Tag Archives: craft

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

Beginner Basket Making

For the last couple of days when not toiling in the garden or experimenting in the kitchen, I’ve been at a basket making course. It’s offered a few times a year and I’ve wanted to take it ever since I first moved here.   With all five of my children off to school, I took the opportunity to get away. Continue reading

How To Make A Lined Zipper Pouch–Beginner Sewing Project 4

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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

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

Homemade Christmas Gifts for Nieces and Nephews

One thing I've learned from having five children is how much they all love pillows.

One thing I’ve learned from having five children is how much they all love pillows.

Continue reading

Crochet Tea Cozy Pattern

The Aran Fisherman Tea Cozy

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In the cool Irish climate, I quickly became accustomed to wearing a sweater most of the year. So did my pot of tea. Cozies keep a pot of tea hot for so long that they’re useful any time of the year. And they’re just so darn cute!!

The Aran Islands have a worldwide reputation for their tradition of producing beautiful knit sweaters. My love for crochet (and inability to knit) led me to dabbling with recreating the traditional Irish hand-knit stitches in the best way I knew how. This tea cozy is one of the results.

Though there are a couple of different interpretations out there about the meaning of each Aran stitch, that they each have their own meaning is never disputed. In this design, the straight cables are the fisherman’s rope. The diamonds symbolize success and wealth, and in their centre is the bobble representing a net full of fish. I’ve been told that the outline of a fish or two is visible as well. What do you think? Continue reading

Mum, how many days until Santa comes?

Rows of numbered squares sewn as pockets to a background which is then batted, backed, bias tape bound, and somewhat quilted together and, voila, an advent calendar is materialised–pun intended, obviously. 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

Who wants to teach sewing?

Learning to sew was the greatest gift of my childhood.  For as long as I can remember, I have been a seamstress.  Sewing is the one thing that I have to offer for sale or barter with absolute unshakable confidence and pride.  I’ve always wanted to give back to the art form that gives so much joy to me therefore, teaching was a natural and obvious choice.   Each month, starting in one month, I will post one of the five project tutorials that I have loved teaching to local children over the last year. They are each designed (and have been used) as a curriculum.  I believe others could use them to offer classes that generate income, same as I have done.  The thorough tutorials will facilitate that. Someone with a basic level of sewing could teach them.  I suggest you complete each tutorial yourself before teaching so it will be familiar–you will also have created a sample finished product which is very helpful for referring to when instructing.  If teaching is not your intent, then maybe you will enjoy making for yourself or as gifts.

What better way to provide than to teach others to provide for themselves?”

you  can buy fabric                                you can't use up creativity

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