Toddler Sew: Lucky Pouch

 While this post is a week late, I had to show off the super cute Lucky Pouches we stitched up in our St. Patrick's Day Toddler Sew.  They were such a big hit, and open to variations.
 To begin, our wonderful librarians shared some favorite St. Patrick's Day themed books.
 The pouches are made of orange burlap cut into 6 inch squares.  I hot glued a sparkly shamrock on one side.  We used my favorite lacing strings and plastic needles.  Since we were sewing with a group, I had the pouches ready to go with the first stitch through both squares.
 First time sewers got some help from adults.  Holding the fabric taut and letting kids stick the needle between your hands makes toddler sewing easy.
Once the three sides were sewn, I added a little ribbon handle.  The kids loved putting a few lucky gold coins into their pouches!
At the end, we encouraged families to discuss ways that they are "lucky" and draw and write their ideas on shamrocks.  This is similar to being thankful at Thanksgiving.  I loved hearing the discussions about how the kids were lucky to have a big brother or sister, sweet pet, or warm home.
The pouch was so much fun to make with these fun toddlers!  It's a project we will repeat in the future!

I got some new craft books!

 What a happy day when the postman delivered these two new craft books to my mailbox this past week.  I had fun looking through them and gaining new inspiration and ideas for sewing camp.

First up is Annabel Wrigley's We Love to Sew - Gifts.  The newest book in her sewing books aimed at young girls, is filled with fun and useful ideas.  I am a big fan of her Little Pincushion Studio.  It's so fun to see what others are making with kids.
 I love this mirror - I can picture it hanging in a school locker.  It's also a good introduction to patchwork.
 These bowls are just too cute!  They are a wonderful use of scraps and I think kids would love sewing the rope.  I can't wait to make one myself.
 The instructions are clear and full of photos.  Just right for sewing with kids.

Next up, is Stitch Love by Mollie Johanson.  Her blog Wild Olive is a favorite of mine, and I am a proud member of her 50 States Club.  Her book is full of adorable animal embroidery patterns.
 Besides just having cute patterns, there are some clever projects such as this possum sachet.
 The embroidery patterns are simple, but filled with personality. Mollie gives clear directions for how to transfer patterns and different stitches.
 While written for adults, I am excited to share some of these patterns and ideas with my sewing campers this summer.  I know they will love them!
Happy sewing!

Neck Pillows for Spring Break

 It's time for Spring Break down here in the South and that means a road trip!  Last year in Sewing Club we made these great Travel Pillows.  This year, I was inspired by this cutie by Misako Mimoko to make Cozy Neck Pillows.
 Phoebe made hers with a little Lambie face, that turned out so cute!
 Most kids just had enough time to make a basic pillow.  I used this pattern.  Soft fabrics like flannel were a must!  For the younger kids, I precut the pillow shape so that they could focus on handsewing the two sides together.  We also made our hole for stuffing on the top of the pillow - much easier for kids, I found.
They also make awesome headbands!

Happy Spring Break!  Here's hoping for warmer weather soon!

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!