The first two sessions were super successful! Thank you to the kids and parents for making this happen. I had 4 students in Week One and 9 in Week Two, ages ranging from 5-8 yrs., and each session was three mornings during the week. I’ll keep you posted on late summer and fall classes.
I was nervous about teaching, wondering if I could relay what I know to the kids, if I could keep them interested and if I could handle a bunch of kids for 3 hours at a time. Turns out, they taught me a lot and the time flew by. I was able to teach them how to sew and they revealed to me how smart and capable they are. They were sewing within minutes and my habit of over-explaining things went out the window. They just needed a short demo and encouragement. Each student is individual, working at their own pace — some just getting the task done and others relishing in the process, but all eager to show their accomplishments. I love how one girl just flat out said she did not want to learn to braid ribbon. That was fine because her energy went into kicking the soccer ball like nobody’s business during the break. The kids had a great time together. They could not wait to come back to class and were eager to sew with their Grandmas over vacation. How great is that!
I gave each student a sewing kit for them to use during class and to take home on the last day. They also received a goodie bag with fabric scraps, ribbon and yarn to continue their projects at home.
They first learned to sew the running stitch with plastic needles and yarn through burlap. Within minutes they were sewing. They sewed on a button and shrieked with delight! One student threw her hands in the air in victory.
We moved on to ball point metal needles, sewing the running stitch on cotton squares and sewing their first seams. Again, shrieks of delight, amazed that fabric can be sewn together like that! It didn’t matter if the stitches were large, small or even straight, it was all fantastic. Lots of needles came unthreaded and knots were hard to tie, but they were undeterred.
We took a break and they refueled with a snack, engaged in a light saber duel and we sang a few rounds of “Frere Jacques” and “Over the Rainbow”. Week Two’s group was divided at break but vetoed any singing: a few kept sewing; a few ran crazy outside and kicked the soccer ball; some waited for the snacks. I tried to serve good snacks, fruit and crackers, alien muffins (blueberry muffins gone awry…) and Pirate Booty, because I didn’t think hopping them up on sugary snacks and letting kids with needles go to work was smart…plus I planned on showing them how to use the sewing machine. My favorite quote was, “I don’t like apples, I don’t like crackers, do you have any bacon?” Love that kid.
With right sides together, they stitched up their main project by hand, a tote/treasure bag or a pillow. We finished off each one on the sewing machine, attaching the handles and sewing the end pillow seam after stuffing them, and they were thrilled. They were able to complete some additional projects: a ribbon flower; a whip stitched cat face; a ribbon braid; and a quilt block. It was so wonderful to see the students excited about all the things they can make! Looking forward to a reunion class and more classes in the fall. JOY!!