Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sewing Camp 101 – Day 1

Yesterday was an exciting day! The first day of So Sew Etc’s Sewing Camp 101 went off without a hitch! The participants kept busy and they appeared to be interested throughout the entire two hours. Some of you have expressed an interest in what I’m doing, how it’s going, and is why I’m writing this post.

After introductions and the initial sharing, we began by going over the items in a basic sewing kit. The first tool we practiced with was the seam ripper. I had prepared a scrap of fabric (for each participant) with a line of regular stitching and a basting line. The participants learned how best to hold and use the seam ripper without cutting the fabric’s thread or poking a hole in the fabric (or their finger!), and where it was to find the sharp “cutting” part of the ripper itself.

The last item we discussed was scissors and how to safely pass scissors to another person. (Thanks to my helper, Miss Gail, who caught this and seized the teaching moment!) Then we began our first sewing project: a “sleeve” to hold the scissors when not in use.

Ah, the act of threading a needle and tying the knot! We got it done! And, it was absolutely magical when the light bulb went off and one participant, that had issues tying the knot, got it!!! She was SO THRILLED! It truly warmed my heart to see such a wide smile on her face!

We also watched two videos I found on youtube:

One was on how thread is made (machinery, not spinning!)
The other on how fabric is made (also by machinery, not hand woven!)
(I hope I didn’t get the links reversed!)

They traced their name on fabric…

There was enough light coming in through the window that the printout I’d prepared showed up nicely from underneath the fabric/interfacing when simply laying the set on the table surface (rather than having to tape the printout and fabric piece on the window itself). I also explained, if it was night, or a cloudy day, how they could use the television set (turned on an off channel) and the light from the tv should be enough to trace anything!

The participants made the choice where to lay the fabric – straight or diagonal – before tracing lightly with a pencil. It’s also their choice what color to use, and if embroidery or sewing thread. I can hardly wait to see their finished project today!

We talked about what they could do with a simple square of fabric hand stitched with their name (a priceless item in years to come). A couple of participants offered some great ideas: one will give to her grandma to put in a quilt and another said she will frame it and hang in her room!

They had homework last night – sewing by hand:

  1. finish “sleeve” for their scissors from the Pellon and ribbon provided
  2. hand stitch over their names traced on a fabric square I had prepared with a backing of iron-on interfacing, then taped the edges with masking tape to prevent raveling while they worked on the project
Objectives I hope for the participants as they do projects during Sewing Camp time and at home:

Learn a new way of doing things
Follow directions
Practice good manners
Develop creative thinking
Develop critical thinking
How to thread a needle
How to tie knot in the end of thread
How to sew by hand
Create completed projects!

I'm off to get ready for today's camp! Day 2!

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