Sewing Skirts with Girls

This weekend I had a marvelous time stitching up the My Very Own Skirt from Sewing School with a lovely group of girls at Sew Memphis.
 We took over every inch of space at the store to trace the patterns.  I love all the fabrics the girls chose.  I quickly learned that the fabrics also reflected their personalities.  Funny how that happens...
 A few moms stayed to sew with their kids making it a fun mother-daughter event.  My own daughter, Phoebe, also sewed with us that day!
Patiently using the machine, working through challenges, creating something new.  In a day and age where girls are putting pressure on themselves to be perfect and there is an emphasis on testing and grades, it's so nice to promote creativity.  When mistakes occurred, I problem-solved with them to see if there was a way to make a quick fix instead of taking out all the stitches and beginning again.  I encourage them to keep sewing and said, "No one will notice that when you are wearing it!" at least a dozen times.  Sewing should be about the process and the product.  They go hand-in-hand.

While only a few of the girls knew each other at the beginning of class, by the end, they were all fast friends.  I love how sewing does that!  The conversations about fabric choices, good sewing, how to use a bodkin, and where to wear their skirts was so much fun to overhear.  The older girls mentored the younger ones and everyone oohed and ahhed over the day's accomplishments.
 A few of the 9 girls were under 7 and a mom stayed to help them out.  These sisters had so much fun!  The youngest is 5 and was so proud of her skirt!
Of course the day ended with a big fashion show and I do believe that everyone went home wearing her skirt!  Funny how they all seemed to match their tops.

I always love teaching this class!  Teaching the love and fun of sewing with these girls is amazing.

Fun with Seuss!

Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss on March 2.  Planning for next week, I was going through the blog to remember some fun Dr. Seuss activities I've done in years past.  Such great projects and memories...

Next week we'll be sewing up some Seuss inspired activities in Sewing Club.  Can't wait to see what the kids make this year!

I'd love to hear about your Dr. Seuss projects and ideas.

Valentine Sewing in Preschool

 We hosted a mini-version of our Sewing Club at the preschool.  This Valentine's Day themed sew was a ton of fun. These 3 and 4 year olds were super creative and fun!

We had three fun projects to fill up our hour of fun.  Since they were young and we wanted them to be independent, we used plastic needles and lacing strings.
Our first project was a take on the Pocket Full of Love project we did with toddlers. This time, I used foam hearts I got at the dollar store.
 They immediately began to sew up and down and all around.  The best part of this project was the pocket!
We created a Valentine Station where sewers could decorate their Pockets and make Valentines to put inside.

Next up was the I Heart You Necklace.  This one was super popular and would be perfect for a Valentine party project.
Just punch holes into foam hearts (2 holes per heart) and give the kids lacing strings to make their necklace.  Beads would also be a fun addition here.
The Heart Spider Web was fun, but the most involved project.  We got the idea here, but put our own Sewing School twist on it by using paper plates.  Cut out your heart and then punch holes all around it.
 Tie an end of a piece of yarn to a hole and start "sewing crazy" as the kids said.  There are no rules here and it gave the kids an opportunity to play with stitches and try new ideas.  When a yarn got short, we just tied on a new pice and kept going until the sewer felt like the web was finished.  Some of the hearts from the necklaces also made their way onto the webs.  With a hole in top, a quick hanger was made.
We had fun sharing the love of sewing with these cuties!

Fabric Heart Locket

These sweet fabric lockets are perfect for Valentine's Day.  They stitch up super quick and are perfect for giving and wearing.
 Sweet sewing sisters made a locket for their mom too!
We used cotton fabric, but felt would work too.  Just cut out 2 small hearts and stitch them together.  You can stuff your heart or leave the top open for putting in secret messages.  Make a loop with a strip of fabric or bit of ribbon.  The best part was the chain.  I got the necklace chain here, but you could also use ribbon or yarn.
 Matching necklaces and neck scarfs!

Super Bowl Sewing

 Sewing Club had fun stitching up some footballs just time for Super Bowl Sunday.
This simple project stitched up in no time with some time for running a few patterns.
The trick to making a football that can be thrown is adding a little bean bag in the middle.  For a full tutorial, see this post.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Warm Up with Wintertime Sewing

 To start off the new semester of Sewing Club, we stitched up some cozy wintertime accessories.
 I cut up some cute fleece into large rectangles, enough for everyone to get at least 2 pieces.  We discussed the stretchy side of fleece and how it's not only soft, but doesn't fray!
 A favorite project was the Hat Attack! from Sewing School.  The addition of pompoms on top are just too cute!
A super fun cowl was made from stitching two pieces of fleece together.

Did you know that if you sew one rectangle up on the long sides, you have a quick muff?!  Thread some yarn through it and tie it around your neck, then tuck in your hands. Ahhh....toasty warm!
 Wristwarmers are so much fun!  Click here for an easy tutorial.  This time, however, instead of leaving a thumb hole during the sewing process, the kids just sewed up the sides and cut out a slit to stick their thumbs through - much easier!
Stay warm this winter!

100th Day of School Fun

 Only three days left until the100th day of school.  My time has flown....

Last year, we had fun in 2nd grade building with 100 solo cups.  In fact, this activity continued throughout the year.
I've posted a few times about the 100th day here and here if you are looking for a few fun ideas.

Sewing with The Mitten

 What fun we had at Toddler Sewing Club last week!  We stitched up these adorable mittens inspired by Jan Brett's The Mitten, a winter favorite!

So much is going into this simple activity.  The kids are learning basic sewing which strengthens fine motor and focus skills, animal and color recognition, sequencing, and story re-telling!  Whew!
Materials are simple  - we used low-loft batting for the mitten, plastic needles, and lacing strings.  The Mitten templates came straight from Jan Brett's awesome website.  I copied the animal template onto cardstock.
 First, we read the book to the group.  We had several copies on hand for repeated readings and sequencing.
 Next, we sewed up the mittens.  I had them ready to go with a needle and thread attached to a set.  The plastic needles slide right through the batting and the kids really feel like they are sewing fabric.
 First time sewers had a little support from parents.
 Next, the kids colored the animals.  I ran them off on cardstock then cut them out and punched a few holes into each animal.  Older kids could easily do this step themselves.
 Lacing the animals together was a lot of fun.  Some kids really focused on the order of the animals from the story, while others just wanted to put them together.  If you are focusing on sequencing, it would be easy to number the animals before copying them.
Time to put the animals into the mitten!
As a goodbye, we gave each sewer a pair of small mittens of their own to take home.  They were so excited!

I'm sure there will lots of retelling of The Mitten this winter!

Recycled Draft Dodgers's been cold outside.  Our 100 year old house has so many cracks and drafts it's crazy!  I whipped up a batch of these recycled draft dodgers using Phoebe's old tights and stuffing them with old T-shirts.  They are the perfect length, plus super cute!
You can make them too.  Cut a pair of tights into two legs.  Then, stuff the leg with old T-shirts, clothing, or other fabric until it's nice and plump.  This is a great job for kids - mine had fun cutting up old shirts and stuffing the "snakes."  Next, handsew the opening closed.  I used craft thread, but any thread will do.  When you get to the ends, just tuck them under and stitch closed. You could add a little face at this point, but we were cold, so I just put them in front of the doors pronto. Wow - what a difference!

Stay warm!

Birthday Autograph Pillow

A personalized autograph pillow is a perfect gift for any birthday boy or girl.  Simple and cute, plus a lifetime of memories!

This little pillow was sewn for a fun sewing birthday party we hosted recently.  I used the pattern for the Secret Message Pillow in Sewing School 2, but instead of a pocket, I added a felt number 7 with a zig zag stitch.
The back is a cute coordinating fabric in lighter colors so that party goers could sign their names using fabric markers.
Happy 7th birthday, sweet girl!

I can't wait to make more of these for upcoming parties!