The Three Little Threads

Grading papers, I came across this awesome version of "The Three Little Pigs" story - "The Three Little Threads and the Big Bad Needle"!   

What Does Second Grade Writing Look Like?

What does writing look like in Second Grade? 
This week, we began Writer's Workshop, a time of the week set aside just for writing.  The writing is completely open ending.  The kids can choose to write about whatever they wish.  
 Many chose to explore comic writing, while others set off into lengthy narratives.  Friends began to collaborate and selected just the right kind of paper on which to tell their tale.  
Can we staple the pages?  Can I write a scary story?  Can I write a story about me?  Can I...?  My reply to all these questions and more was, "Yes, just write what is in your heart."
To track their writing, the kids move sticks with their names on them through the writing process from planning to writing and illustrating to reviewing to editing with the teacher to publishing and finally sharing.

While writing, the kids are encouraged to just write, not worry about spelling and grammar.  After writing a draft, then, it's time to correct mistakes and make the spelling more correct.  First, they will review their own work using the Writing Dictionaries.  Next, I will work with each student individually to fix any mistakes, talk about story structure, and grammar.  Sharing the original work with friends is the highlight of any writing process!

If our first Writer's Workshop is any indication, we are in for an exciting year of writing and story telling!

Vintage Craft Book: Nature Walks

I came across this gem at an Air B&B apartment that my family stayed in while visiting Atlanta.  The illustrations are so sweet and it's filled with information that kids want to know.  Makes you want to go out and explore.

In the inside cover, there was a sweet inscription to a friend with hopes that the two would go on "lots of fun walks together."  I hope they did.

The Golden Picture Book of Nature Walks, 1961

Back to School

 School is in session here in Memphis and I've been busy getting my room in order and meeting my new class.  I have 18 second graders this year, who are ready to learn!  I kinda went crazy with a Mo Willems pigeon theme.  I also have speech bubbles all around the classroom.

I'll be sharing some of my finer teaching moments and of course all the wonderful sewing projects. Here's hoping for a fun and creative school year!  

While She Naps Podcast

I am thrilled to announce that I am on the While She Naps podcast that airs today.  It was such an honor to talk about kid sewing and crafting with Abby Glassenberg and Jean Van't Hul of The Artful Parent, two women I very much admire.

I admit, I am a little nervous to hear myself talk, but I'm also excited, so I wanted to share.  Happy listening!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the episode.

My Staple Dress

I had a fun time sewing up April Rhodes' Staple Dress.  I purchased the pattern awhile ago, and finally had time to give it a try.  The pattern and directions were super and easy to follow. The dress is awesome with inseam pockets and a shirred waistband!  I made mine from some nautical fabric I found at Hancock's.  I have this theory for my first go at a new pattern; I alway use inexpensive fabric or an old sheet.  Once I have the pattern down, I jump into the super cute fabric.
 It was the perfect dress for a day on the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk!
OK, so what I learned while sewing the dress.  I accidentally made my dress way too short, as I'm sure you can tell in the pictures.  It was way too long and then I somehow chopped it off too much.  Hmm...not sure what I did wrong, maybe didn't add in my hem allowance correctly?  To correct the problem, I added bias tape to the bottom as a hem and then to the sleeves to balance the hem.  I also think the top is a wee bit too big, so next time I'll try a size down.  I already have new fabric (April Rhodes, no less) waiting to be cut and sewn!
Want to make your own Staple Dress?  I'll be teaching a workshop at Sew Memphis on September 20.  Sign-up and details here!

Maya*Made's Stich*Craft

I was excited to read about Maya*Made's Stitch*Craft camp for kids and see Sewing School being used!  You need to read her post filled with great projects and tips for sewing with kids.  I especially love Tip #3: "Say YES to questions that begin with 'can I make...?'."  She also spent a lot of time outdoors, which is so nice.

At the end of camp, the kids had a Sew and Tell.

Love seeing how others use the Sewing School books, run their camps, and get new ideas for sewing with kids.

**Photos from Maya*Made, used with permission.

And the Winner is....

Yay!  The winner of the Little One-Yard Wonders book is lucky number 16, Christina.

She says, "I love the "One Yard" books.  I have so many leftover pieces that I can use to make some great items."

I know she'll enjoy the book.

Thanks to everyone who entered.  I had fun reading all of  your fun comments.  So much good sewing for and with kids going on out there!

Sewing School 2 Ebook Sale!

Woo hoo!  The Sewing School 2 ebook is on sale for a mere $2.99 for three days only (August 1-3). 

Available at:
Barnes & Nobles

Little One-Yard Wonders Giveaway!

I was excited to get a copy of the new Little One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins from Storey.  It's the book I wish I would have had a few years ago, when my kids were tiny and didn't care that I was sewing everything for them.  Now, they have a mind of their own and aren't as excited by handmade clothing. The book is not just clothes, though, it's filled with tons of toys, accessories, and cool ideas.  Plus, it includes full-sized patterns.

While this book is written for adult sewers, there are several projects that can be adapted for young sewers.  It can also be a great way to start sewing with your child.  Picking out fabric, cutting straight lines, and helping with the sewing process is a great way to introduce kids to sewing.

 I have a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader.  Just leave a comment at the end of the post and I'll chose a random winner on Tuesday, August 5.  **More details about the giveaway at the end.**
Phoebe looked through the book and got excited about the Seat-Back Caddy which was perfect for our long car ride to the New Jersey Shore.  She wanted to make it herself.  So in true Sewing School fashion, we made it our own with a few little changes.  Frankie and I made one together, since he's only 6 and just beginning to really understand how to follow a pattern.

For this project, there wasn't a pattern, so I traced out the dimensions onto the fabric and the kids cut out the pieces.  While you can use just a yard of fabric to make the project, Frankie chose a sports-themed sheet and Phoebe went for two different fabrics.
 Phoebe had fun sewing the pockets onto the main fabric, even with a broken arm!  Frankie helped me by pressing down the foot pedal while I worked the machine.
Phoebe's finished top.  Since I was sewing with kids, I chose not to bind the top of the pockets with bias tape.  I used fold-over elastic to make the stretching pocket, which was OK, but probably not as good as the original version with elastic and bias tape.  We also used hook and loop tape to attach the caddy to the seat instead of the buckle.
The Seat-Back Caddy in action!  It was great for over 2,000 of car travel this summer.

Now, you need to make something from Little One-Yard Wonders!

It's a Giveaway!
Leave a comment below and I'll randomly select one winner on Monday, August 4.
I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, August 5.
Giveaway for U.S. readers only, sorry.