I have two sisters who showed absolutely no interest in sewing when we were kids. On the other hand, I was very intrigued with my grandma’s ability to make things by sewing. I spent a lot of time at her house in Georgia during summer vacation. I would stand by her side, aching to sit at the machine and make it hum for me. My mother also did a lot of sewing when I was growing up. She didn’t let me stand at her side and watch too long, however. Probably because I drove her crazy with questions. I would watch her from the door of the sewing room in our basement. When she got up from the machine, i would run and sit at it, pretending to sew. (I couldn’t have been more than 7 years old.)
I learned to use a sewing needle and thread at an early age (5) because my Grandma had patience to teach me during summer vacation, and I’m sure I would have bugged her to death had she not let me try. I got the hang of it pretty quick from what I recall. I made so many doll clothes that summer, I could hardly fit them in my suitcase when it came time to go home. A few years went by and my interest in sewing never waned, so my daddy surprised me with my very own sewing machine. It was a gift from an old friend of his who had an antique Singer machine, operated by a foot treadle. That winter, my mom finally bought me my very own sewing kit, equipped with a pair of shears (fabric scissors) and tailors chalk and a pack of needles and some thread and marking paper. I was so excited to use all of it right away. Mom and I went to the store to buy a pattern for me to try. I was well on my way to my very first machine sewing experience. I’m sure that I was literally jumping up-and-down.
With this experience fresh in mind, I launch into a new teaching venture for my Summer Art Camp classes. I have presented 6 different lesson plans for a variety of textile lessons for little girls to have fun with sewing this summer during the Blue Ridge Mountains Art Association’s BRMAA Summer Youth Art Camp
Last week, June 23-26, 2015, was the first week of Summer Art Camp and my Sewing with Felt class was a big hit with five students ranging in ages 6-10. We made rice filled, pocket size, hand warmers by sewing together felt pieces and filling them with grain. Simple hand sewing techniques were taught. They learned three basic stitches: straight stitch, back stitch and whip stitch. We had fun making them into penguin and kitty cat shapes.(Penguin project) (Pocket Kitty Image) We also made a handy little pouch in the shape of an owl adding a ribbon strap for carrying (Owl Pouch image from Pinterest, Joanns.com). Glitter glue was used to decorate the owl pouch when the students finished sewing it up. All girls love glitter! The younger students had to have some help when it came to threading the needle and knotting the thread, but the three older students caught on quickly. All of them completed their projects gleefully and displayed them for photographing as you can see below. Two students continued to practice their straight stitches by creating pouch bags using ribbon and felt to carry all of their creations home after Show-and-Tell on Friday. It was a very fun group to teach.
Stay tuned for more as the classes fill up and continue through the month of July, 2015.