Welcome to Sewing School

 Hi!  I'm glad you're here!  I wanted to take through Sewing School - tell you about some projects, how the book is designed, and what you'll find inside.

Sewing School has been a long time coming - at least 3 years since the idea entered our heads and 1 1/2 years in production.   As Andria and I searched for cute, modern patterns to use in our Sewing School camp, we became frustrated.  There just wasn't anything we loved out there.  Everything seemed too baby or required too much adult help.  Slowly, we began to develop our own patterns and found tools and techniques that worked with kids.  This became Sewing School. We wanted a book that was kid-friendly but also looked liked the adult sewing books we love.  Justin's photos and Storey's design made this a reality.

So, let's have a look!

 While the book is written for kids, we are mindful that most kids will require adult support, at least in the beginning.  In the front of the book there is a great Introduction for Adults that will guide parents, teachers, and other adults how to sew with kids.  We even included our secrets for running a successful sewing camp and club.
Next up is the kids' introduction which covers all the basics in simple language.  We don't go into major details for everything - we want to get kids started knowing that they will gain better understanding of sewing as they practice.
The best part is the step-by-step photo directions that accompany each skill and project.  This is something that was super important for me.  When I teach sewing to kids, I have found that by having a photo illustration of the step along with simple directions ensures success.  Draw illustrations are not the same.  I love that kids will be seeing other kids make the projects.  Jessica Armstrong, the book's designer, was amazing in how she got this concept and even added little arrows and tips to help make the pictures come alive.
All of the 21 projects are essentially blank slates ready for kids to embellish and make them unique.  They are useful projects that have a place in your everyday life.  We love how the projects are divided into categories such as "Hug," "Wear," and "Hold."  There is also a Recycle and Repair chapter which includes simple mending and recycled fabric projects.

The projects are rated by stars from easy to more difficult, so you can judge your level.  We don't tell kids what colors to use or how to embellish - that's up to them.  Andria and I want to see kids use sewing as a creative outlet.
Yes, machine sewing is included!  There are 2 projects (My Very Own Skirt and Get to Work Apron) that require machine sewing.  The beauty is that while we give hand-sewing directions for all other projects, most could easily be machine sewn.  While we don't spend a lot of time on how to use a machine, a kid could gain a better understanding of how to machine sew by looking at the step-by-step directions for the machine sewing projects.
Andria collected the best quotes of kids along the way, and the book is peppered with them.  We also tried to capture all kids, from super-hero boys to girly girls to pre-teens.
Throughout the book there are sidebars with tips and ideas such as how to have your own stuffed-animal vet clinic or a list of sewing themed story books.
The Make It Yours section offers other child-made examples of projects along with ideas on how to embellish or change it up. 
At the end is the pattern pocket!  I love this - full-sized patterns!!!  Kids can cut out the patterns and then store them in the pocket.  All in a wire-bound book.  The little ruler on the back cover is genius.

Next week, I'll share some more from the book such as our favorite projects and a little about the kids in the book.  If you want to see more, Amazon now has the Look Inside feature for Sewing School - woo hoo!   


kristin said...

it looks SO awesome Aime!! congratulations!!! i can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Lissy said...

WOW this looks like a great book! And I can get it here in Australia through fishpond!

Amie Plumley said...

Thanks, guys! And Lissy, I'm glad you can get it down under. There will also be an Australian version coming out in spring 2012! (but who can wait that long?!)

Heather said...

Just picked this up at Borders last night after seeing it in person! I was so excited. It looks super! My daughter is going to LOVE it.


Amie Plumley said...

Yea Heather! Be sure to post your daughter's projects on our Flicker site. I want to see too!

jenny_lisk said...

Hi - wanted to let you know that yesterday we hosted a "build-a-bear / sewing" birthday party for 6yo daughter using your book and it was a big hit! I found no-sew stuffed dogs on amazon (similar to those at build-a-bear store, but smaller); kids stuffed them, made out the birth certificate, etc. Then at other stations they made a "dog bed" (your So Soft Pillow project in the book), collar, and leash. They cut the fabric for the bed, added dog's name and other decoration with fabric crayons, adults used iron to set the color, and all the 5 and 6 year olds managed a passable running stitch to put it together. (8yo son did a nice whip stitch instead.) They cut felt for dog's collar, to which I added a snap. They cut purple cords for leashes, and I tied a handle loop and a small loop for putting collar through. They also colored the tshirts that came with the dogs with the fabric crayons. All the kids were thrilled that they made these things themselves. I had another mom helping, in addition to my husband and me. We had 7 kids total (birthday girl, her brother, and 5 guests). It was a big hit. Wanted to let you know and perhaps encourage others to consider the same! Thanks for writing such an awesome book! Next I'm going to use it to plan a sewing lesson for our Daisy Scout troop.