This summer I had the joy of leading two sewing camps for kids ages 2nd grade on up. The first week, I had a Sewing 101 camp with two sessions: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I had two awesome groups of campers and as always I walked away with amazement at the creativity so many of these kiddos had. Here’s a sampling of some of their projects:
Learning how to use the sewing machine for the very first time!
Making a banner for her room.
For the first year I had boys! They were awesome!
Fairy dolls and Pirates.
For a few years now I’ve wanted to try a Fashion Camp, but was super nervous about it. This year I bit the bullet and did it and I’m so glad I did. I had an awesome group of girls and we made so many great things – and all of them came together so well! They were super proud of all they made and I was super excited that everything fit!
We ended the week making dresses using Sis Boom’s Molly Peasant dress. I modified it a little bit for our purposes; leaving out the waist elastic. It ended up being an awesome first garment project.
We made some Purl Bee City Gym Shorts, which turned out so great. This actually ended up being a pretty challenging project with the bias binding, but they did so great. I pre-made all the binding for the girls, but they pinned it on themselves and for the most part sewed it on all by themselves.
In between projects the girls got creative. They worked together and made a little fruit basket and helped a friend make a family of monsters.
Overall they both came together well and I looked forward to another summer of sewing in 2018!
This Saturday I am embarking on teaching my second all day School of Sewing class. The class is basically a combination of 3 classes that I’ve taught over the past few years for adults: pattern reading, get to know your sewing machine and a simple sewing 101 for adults. It’s a six hour session where we start out at the very beginning and work our way through so much information and end with making simple elastic skirts.
I combined information from the excellent book by Shea Henderson called School of Sewing and Abby Glassenberg’s also excellent Get to Know Your Sewing Machine e-book along with my own experience and some help from other blogs online and created this packet that I use for teaching my class.
One of my favorite parts of the class it talking through pattern envelopes, different types of fabrics and just general fabric vocabulary.
I created this interactive activity where each person receives a set of fabric squares and other fabrics making this a hands on activity. There’s nothing like being able to actually touch the different types of something that makes learning a little bit easier. I’ve also found that talking through the different vocabulary of fabric (grainline, selvage, bias etc) is most helpful when students can actually hold the bias and pull it etc.
Interested in working through the packet yourself or even sharing it with your own class? Here’s a schoolofsewingpacket just for you!
And because I have to say it – please don’t copy these and sell them.
The other night I had the joy of celebrating one little girl’s birthday with a little sewing.
Eleven sweet girls gathered around tables with hoops, needles and a mix of felt flowers and buttons and created these cute little flower hoops.
It’s always so much fun to watch someone pick up a needle and thread for the first time and then see their joy when they master the rhythm of up and down.
I love the creativity and how different everyone’s hoops turned out. Some of the girls went crazy with the flowers, some were slow and meticulous and some went for simplicity. It was great!
Interested in throwing a party like this? I offer these sets individually in the shop and I’m contemplating offering party sets in 2016. But you can put your own set together too. Here’s my suggestions:
Putting together a flower hoop party set:
brown kraft paper (to wrap the tables with)
six inch wooden embroidery hoops
size 22 chenille needles
size 5 cotton pearl embroidery floss (you can find these with all the typical embroidery floss – usually hanging on the wall)
felt flower cut outs in a mix of colors
felt initials (about 3″ in size)
Ribbon for hanging
a mix of flower buttons and regular round buttons
and white felt circles (about an inch larger than your hoops)
Before the party, set all your white felt circles in the hoops and thread all your needles.
I highly recommend having a needle threader (this one is the bomb) handy for those times with needles to come unthreaded)
Lay out your flowers and initials on the table.
Sew on your initials first using a running stitch and then sew on the flowers and buttons. Remind your little party goers to always start from the bottom and bring your needle up and down.
Tie a ribbon through the screw hole and enjoy.
Some of the things my hands have been stitching lately…
I’m currently working on a 50th anniversary commission and I’m so excited with how these little people turned out. It was a rough start to figure out how to do their faces, but I think I got it figured out!
Custom embroidery on a baptismal gown
I’m still stitching up shoes…
An animal nursery set
I updated a version of some lyrics from Hillsong United’s Oceans song.
Another floral birth announcement
Continuing with my button stars series, I stitched up a portion of a song by Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings
And I participated in the Freaky Flower Swap on the &stitches blog
And I leave you with a picture of my silly campers. This was my first time doing a sewing camp and wow! was it ever exhausting but fun. This one was called Mustaches, Monsters and Masks.
My first ever summer sewing camp is coming up in less than a week and I think I’m finally almost ready! I’ve spent the last month planning and replanning and creating examples of all the fun things we are going to be creating during this week. The theme is Monsters, Mustaches and Masks (think a mix of spies and just plain old disguises).
Here’s a few sneak peeks at a few of the projects I’ve been working on for next week!
Mr. Mustache Man
A giant mustache pillow
And so many more! I can’t wait to share all the awesome creations these girls create!