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 pageaday.com.


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 Amazon.com 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!

Kid Art Embroidery Workshop


I'm super excited for the Kid Art Embroidery workshop for adults at The Art Project  in Memphis, TN. 

When my kids were small, I was enchanted by their artwork. The creativity, wobbly lines, and fearlessness. They also developed their own unique style. Phoebe was busy drawing long-legged princesses and hearts while Frank focused on complex vehicles that involved a lot of wheels and straps for holding things together.

This angel was embroidered for a good friend. 
Her child was in my kindergarten class.

As a crafty mom, I wanted to capture their artwork beyond putting it on the fridge. I also wanted to connect with their world somehow. So, I began to embroider favorite drawings. As I stitched along their lines, I felt closer to them and knew that I was creating a keepsake. Throughout the years, I have also embroidered drawings for friends and family. They are such sweet gifts.

Phoebe's artwork
My embroidery

Embroidery is one of those crafts that is so perfect. It's timeless, portable, and full of possibilities.

At The Art Project later this month, I look forward to passing on this fun project to others who are eager to learn a new skill or just want to hang out and sew with me!  We'll be transferring an original drawing onto muslin so that it fits inside a 7-inch hoop. The hoop will also become a clever hanger for the finished work. I'll go over a variety of stitches so that the best stitch can be chosen to capture the details on those sweet drawings.

For more information and to sign-up for the workshop, visit The Art Project website.   If you don't live in Memphis, but want to learn more about Kid Art Embroidery, check out my post from many moons ago.

On Being a "Sewing Boss"

I was excited to be part of Hipstitch Academy's Sewing Bosses video series. It's so awesome to be part of this wonderful community of sewing teachers. I immediately it off with Megan Avery and we ended up having a fun and informative chat. In fact, we talked for so long, my interview became a 2-part series.


In the interview, I ramble about the Sewing School books, my teaching philosophy, and how I got started teaching kids to sew. We also talked about how I incorporate sewing into my 2nd grade classroom.

Interview Part 1

Interview Part 2

Hop on over to the Hipstitch Academy blog to watch, and while you're there, check out some of the other cool "sewing bosses" that are featured.

From Fabric to Project

I love a good craft challenge and have been using them in camp to not only create fun activities, but to foster creativity. It's always funny how everyone gets quiet and really starts to concentrate on their own projects. Then, about 1/2 way through, they start to wander around the room and check out each other's work. At the end, we share ideas and announce a winner or two.



In Advanced Sewing School camp we gave campers a fat quarter and access to a variety of print making supplies like paint, watercolors, stamps, and markers. Their first assignment was to create an original fabric print. To begin, we looked at a ton of different fabrics and talked about repeats, print directions, and color combinations. Many sketched their ideas first before moving to paint and fabric, but some designers just jumped right into it.





After the paint dried, it was time to create an original project using the fabric. Campers could use other fabrics to make their project, but their fabric had to be the main fabric. Everyone made something different and it was very hard to choose a winner!






Remembering Mr. Rogers

The new documentary Won't You be My Neighbor was a wonderful reminder as both a teacher and parent of how to respond to, talk with, and show respect to children. I was part of the generation that grew up watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. He was a big part of my early childhood. My favorite was The Land of Makebelieve and hoping that Lady Evelyn would appear. She was a little bit wicked, and I liked that!

Sadly, my own children were not avid fans of the show. We tried a few times to get them to watch, but it didn't stick. We did have the opportunity to visit the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh when they had a big Mr. Rogers exhibit back in 2009.


The original pieces of the set brought back so many memories and it was fun to share them with my kids. They are so little in these photos - those overalls!


Looking at these pictures now, I see the wonder in their faces and know that they understand the power of Mr. Rogers.


Watching the documentary, I was reminded that it's important for every child to feel safe, loved, and acknowledged. So many times when working with children, I can begin to get impatient and am quick to judge and dismiss their feelings and ideas. Now, I'm not saying that children should be indulged and allowed to do whatever they want, but I do think that offering them the opportunity to share their ideas and stories helps children to feel heard. It's the kid version of venting.

So, as I start to think about a new school year (gasp!), I hope to hold on to the ideas and understanding of Mr. Rogers throughout the year (or at least for the first month!). Wouldn't it be nice if my classroom was as friendly as Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood? Maybe I need to break out my cardigans. I already have the Keds!