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
“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.
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.
Happy August everyone, my favourite month of all. Síocháin agus sláinte mhaith, peace and good health, Melissa Xx
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
A side view shows the base that helps it to sit upright and a view of the inside gives a peak at the coordinating lining.
Welcome to lesson four of my five beginner sewing project tutorials. This project repeats most of the skills acquired in the first three lessons and introduces inserting a zipper and a lining. Neither are too difficult, and both are invaluable basic skills that open up many future project possibilities. This project looks time intensive, but like the others before, it’s easily taught within the four-hour class time, allowing for warm-up exercises and a twenty-minute break. I should add here that I have the fabrics pre-cut for students and they choose the combination of elements–zip, ribbon, lining and main fabric. I’ve put in lots more pictures because they can sometimes speak clearer to you than the written instructions. Don’t ever hesitate to ask me for help with anything. Continue reading
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
This week I will be posting Beginner Sewing Lesson 3, but first another info worksheet. At the beginning of the second and third class, after warming up on paper (see teaching tips at bottom of this post for printable sheets), I have students sew straight parallel lines on pre-cut scraps of fabric, each 8″ or so. After each line is sewn, I adjust the stitch length smaller and then larger so they do a variety of tighter and looser stitches. Why? So they can rip it all out of course! Practicing with a seam ripper is a good idea before the inevitable necessity of doing it on an actual project. Not to say they will never have an oops! on a project (we all do), but they will perhaps be more attentive in their work once they realize correcting mistakes is not as fun as avoiding them in the first place. And the different stitch lengths helps them understand how much tighter a small stitch length is compared to a larger one. Adding zig-zag stitch (for a challenge) or two fabrics together (this is more realistically what they will be sewing) is another idea. Heck, if time allows you could have them cut the fabric scraps after marking with ruler and chalk, then four tools would be practiced. I reuse the scraps from class to class so this is not so practical for me, but if you’ve got the spare fabric (old sheets work great) then go for it! Continue reading
As I prepare to post Beginner Sewing Project 3, I realize there is something else that I incorporate with my classes–info worksheets. Understanding sewing machines, tools, and terminology is important to become an independent sewist. This first worksheet explains the very basics of motorized machines (electronic machines vary and manuals should be consulted). Continue reading
Reversible Book Cover Tutorial
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