Sewing Summer Camp

Learning To Love Sewing

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A colourful selection of make and paint your own totebags.

I fell in love with sewing at age seven and the passion has never waned.  Taught at my grandmother’s knee, I went on to learn about industrial sewing and design at my first professional position and then tailoring at the next.  I was blessed to have not only one teacher but three phenomenal women to mentor me, all who spent a good portion of their lives behind the machine developing their sewing skills.  Sure, there were periods of my life that demanded the time I would’ve otherwise spent on sewing, but I knew that someday I’d go on to teach others too.  After spending my lifetime learning the craft (and still so much I’ve yet to know) I’ve chosen to devote the little teaching time I have to children.  In some ways it’s like some of me lives on through their creations and, more importantly, the dying art of sewing might live on through their hands, their hearts, and their imaginations.

needle, thread, concentration

fabric, scissors, imagination

a bit of time, a new creation 

a well-deserved jubilation

×××××

This year’s sewing summer camp was as much fun as it was busy.  I added three new projects to last years four and they were mastered by all.  I purchased and borrowed a couple of extra machines and the class sizes were nearly doubled.  At moments it seemed as hectic as bartending on a Saturday night with everyone calling my name to give them attention, but thankfully I wasn’t going it alone as Margaret Maeve and Johnny were there to assist me.

I didn’t get as many pictures of the finished projects as I would’ve liked but I think the ones below express the atmosphere very well– the various fabrics and tools used, the children’s focused concentration, the pride in their accomplishments, as well as the workload we undertook.  It’s truly the kind of work that has rewards much greater than a paycheck could ever furnish and I’m already planning the new projects for next year.

Click on any picture to start a slide show…

I appreciate the children and parents who support my summer camps and also those of you that take the time to visit and read what I share.

Thanks!  Melissa Xx

Children’s Sewing Day Camps on Inis Mor

 

Sewing is very much like engineering: you’re building something. You have to plan ahead, visualize the finished project, and understand how each step creates the foundation for the next one.

It’s also good for children’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, but the mental exercises are just as valuable.  Problem-solving, perseverance and patience can all be learned from sewing. Following instructions and organizing abilities are also gained.

Each day camp teaches beginner sewing skills to children and is suitable for ages 6 years and up, boys and girls.

They’ll be taught to operate a basic sewing machine and use sewing tools as they complete a project each day.

Camps are held July 25-28, August 1-4. Each single day camp is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A single day is €30 and any additional days are €25 each.  Children bring a bag lunch and everything else is provided.

There are 7 projects in total with loads of boys & girls fabric choices for each.

20150806_140431July 25– Pillow with two front pockets— Great for first time sewists, the pillow has one clear vinyl photo pocket over a second felt pocket.

July 26– Lunch bag with waterproof, washable, breathable, and mildew proof lining.  Features fold top with velcro closure. Has a clear vinyl window to personalize.

July 27– Waterproof drawstring backpack with inside pocket.  Great for swim lessons.

20150805_145524 (4)July 28– Reversible A5 book cover with pen holder and bookmark.  Book and pen included.

Aug 1– Sew then colour your own tote bag.  Includes a set of ten colourful permanent markers.  Strap colours include pink, orange, yellow, red, blue, and black.

Aug 2– Set of three fabric nesting storage boxes. A great beginner project

Aug 3– Half-fold wallet with zipper closure for coins and bills, three 20150727_140340card pockets, clear vinyl photo holder, and velcro tabs to keep securely closed.

Aug 4– Waterproof drawstring backpack with inside pocket.

To register, check for availability, or to get more information, contact me here, call or text me at 087 315 2279, or send me an email at aranislandgirl@yahoo.com.    Cheers, Melissa

click on any photo to start a slide show…

How to say it all in a few words

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My world, mainly Inis Mor, is not as small as it may seem and neither are the events which are experienced here. Trying to succinctly express feelings derived from events, relationships, and interactions can be challenging at times.

Some moments are just too grand to capture briefly; often when done so, it is divine timing or serendipity or one’s exceptional gifts that has guided the achievement.  Many of the best poets are admired for this talent–their eloquence in conveying what most others are unable to find the words to accurately describe. Continue reading

Those random memories that make you smile no matter what is going on in your life.

“Let’s go out and make memories of this place,” said one of my eight year old sewing camp students to her nine year old counterpart. I smiled. Projects completed, it was time for the unstructured freedom to explore their surroundings until parents arrived for their collection.

20150730_160404 They were the first to discover the nine new ducklings following their mama duck to the pond.  I was as excited as everyone and the two explorers were feeling proud to share their find.

Another thing for all the children to be proud of– here’s a collage of the sewing memories (lunch bags) made by the young students earlier that day.

lunchbag collage

Happy August everyone, my favourite month of all.  Síocháin agus sláinte mhaith, peace and good health, Melissa Xx

Sewing Summer Camp for Children

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Sewing is very much like engineering: you’re building something. You have to plan ahead, visualize the finish project, and understand how each step creates the foundation for the next one.

It’s also good for children’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, but the mental exercises are just as valuable.  Problem solving, perseverance, and patience can all be learned from sewing. Following instructions and organizing abilities are also gained. Continue reading

How To Make A Drawstring Backpack–Beginner Sewing Project 3

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Four of my children’s bags–two made by them, two made by me.

Instructions for Backpack-14” wide x 16 1/2” long–This tutorial is pretty straight forward and is a nice step up from the basics taught in project one and project two. There are a couple new skills used–making a casing and then stringing the cording through, and top stitching for extra strength (as well as giving the bag a nice detailed look).  Match your thread to the base color or use a coordinating thread that stands out; you can’t go wrong either way.  Continue reading

How To Make A Reversible Book Cover with Pen Holder and Bookmark–Beginner Sewing Project 2

Reversible Book Cover Tutorial

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It’s was time to think about Christmas gifts for my children’s school teachers and also about getting a move on making the next sewing tutorial.  Again, I completed both tasks in the one go.    Continue reading

How to Make a Picture Pocket Pillow–Beginner Sewing Project 1


Picture Pocket Pillow Tutorial

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Here’s my first sewing tutorial.  Hope you enjoy!                                                                             Continue reading

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