Selfie Pillow

The favorite project at In Stitches! camp this year was the Selfie Pillow. Each pillow is unique as the camper who made it! My favorite part of the project is the hair and I even dedicated an entire page in Sewing School Quilts to different hairstyles. We discovered a new technique for wavy hair this year - ric-rack!

Not only does the Selfie introduce a variety of embroidery stitches, turning it into a quick pillow teaches simple patchwork. In Sewing School Quilts, the project is made into a quilt, but for camp, we thought a pillow would be a fun and quick project. 
 It's me, on a pillow! Follow along with Maddy to make your own selfie pillow.

First, using the directions in Sewing School Quilts, make a selfie square. We used 8x8 squares of muslin for our selfies. This size seems to be a good beginner size.
Next, decide on the pillow fabric and make a quick pattern for the panels that will go around your selfie. Our finished pillows are about 12 inch square.

To make this size, you'll need patterns that are:
2-1/2 x 8 inches (cut 2)
2-1/2 x 12 inches (cut 2)
*Note that you you can just measure and cut the fabric.
 Lay the 8 inch pieces along the sides of your selfie.
Flip over the sides, so that the good sides of the fabric are covering the face. Pin in place so that the edges are even. Using a sewing machine, stitch the fabric strips to the selfie. 
 I see you! Now, Open up the sides and do the same to the top and bottom of the selfie.
 Open up the entire panel and iron the seams on the back flat to one side.
 Using your selfie panel as a pattern, cut out the backing fabric. See how the good sides are facing? This will make it easier to sew and ensure that the back and front are the same size.
Leaving a hole along the bottom for stuffing, sew around the selfie. Stuff until it's soft and then hand sew the hole closed.

Squidget! for Sew a Softie 2019

Happy Sew a Softie Month! I'm excited to join in with other kid-friendly makers across the globe to share original stuffie patterns that you can make with and for children. For more information and a list of tutorials, visit the amazing Sew a Softie organizer Trixi at Coloured Buttons. 

What's a Squidget you ask? A squishy fidget of course! Last school year I had some students who needed fidgets to help them focus and remain relaxed during whole group learning times. After a few trials and errors and some input from my students, the Squidget was born. They worked like a charm and kept the kids focused, calm, and engaged.

These little guys pack a big punch. Taking a cue from taggie blankets for babies and toddlers, these hand-sized pillows have a variety of ribbons and textures built in for sensory play. The bonus is a marble tucked into the middle of the Squidget for the ultimate squishy fidget experience. We stitched up some Squidgets at camp and the kids loved them and enjoyed finding the trims and ribbons that felt best to them.

OK, let's make a Squidget! Materials needed:
*fleece or other soft fabric
*a variety of ribbons, lace, elastic, and trims
*a marble
*poly-fil for stuffing
* hand sewing supplies (yes, you can machine sew them if you want)

Cut two pieces of fabric into the same sized squares that will fit into the palm of your hand. Ours were about 3 inches. Start sewing along one side. Lay the first ribbon between the two layers of fabric.

Keep sewing, taking care to sew the ribbon down tight. After you sew on a ribbon, it's best to give it a little tug to make sure it's stitched well.  Keep sewing around the Squidget and adding more ribbons and trims until you get to the last side.

After sewing up three sides, stuff the Squidget halfway then add a marble. Add more stuffing until you like the way it feels. Stitch up the last side adding a final ribbon.

Squish and fidget away!

In true Sewing School fashion, you can make it your own by adding a face, stringing a few beads along one of the trims, changing the shape, or adding additional marbles.

Happy Sew a Softie Month!

Stitched: Family Crest Workshop

Come sew with me! I'm super excited to be leading a Family Crest Workshop as part of the Stitched Quilt Festival at Crosstown Arts.  It's this Saturday, May 18 at Crosstown Arts.

Free to families of all shapes and sizes, participants will have the opportunity to work together to create a unique wall hanging that represents their special family.

No sewing experience needed. All materials will be provided. Register so that we'll make sure we have room for your family!

While you're at Crosstown, you can visit the Stitched Quilt Festival and even see the adorable BLUE quilt embroidered by my 2nd grade class.

REGISTER HERE!  Hope to see you there.

Sewing School Camps 2019


Are you ready for the summer?!  We are!  Sewing School camps will be held at SummerFest hosted by Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal School in Memphis, TN. We have 4 great camps ready for your crafty kids!

For the past 15 years, summer camp has been where ideas, techniques, and projects have been developed for the Sewing School book series. While we have fun making quick projects during our weekly Sewing Club, camp allows sewists the time to build upon new skills while stitching up creative and meaningful projects. We hope your child can join us this year!

Below is a quick snippet about each camp. For registration details, please follow this link.

Sewing School Camp Week 2 (June 10-14)
8am-12pm, Sewing School Jr. for boys and girls rising in SK and 1st grade
1pm-5pm, Sewing School camp for boys and girls in rising 2nd - 8th grade

This is where everything began!  Open to both boys and girls, campers will learn the basics of sewing both by hand and on machine. Projects include stuffies, pillows, bags, and wearables. Campers will also have the opportunity to work on projects of their choice. No sewing experience necessary. Students with their own sewing machine may bring them to camp for the week.

Craft Challenge Week 5 (July 8-12)
8am-12pm for boys and girls in rising 2nd - 8th grade

Take the craft challenge! Each day, the campers' creativity will be challenged with a variety of unique materials and crafty skills.  We can't wait to see what everyone makes with a lost sock or if they can create a unique pencil holder for their desk. Who will be named the Craft Champion?!

In Stitches! Week 5 (July 8-12)
1pm-5pm for boys and girls in rising 2nd - 8th grade

You'll be in stitches at this crafty camp! Campers will learn a variety of hand-sewing techniques such as cross-stitch, embroidery, and weaving. New skills will be used to create fun projects like pillows and bags. Bonus - campers will go home with their very own hand-sewing kit.

Sewing School Fashion Design

This is the book I've been wanting to write for so long! I started sewing mainly to make my own clothes. In high school, I started wrapping pieces of cool fabric around my waist, securing it with a few safety pins, and calling it a skirt. Finally, I learned how to use a sewing machine and started making my very own Zippy Skirts. I have made dozens of these flirty skirts and each has its own personality. Next came dresses and tunics.

At Sewing School Camp, kids were wanting to make their own clothing too.  Many campers would trace their bodies on fabric and attempt to make pants or shirts. The results were often hilarious and sometimes successful, but always a learning experience for both the maker and myself. I began to develop patterns that were simple enough for new sewers, but also cool enough to wear out in public.

The result is Sewing School Fashion Design. Three basic patterns that can be altered and mixed and matched to create an entire wardrobe. Yes, full-sized patterns are included and fit a variety of sizes from age 8 to teens. They also work for smaller adults too! (I'm a size large.)

The Sewing School books have always encouraged kids to make projects their own and clothing is no different. We call these Fashion Mashups. Add a hood to your dress or use 4 different fabrics to make your shorts. Pockets are needed for sure and embroidery adds a big punch.

What would your perfect outfit look like?

I am so excited to have Sewing School Fashion Design out in the world and can't wait to see all the amazing outfits kids start sewing!  You can get your copy on-line at Amazon or Powell's. Please ask for it at your favorite bookseller or fabric store!

Sewing School Holiday Shopping List

Give the gift of sewing this holiday season! Putting together a personalized sewing kit to go along with the Sewing School books makes for an extra special gift. You know that any young sewer will want to get started on a project right away!

While you can get pre-made sewing kits at most sewing stores, they don't always include kid-friendly tools. We've learned through the years that the right tools make for independent sewists.

You can print our Sewing School Holiday Shopping List to use at your favorite sewing or craft store, or do some one-stop shopping on our Amazon Idea List. (affiliate link)

While you don't need to purchase all the materials on the list, you will want to get the basics of needles, thread, threader, scissors, and felt or fabric. Those items will allow any new sewer to start stitching right away!

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Sewing School for Christmas!

Tis the season for sewing!  Beat the rush this holiday season and do your shopping early.

Looking for a perfect gift for the crafty kid in your life? We have you covered!

The Sewing School Box Set is 25% off now through November 28 when you use the code STOREY18 on

Want to create a personalized sewing kit to go along with the books?  Want our pics for a kid-friendly sewing machine? Check out our customized idea page on for one-click shopping! (FYI, this is an affiliate link.)

Sugar Skull Softie

Hi! I'm excited to be posting this creative Sugar Skull Softie as part of Sew a Softie for Halloween! Organized by Trixi at Coloured Buttons, Sew a Softie is a world-wide effort to get kids sewing and being creative. If you want to connect with the community, join the FaceBook group!
I love the rich cultural traditions behind Mexico's DiĆ” de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Colorful Sugar Skulls are made to celebrate the lives of those lost. While the Day of the Dead is not officially celebrated until November 1 and 2, it's never to early to start decorating.
I love this project because it allows for creativity in decorating the skull while still providing clear directions and a shape. Each one will be unique, but is easy to set up for a group.
I found the perfect Sugar Skull template here on Teachers Pay Teachers, but a quick Google search for Sugar Skulls will give you dozens of ideas. You can always draw your own too! 
Cut a piece of muslin a little larger than your template. Lay the fabric over the template and trace using markers or crayons. You may want to tape the fabric to the table so it doesn't slide around.
Have fun decorating your sugar skull!
Now, pin the muslin to felt. Cut around the sugar skull leaving a small edge around the skull. Younger sewers may need help with this step.
Sew all around the skull leaving an opening for stuffing. You can use a whipstitch or a running stitch. Once you have stuffed the skull, sew up the opening and you have a Sugar Skull Softie!
I hope you will check out some of the other Sew a Softie for Halloween projects. There is a complete tutorial list on Sum of Their Stories.  Be sure to tag your Halloween sewing projects with kids #sewasoftie.

It's the Great Pumpkin Workshop

I'm super excited to be teaching another workshop at The Art Project in Memphis. This time, it's for kids! We'll be designing our own jack-o-lantern softies then stitching them out of felt. I can't wait to see all the pumpkins!

The workshop is October 17 from 4-5:30pm, kids 7 and up. Click here to register and find out more details.

This project reminded me of my son Frank's first sewing project. I helped him stitch up his very own pumpkin pillow. Cleaning his room up the other day, I uncovered it. He's now 10. Such sweet memories!