I made it to the end of a term of the first sewing club! Bless them, they are delighted with their drawstring bags and felt-book-pin cushions. We were sewing right to the end to get them finished, but I’m glad they get to take home two projects before Christmas.
I saw so many magic moments, it was worth the stress of cobbling together 4 half-dead sewing machines that were lent by parents. The first session started well as one of the parents, who runs an embroidery service, offered to come in and put each child’s name on one side of their bag. Watching the machine go was magic and we all shared that pure joy, as it created the letters. One child has a 12-letter long name, and it meant the world for her to have something personalised. Squeals of excitement when I opened up the fabric bag made me giggle – gotta love fabric however old you are.
As the lessons went on each week, the delight in the children’s eyes never faded as they whizzed fabric through the machines. I had them do a machine project and a hand-sewing project simultaneously, so they always had something to do if they were waiting to get onto a machine. They loved sitting, sewing and chatting and I very rarely managed to get them out on time!
It all nearly came to an end when I was told I had to be at a meeting every fortnight instead of running the club. But myself and my friend who helps run it decided we’ll keep going fortnightly. The sign-up letters went out last week and the little group were desperately anxious to get into next terms club. It’s all based on first-come-first-served and I know a few extra children were keen to give it a go, so I’ll have to wait and see who will be there next term. My plans for those who have already completed their bag is to help them make a pair of pyjama shorts.
While I am pleased I have managed to bring the delight of sewing into the hearts of 7 little people, it took a few weeks to get through to a couple of them. They were just so scared of trying new things. One girl wouldn’t go on a machine until the second week, another sat down and said she’d be rubbish at it and other such statements. Yes, now they’ve seen success they know that they can learn new things and no, they’re not rubbish. But what about all the children that didn’t even sign up? Are they frightened of trying new skills too? What world do we live in where 10 year olds think they are so useless that they shouldn’t even bother? Needless to say, I’ve reported my findings in the hope that perhaps across the school we can incorporate more skills lessons, risk taking and problem solving. However, my class have SATs in May, so that’s all that matters (don’t get me started).
Meanwhile – I am still yet to finish The Christmas Dress!
Term one skills we covered:
- Cutting out fabric using a template
- Zig zag stitching raw edges
- Sewing straight lines
- Hand sewing running stitch
- Keep calm and rethread
- Sewing on a button
- Cutting off excess
- Feeding through a cord
Plans for next term:
- Measuring waist and hips
- Choosing pattern size
- Tracing pattern
- Cutting out fabric from a pattern
- Feeding through elastic
- Turning up a hem
Please feel free to comment.