Introducing ~ Laura Laing

on July 27 | in Contributors | by | with 8 Comments

Laura’s up next to help you look at sewing in a new way. Did you realize that when you sew you’re not only making something beautiful (and hopefully having lots of fun in the process) but you’re also using your math skills?

Laura Laing is a self-taught sewer and self-proclaimed math evangelist. She started out as a hobby carpenter, and then moved to fabrics when she realized how much more forgiving they are, compared to wood.

A former high school math teacher and the author of Math for Grownups, she honestly and truly believes that anyone can do math. In fact, we have to, so we might as well get used to it. She shares this philosophy– and encourages folks to embrace their inner-geeks– at her Math for Grownups blog.

As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in Parade, Parents, Pregnancy, Southwest Airline’s Spirit and other magazines. She also writes for a variety of trade and custom publications, as well as corporations, non-profits and curriculum development companies.

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8 Responses to Introducing ~ Laura Laing

  1. Sara says:

    You don’t have to use maths in sewing. I hate maths (the s added because I’m British!)I always did sewing over knitting because you don’t need all the maths. A bit of draping, trial and error etc. I match up sides by folding down the middle. Patterns always fit or I remake from clothes I have already. I am clueless about nets but I get things to make the shape I want. When I think about women making their own clothing I think of Little House on the Prairie and all that pattern cutting going on. I simply don’t believe they had access to all those tool and mathematical implements and many would not have had access to the formal education either. The comment above mentions darts; well I would eye ball them! They would be the right shape or size to give the fit I need in the appropriate place. The body is not symmetrical and neither need my darts be! Incidentally I am not a slap dash sewer, I am very methodical and take great care with finishing. Maths though? I never give it a thought. If I had had to do so, I would never have made a thing. Yet I am an experienced dress maker, who uses both patterns and sews things from scratch. Maths is a creativity number for me that is for sure!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    This is so true – we absolutely have to use math in sewing, particularly if you deviate from a pattern at all. Recalculating sizing, realigning pleats or darts, Usually it is just simple math, but the more I sew garments, the more I realize how much math and geometry is involved.

  3. mjb says:

    I majored in math in college, and while hardly any of my quilt designs require many calculations, I’m sure I use lots of geometry and other math skills when I’m putting things together! It also helps me to work through the spatial logic of pattern instructions.

  4. Maddie says:

    Great to see this.. as homeschoolers we are able o bring these points home (pardon the pun) on a regular basis. Living a more organic life where math is not a “class”.. it is life. Just this week the boy helped me figure out how much lumber we needed for a project.. you can’t beat real life experience


  5. SewLindaAnn says:

    I love the term “math evangelist” I’m going to check out her blog. Math is important in figuring out almost anything.

  6. We absolutely agree with you. We are also self-taught sewers, with a degree in maths and physics. We participate in a project to show to the kids how maths is present in our day to day activities (sewing, cooking, playing, shopping) and how we use maths without notice. Some months ago we start sewing as a hobby, to make some fabric dolls to our kids, and we discover a fun way to spend our time while our two little kids sleep. With our family and friends incentive we are starting to post our project in our blog.
    Thank you

  7. Suzanne says:

    Glad to see the connection made between math and sewing. I’m eager to pop over to see her blog. Thanks!

  8. […] for adults to help you use math effectively in real-life, every day contexts. Learn more about Laura in her introduction, and enjoy today’s post. It’s fun to think in a new way about the skills you use all […]

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