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I'm thinking of doing an after-school sewing club at the DC's school

(21 Posts)
BRANdishingMistletoe Wed 28-Nov-12 12:27:30

What sort of things would you recommend we make?

It's primary school and I think I might restrict it to the older classes, so ages 9 to 12 and I'd say the group size will be limited to 6-8. I would prefer to do things that can be hand-sewn, I could bring a couple of machines with me but it does take up time setting them up (especially as the tension always goes a bit odd when they are transported) and the children would need to be fairly closely supervised while they are using them. Each term is about 10 weeks long and the after-school clubs last for an hour, so I could do a couple of larger projects that take 2-3 weeks and some small things that can be done in an hour.

I would like to make things that they can use, and that might inspire them to make further things at home. My hobby is quilting, so I thought I might do something that is patchworked in strips (like a Christmas tree mat/trivet) that they could then utility quilt. I might also make a felt smart-phone/Nintendo DS case, the PTA have been having crafts sessions with the kids this week to make things to sell at the Christmas bazaar and some of the older kids have been making a simple felt phone case which they seemed to love doing. Maybe a roll-up pencil/pen holder or, if they have younger siblings, a roll-up toy car holder.

Links to books, blogs and websites would be very welcome.


NK346f2849X127d8bca260 Wed 28-Nov-12 12:44:00

Also get a helper who can sew as most children of that age will not have even seen how a needle is threaded!

wednesdaygirl Wed 28-Nov-12 13:48:42

You could do a christmas craft ie make small bags for raindeer food or tree decorations xx

BRANdishingMistletoe Wed 28-Nov-12 14:55:08

Tree decorations are a great idea. I won't be starting the club probably until next academic year, but stuffed or felt tree decorations would work really well.

halftermhurray Wed 28-Nov-12 14:57:19

How about a tooth holder for the tooth fairy (or for their younger siblings). Cut out white felt in shape of tooth and on one side embroider a face (few backstitched and 2 french knots for eyes). Then tack or blanket stitch round the outside. Very small so wouldn't take long. I saw it on Pinterest (or Craftgawker) and just made a couple for my DC. Quite cute!

halftermhurray Wed 28-Nov-12 14:58:49

The joys of french knitting? I used to absolutely love french knitting!!!

YDdraigGoch Wed 28-Nov-12 15:01:56

We tried sewing with our Brownies (7-10) and it was a nightmare! Mind you, there were 25+ of them and only 4 of us. Your need a ratio of 1:3 at least I'd say.

We did sewing in school in the sixties and seventies, in Juniors, and made aprons, little skirts out of gingham, with a pocket embroidered with our initials and an elasticated waist. We also embroidered on some very large weave fabric (no idea what it was called). How about getting them to make old fashioned samplers?

Have you thought about teaching them to knit or crochet too? It would be easy to teach them to make a nice scarf.

Seeline Wed 28-Nov-12 15:11:48

My DD spent 6 weeks last term (Y3) at an after school sewing club where they made sock monkeys. It took the full 6 weeks with lots of re-making and extra sewing after hours support from the two TAs who ran it. She loved it though! We had to make clothes for it over the summer holidays grin

BRANdishingMistletoe Wed 28-Nov-12 15:38:39

There is already a knitting club run by one of the teachers, which is over-subscribed. I can't crochet. blush

Old-fashioned samplers are cute, but a bit dull for young children as they take quite a while. <represses memories of how much I hated them as a child> I'm going to try and make stuff that is either irrestibly cute, like Christmas decorations, or that they can use , like iPod covers.

I'm going to stick my fingers in my ears and sing 'la la la' about your adventures with the Brownies YD. grin I'm hoping that limiting the club to 6 or 8 out of a possible 70-ish will mean that I'll only get the ones who want to do it.

Thanks, some great ideas here, especially the tooth thingy.

YDdraigGoch Wed 28-Nov-12 15:41:39

I think it will be fine with a small number - when we did it with Brownies I hadn't realised how little sewing children did these days (even though I have two DDs of my own). The girls were enthusiastic, but needed more individual support than we could give them.

strictlycaballine Wed 28-Nov-12 16:01:12

That's a brilliant idea Brandishing

I learnt to sew at primary school and have used the skills I was taught ever since. You will be giving those dcs a really valuable gift for life.

Really recommend this book which is available from second hand sellers via Amazon.

It formed the basis of the course we used at school. It was published in 1970, so some of the designs will seem a bit old-fashioned now (to put it mildly), but they can be easily adapted with ideas downloaded from the Internet. The main point about it is that it is an easily understood instruction book which takes children - via a logical succession of easy projects - through an entire sewing course from the very first steps ie cutting out, hand-stitching (running stitch, oversewing/back-stitch etc) through to appliqué, patchwork, quilting, embroidery etc. The second half of the book focuses on machine sewing, (pencil case, drawstring bag) through to making simple clothes.

Sorry to rave on but I still refer to it now if I have forgotten any basics and it's perfect for the age group you will be teaching!!

Just to give you an idea, the projects include:needlebook, felt brooch, pincushion, finger puppets, dolls house soft furnishings, stuffed animals and toys, dolls and dolls clothes, quilting, pictures (cross stitch house and alphabet); a shoulder bag, a purse belt (remember those?) clothes such as beach poncho and headband, and and easy skirt and top + slippers.

Good luck with it!!

redshoes Wed 28-Nov-12 16:18:52

How about lavender bags?

orangeandlemons Wed 28-Nov-12 16:34:02

We made these little pixie/fairymushroom things when I was about10. They were great.

Cut toilet roll in 1/2. Cover in felt. Cut dinner plate circle out of felt. Sew on sequins or bits of felt as decoration. Gather up edge of circle to fit toilet roll. Fill with wadding or sand/pebbles. The latter are best as they weight it down. Glue of sew top onto felt on base. Decorate base with windows doors etc (do this firstbefore placing on toilet roll) Theycan use all sorts of embroidery stitches and decoration. Bung a fairy or pixie on the top.

Can I just add, I teach Textiles, and believe me they know nothing at all.<shudders at the thought of yesterday's lesson where out of 20 y8's, only 2 managed to sew a seam, the rest jammed their machines>Tying knots in thread and threading needeles can take an entire lesson. I sometimes haveto have a whole lesson on tying knots and they STILL don't get it.

BRANdishingMistletoe Wed 28-Nov-12 19:41:19

More good ideas, thanks. I also just thought that I could make bunting with them, it would be quite quick if they cut the pennants with pinking shears instead of sewing two pieces together and turning them inside out. Mini-bunting is quite trendy for kids bedrooms now.

seventiescarpet Thu 29-Nov-12 10:44:31

I've done something similar- heartily recommend getting someone to help you- otherwise the whole lesson will be spent threading needles over and over! Best fabrics to use are felt and fleece, easy to hand sew and no hemming required. We made dolls and teddies, just by getting them to draw a large outline on a sheet of A4, then cuttting two, sewing,buttons for eyes with a fabric pen for details and stuffing (kids loved the stuffing part!) That led to a few inspired projects- mittens (by drawing round hands), monsters, was great to see their imagination being fired!
Other projects that worked were aprons,buntings and tote bags.
Agree with everyone above- kids aren't given the chance to learn basic sewing these days- It's a life skill thats needed.

lljkk Thu 29-Nov-12 19:24:46

DD's craft club are making Christmas cushions.

FreckledLeopard Fri 30-Nov-12 13:12:09

Well my DD is does textiles at school and is very much enjoying making little Christmas hats that are quite easy to make and look very cute! All you need is Woolley plaits and those cotton ball balls (cant remember the name sorry!!) and that's all! Also stuffed stars for Christmas or teddy bears which just needs felt cutouts in the shape of a teddy or star (2 per person) and cotton which you scuff inside the shapes free you've sewn the 2 cutouts half up, them you can just let them decorate them as they wish!

PeppermintCreams Fri 30-Nov-12 20:44:23

I've doing a beginners needlecraft course at my local children's centre and some of the things we are hand sewing are:

Bottle top felt pin cushions
Spirelli Christmas cards
Felt Christmas decorations
Pixie boots (No idea what this is doing it next week!)

You might be able to think of child friendly versions?

itsstillgood Sat 01-Dec-12 19:31:16

yoyos Are very very simple and don't show bad stitching so good for building confidence as they get a nice result first time. As a quilter you can probably make use of your scrap bag for it.

These fabric birds are also very simple and a nice spring project.

Frog egg warmer or any egg warmer - loads of patterns about.

Bags for easter egg hunts

Carrier bag holders would be good for Earth Day or Grandparent gifts

BRANdishingMistletoe Sat 01-Dec-12 19:52:41

More good ideas, thank you. That activity village website is lovely itsstillgood. Their fabrics aren't as pretty as mine (this is not a stealth boast, it's an overt boast). I could use some of my stash, and then I could buy more fabric even though I have enough to last two lifetimes.

Startail Sat 01-Dec-12 20:36:04

Definitely 9-12 only and as many helpers as possible.

I too have sewn with brownies.

I instantly knew why lots if craft kits say 8+.

The youngest ones simply don't have the fine motor control to thread needles or tie knots in thine thread.

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