Today was DAY2 of a kid’s sewing camp that I’m running in my studio. I first showed them around the workings of a sewing machine and had them head off to thread the one they’d be working on. I figure if you can do that, you can go off and make something whenever you want. I imagine I will reteach it tomorrow morning, and then the next day. I hope that at the end of the week, they will have the confidence to take out their machines at home and get busy – and even change their bobbin color if they want. We started the sewing fun by stitching all over a square of canvas with any or all of the stitches available on the Janome machines in the room. I was taken by the enthusiasm. I had to re-thread a lot of machines and had to take a couple throat plates off to remove tangles of thread clogging the work, but mostly the room was filled by the whir of sewing machines. Very cool. Though nobody finished the main project for the day – pillowcases with decorative stitches along the opening (as seen in Improv Sewing, of course) – they all got close and they look great!
At one point, a girl looked at a long row of stitches she made (some fancy utility stitch) and saw that some were squashed and some stitches were skipped and her line wasn’t perfectly straight. I could feel her tighten up next to me and then she asked if she could take them all out and start over ( over a foot of stretch stitches – not easy to remove!). I looked at her and told her that she shouldn’t because when she is done, she will look back at all of her rows and this one might be her most favorite because it is unique and textural and clearly not made in some factory, but by her. I really didn’t think she was going to buy it, but I was totally genuine (you all probably know I really do feel that way) and she slowly said, “Okay”. What a relief!
Here are the happy campers with their finished pillowcases – each one unique and gorgeous!
I planned my whole camp week without even looking at the Sewing School Blog but then had a chance a couple of days ago and read this, which I thought I’d share. The women who run this place wrote a great book for kids who want to sew called, you guessed it, Sewing School. It would make a great gift for any aspiring sewist in the under 12 set. Reading their blog reminded me that I want the kids to really be creative and put their mark on their work. I will do my best to provide the basics and then set them loose.
If I can get to posting the shots, next up are the finished dresses they made today. Most are still working on the reverse applique, but everyone actually made a dress from a big old thrifted t-shirt!