, once learned, are used over and over again. For example, the piece of sewing information about "how to pin" is put on a SkillCard. Then on the instructions, instead of writing it all out again and again and again, the number of the SkillCard is listed. You can go look it up in your SkillCard Reference Organizer whenever you want to.

In Unit One, you get a whole batch of SkillCards in your first Module (0:1 Learn To Use The Sewing Machine). This batch of SkillCards applies to all the Lesson Modules in Unit One. Once you graduate into Unit Two (and up) each Lesson Module has a set of SkillCards that apply mostly to that lesson but also to all higher lessons. Learn the Skills, sew the garment, file the SkillCard for later reference. Every student builds their own personal Sewing Book while they learn! Plus of course we have to make things a little "cooler" so the Reference Organizer Binder comes with stickers the student can use to put their name (or whatever they want!) on the front.

Some lessons are really easy and only need 6 or 7 SkillCards to cover all the new pieces of sewing information. Some are a little more complex - like Lesson Module #52? - it has Twenty-Two!! SkillCards. But we REALLY want you to understand how to put a zipper in the dress in the very best way. Now you have a set of "how to put in a zipper" SkillCards that you can use on ANY garment ANY time ANY brand and it will always turn out just right.

I just love color coding things, and in case you haven't noticed, EVERYTHING about the DIRECTIONS learn to sew home study system is color coded, color coordinated, color organized. For the SkillCards, this means that all the red SkillCards are about the tools we use in sewing - pins, needles, seam gauge, sleeve board, etc. ORANGE SkillCards are all about pattern markings and rules - notches, fold lines, grain lines, making patterns bigger and smaller to fit, and all that. YELLOW SkillCards are specific sewing actions - hem, seam, pivot, stitch in the ditch. GREEN Skillcards cover fabric types and fabric care. Each one has a place to glue on a swatch of the type of fabric described. Since each Lesson Module requires using a new type of fabric (Units 3 and up), we get really good at a lot of different things and have a lot of examples in our Books. BLUE SkillCards are fashion terminology and parts of garments - casing, raglan, v-neck, that sort of thing. PURPLE SkillCards cover pressing rules, tools and methods.

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