Sewing School Alums

This year for Sewing School camp I had a great group of Sewing School alums helping me.  It was so much fun to watch them share their knowledge and love of sewing with a new group of kids.
The campers loved them soooo much!  They worked hard, too!  

Throughout camp, we had fun laughing at the pictures of them in the Sewing School books.  Now, they have braces and contacts and are much older and wiser.  If you are a Sewing School reader, you'll recognize these cute faces, just a few years older.
Francis is a 7th grader now and enjoyed teaching kids how to make the Etc. Backpack at camp.
Stella is about to enter high school and is still using her tiny little sewing machine.
Annie is going to be a sophomore in high school and has become quite the runner.
Caroline is also a sophomore and excited about learning Mandarin.

I hope that they will come back and help me next year!

Join Urban Scouts

Urban Scout is a shout-out to city-dwelling kids to explore their surroundings and interact creatively in today's modern world.   It is an invitation for children to discover their surroundings on their own terms while learning new skills.
Urban Scout Camp was an enriching and wonderful experience this summer.  You can follow along and find out more on Instagram at urbanscouts.   I'm excited to share more about this experience with you.

Sewing for Dad

Sunday is Father's Day and I'd like to recommend a few fun and easy projects that Dads will love.  At least ours did!

Perfect for sports loving Dads!  Turn sports towels and T-shirts into a one-of-a-kind pillow!  This kid-made pillow is just backed with coordinating cotton fabric, stitched, and stuffed.  The Save My Shirt Pillow from Sewing School will tell you how to make a pillow from a T-shirt.

This luggage tag is so cute and even involves using a hammer!

These Coffee Cozies incorporate embroidery while making sure Dad's coffee cup isn't too hot!

Every dad needs a State Pillow.  While we made these for Mother's Day this year, a quick change of fabrics will make them Dad Cool.

Make Dad a DYI game of Pick Up Sticks ...

...or Tic-Tac-Toe.  Either way, you're a winner!

Happy sewing for Dad!

Luggage Tag for Dad!

During Sewing School Camp we made these great Luggage Tags for Father's Day gifts.  They are pretty quick and I think Dads everywhere need one!  I was inspired by the adorable leaf luggage tag in Stitch Love by Mollie Johanson.

So, get to sewing!

Materials Needed:
*cotton fabric
*sewing supplies
*clear vinyl  (I used lightweight vinyl I found at WalMart)
*eyelet setters and eyelets (We used 1/4 inch)
*thin ribbon

My tag is a rectangle that measures 5 x 3-1/2.  But, you can make it whatever shape you want. You want to cut out a window for the name tag to show through.  Make sure you leave some sewing room along all the edges.  I set mine towards the bottom of the tag to make sure I had room for a slit and an eyelet.

 Directions - Go around the photo...

1.  Trace the tag pattern onto cotton fabric.  You don't have to trace the window.
2.  Trace the tag pattern onto felt.  Trace the window!
3. Cut out both pieces of fabric.  Cut out the window on the felt piece.
4.  Cut a piece of vinyl a little larger than your window.  Handsew the vinyl piece around the window.  Be careful, this can be a bit tricky to get started, especially for younger sewers.  (At camp, I precut the vinyl pieces for the kids)
5. Now, fold the felt piece in half and cut a slit right above the window stitches. This will make a pocket to slide the name tag into.
6.  Put the cotton and felt piece together.  Good sides facing out.
7.  Sew all around the edges of the luggage tag. 
8.  Add an eyelet to the top of the tag.  We used a setter like this one and the kids loved to hammer in the eyelet!

9.  Cut a piece of ribbon 12 inches long and thread it through the eyelet. Tie ends together.

You can slide a cute note into the luggage tag too!  I found that an index card cut in half was a perfect fit.

These would also be super for a kids' bag or a gift for someone else.  I know we'll be making them in Sewing Club next year for sure!

Happy Dad's Day!

Make a Sewing Kit

Sewing School Camp is in session!  It's been a busy and fun week!  We have more than 40 campers ready to sew.

On the first day, we made shoebox sewing kits to hold our supplies and works in progress.  This is the first time I had made boxes like this and it's a keeper idea.  The kids are more organized and know where their projects are.  Plus, they are super cute!
We used vintage sewing patterns and fabric scraps to decorate the boxes. Watered down glue and paintbrushes made everything stick!  The boxes dried overnight and were ready to go the next day.
I love how the boxes reflect the personal style of the campers.
To practice key sewing skills, the kids learned how to thread needles and made a Hold My Needles Book and pincushion from Sewing School.  
 These quick and easy projects were the perfect way to start camp and have the necessary supplies to start sewing.
These kits are so perfect!  I look forward to making them with my next group of young sewers.

Tiny Fabric Tray

These Tiny Fabric Trays are so cute!  I've been whipping up about a million of them and can't wait to make them with kids at camp next week.  The original idea came from A Spoonful of Sugar via Wild Olive.  After making one with my daughter, we quickly realized that the layers of fabric and batting was a little complicated for young sewers who are not the straightest sewers in the world.  Enter, a simpler kid-friendly version with felt as the stabilizer.

I made a pattern that is 5x5 inches with a center square that is 2.5x2.5 inches.  Trace around both squares on felt.
Next, trace around the big square only on cotton fabric.  
Cut out around the big square only.  You can still see the chalk lines from the center square.
Put the fabric together so that the good sides are facing out.  You should be able to see the center square and the cute pattern of your cotton fabric.
Stitch around the outer edge of the big square using a whipstitch.  Stitch around the center square using a running stitch. The center square will make a base for your tray.
Time to make the corners and sides! Pinch a corner so that the sides touch.  Run your needle through just a little below the point.
Sew through the fabric a few times so that it will hold tight.  Be sure to knot off before you cut the thread.  Repeat for all 4 corners.

You can make Fabric Trays using any size of square.  It also can be machine sewn, but you should hand sew the corners.  Oh, you can also make a felt-only tray.  Just sew around the center square and make the corners.  It takes like 5 minutes!
Yay for the Tiny Fabric Tray!  What will your tray hold?!

Sew Outside!

Have you sewn outside recently?  
It really is magical.  
Go right now.

Make a Sate Pillow!

 My class was studying the 50 states and it was Mother's Day, so what better idea than to make Tennessee state pillows for Mom?  This project came together really fast and everyone loved it, especially the moms!
 To help with the process, I prepped the pillow fabric.  I used basically the same method for making the Heart in Hand quilt, so the kids knew just want to do.

First, I cut the pillow fabric into 8x8 squares.  I made the state shape by enlarging a puzzle piece on the copier and then traced it onto Heat-n-Bond Lite then ironed the state shape onto the fabric.
The kids embroidered around the state using craft thread. Then, they added a tiny heart backed with Heat-n-Bond Ultra.  This got ironed on right where Memphis is on the map!  Since we used the Ultra Heat-n-Bond, there is no need to sew.
One of my students lives across the bridge in Arkansas, so she made a special one for her mom.
Next came machine sewing!  I find that second grade is a good time to start machine sewing with kids.  They have the "smarts" and coordination to machine sew without a lot of support.  In my classroom, I had 2 machines set up, and I sat in the middle to guide and talk them through it.  These pillows could easily be hand-sewn as well.  To finish them, they stuffed them up and hand-sewed them closed using a whipstitch.
Basket of state pillows waiting to be wrapped.
We wrapped them with colorful sheets of tissue paper and wrote sweet letters to Mom.  I know that they loved them!  I even made a Texas state pillow for my own mom this year!

May Toddler Sewing Club

Come sew with us!  
Join us for our final Toddler Sewing Club of the year.  At this fun event, we'll be reading summertime stories and stitching up a cute sunglasses case complete with a pair of fun  shades! 

Tuesday, May 12, 9am
Open to kids ages 2-4 and their parents