Second Grade Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from my second grade class!  We had a lovely "Day of Thanksgiving" that I wanted to share with you.

Of course, we made yummy Oreo turkeys!  The kids joked about "eating the whole turkey" all day long.
 Making Thanksgiving Story Bracelets was a big hit.  They loved how each bead represented a part of the story and talked about how maybe they could write similar stories for Christmas.  I'm hoping they do!
 The kids were so super excited to make Woven Placemats.  
Since they are old enough, they followed along while I guided them through measuring, cutting, and weaving.
 I cut out the strips, but they did the rest and were so proud of it!  The placemats stayed on their desks all week.
 Currently, we are working on counting up to make change.  This wonderful Thanksgiving Feast activity was perfect!  I tweaked it a bit to fit my needs.
Hope your Thanksgiving is full of friendship and fun too!

Sewing Machine for Kids Buyer's Guide

If a sewing machine is on your child's wish list, I have a few tips on purchasing a machine that will get them started.

Whatever you do, please, please don't purchase a "toy" machine.  That will lead to frustration and sadness.  I recently saw this one that is "threadless."  It reminds me of a story Andria tells about having a sewing machine that used glue instead of thread when she was little.  Fun, but ultimately a disappointment.

The main feature that I look for when purchasing machines for kids is a drop-in bobbin.  I have found that this makes sewing soooooo much easier for kids. 

You know I love the Janome Sew Mini (don't pay more than $50, it often goes on sale at Hancocks!), bur I realize that it's not the ideal machine for everyone.  It's a good starter machine, but if your child is older or you would like to sew on it as well, purchase a full-sized machine. 

Happy gift giving!

Thankful Bunting

You'll want to make this quick and sweet bunting for the Thanksgiving season.  It makes me so happy!  This is the perfect addition to your mantle or doorway and can be made with a package of those fall silk leaves that are so easy to find right now and materials you have around the house.
It was a family crafting session at my house this weekend.  Look, the project is Dad approved!  Everyone drew on a square of card stock something they were thankful for.  We had a nice little chat as a family and came to the conclusion that we are very blessed indeed.
Next, it's time to string it all together.  I used skinny ribbon (3/8 inch wide) but yarn or wider ribbon would do here too.  This is a good project for a plastic needle, but any wide-eyed needle will do.

To sew the leaves, I cut little slits in them, however, if you were using a sharp chenille needle, you could sew right through the leaves.
Holes were punched into the card stock for easy threading.  Yes, fabric or other materials would work well here.  Like all Sewing School projects, the possibilities are endless!
Hanging on our mantle.  I am so pleased with this little project and know that it will be a memory maker for our family for years to come. 

I am making these as part of a Toddler Sewing Club at my school this week, so I'll be back to show you results from that.  Sewing with 2's and 3's is always an adventure!

Toddler Sewing: Thankful Bunting

 What a super fun time we had at Toddler Sewing this week!  Wish you could have joined us. Have no fear, here's some pictures to get you going and creating some Thankful Bunting with your little crew.

Before getting started, we read a few Thanksgiving themed books and talked about all the wonderful things big and small that we are thankful for.
 The full tutorial for making Thankful Bunting is here. Materials Needed:  card stock, crayons, silk leaves, ribbon about 3/8 inch wide, plastic needle, scissors, hole puncher.  Before starting, cut your card stock to about 8inch squares.  Punch holes along the top of the card stock squares.  Next, cut 2 slits into the silk leaves so that you can thread them.

Ok, let's get crafting!
 First, draw and color the card stock with things that you are thankful for.  Many families made individual flags for each family member. Some drew handprints which was quite cute.

 Crafting together!  This was totally a parent and child activity.  I love how everyone got involved and had fun.
 After the flags are drawn, it's time to sew it all together.  Little ones do so well with plastic needles to help guide through small holes.
 Let children find the holes and then "pull, pull, pull" the ribbon through.
Thanksgiving memories being made!  This week, we had a great group filled with grandparents, uncles, babysitters, and moms.  The kids were so proud of their accomplishments and had fun learning a new skill.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sewing Club Gives Back

 It has become a wonderful tradition to make a gift for others during our last Sewing Club session.  This year, we worked in pairs to make these sweet Scrap Fabric Crosses.  They will be given to the Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church's pastoral care and passed on to individuals who are in need of some TLC.
 The kids were paired up in multi-aged groups and had fun working together to make these special crosses.
They are so simple, yet satisfying to make.  Plus, they are a perfect way to use up scraps!  We pre-made the crosses with sticks for the kids.  A full tutorial may be found here.
Once complete, the pairs worked together to write a quick note to attach to the cross.
 I love the concentration and care that went into each cross and card.
I can't believe that the first session of Sewing Club is already finished!  We are already thinking of fun ideas for our next session which begins in January.

Halloween Stitch-N-Snack

 What a fun time we had at the Halloween Stitch-N-Snack at Sew Memphis last weekend!  I had a hard time editing my photos, so I just decided to share all of them.
 We started our day with a favorite book to get us in the mood and then made Jack-O-Hoops.  This project was the only "have to" of the afternoon.  I love giving kids the opportunity to make what they want to make.  Let the materials inspire!
 After a little sewing, fun treats were made and devoured!  Sugar leads to more creating.
 Quick costumes like the fat quarter cape and superhero mask were made.
 Halloween fabric inspired bags - with a button closure!
  Even moms got into the spirit and stitched up little handbags for themselves!
 But it was the treats made by Libby Shannon, my partner in craft, that sealed the deal.
Yum! Who wouldn't eat this skeleton?!

Want in on the fun?  We'll be hosting a Christmas Stitch-N-Snack on December 7 at Sew Memphis!

Tiny Ghost

 The Pocket Pal pattern from Sewing School makes a perfect tiny ghost that fits in your pocket.   Boo!

Little Pumpkins

 It's been a few years since we made these little stuffed pumpkins in Sewing Club and I'm so glad we made them again.   They lend themselves to great interpretation and are doable for all skill levels.  Click on the link for the tutorial.

Toddler Jack-O-Hoops

What a cute lil' pumpkin head!

At Toddler Sewing Club, we made these adorable Jack-O-Hoops.  Modeled after the ones we made last year, I just changed up the materials to make them toddler-friendly.
 Materials Needed:
*Embroidery Hoop - about 8 inches (really, any size is fine, but this is what we used)
*Foam sheets (you can also purchase these individually at craft stores)
*Orange burlap
*Plastic needles
*Lacing strings (you could also use yarn here, but I like how the lacings strings make it hard to unthread the needle)
*Green ribbon for "stem"
To prep the project, put the burlap into the embroidery hoop and then trim the excess fabric around the back.  Next, cut out a bunch of fun mouth, eyes, and nose shapes from the foam pieces.  Punch at least 2 holes in each piece.  I used a standard hand hole punch and had no problems with this.  Older kids can make their own face shapes.
Before sewing on the face, I encouraged the kids to make a lot of different funny faces with the shapes. We talked about our ears, eyes, noses, mouth, and hair.  They had fun identifying the parts and making faces.  Once the perfect face was chosen, we started to sew!
 Parents helped by holding the shapes in place while the toddler did the sewing.  Older kids were more independent.  I love the look of concentration on these little sewers!
To finish it up, poke a length of ribbon (about 2 feet) through the metal fixings on the hoop and knot at the top.  A perfect stem!

Pumpkin Craft Roundup

Do you spot the Jack-O-Hoop in the bottom row?  This awesome line-up of pumpkin-themed crafts for kids is featured on ParentMap's online magazine.  So excited to be part of this crafty roundup and can't wait to try my hand at a few of them too!