One of the criteria Nancy and I use to choose projects for SSS (Summer Sewing School) is that it be something the kids can actually use. It also should teach or reinforce a basic sewing skill. I showed you last week how we made the Mason Jar Pincushions. Today I'll show you how to make these easy sew bookmarks.
I began by gathering my supplies. I decided these were so simple and inexpensive that I wanted each girl to be able to make two. (We charge $5 per class to cover our supplies. For this class, I had to purchase the mason jars, straight pins, safety pins, buttons, ribbon, and fabric. We don't always get 100% of our investment back, but we come close. We also try to use materials from our own stashes when possible.) I purchased two one yard lengths of fabric from Joann Fabrics. It was 30% off. I bought two rolls of 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, but didn't notice that the pretty gray pattern didn't have as much on it, so I pulled a roll of white grosgrain out of my personal stock. The buttons were on sale, too.
We always take time to prepare the "kits" at home so that we can focus on sewing with the girls. I cut the fabric into 6"x10" rectangles and ironed them flat.
I cut the ribbon into 12" lengths and then used sharp scissors to trim the edges to make them pretty and keep them from fraying.
Using a hot steam iron, I folded in the long (10") sides in 1/2" inch and then pressed them. I keep this ruler in a basket in my laundry room where I iron so I can have it handy when pressing seams. I have used it so long the black has worn off the measurements. I've marked a few lines with black Sharpie to make them easier to see. The metric side is in fine shape, though! Go figure.
Next I folded and pressed the short (6") sides in 1/2" inch.
Then I folded them in half lengthwise and pressed.
Above you can also see how I folded the corners into points to make them neater.
This is optional, but I think it looks better.
Add the ribbon to the middle and pin in a few places.
I have taught the girls to begin their sewing with three stitches forward and three back (backstitch) to secure the thread before going forward. I began in the top left and worked around being careful to square off my corners.
You can see below that I used the right edge of my presser foot as a guide. I also moved my needle to the far right. End with a three stitch backstitch and trim threads. (Did you know these thread scraps are called orts? Seriously! Not sure why, but I guess it's because I always say, "I ort not throw these on the ground and make a big mess...")
Finish by sewing on a coordinating button. Press the bookmark again if needed. I always have samples prepared ahead of time so the girls can see the finished project. I also have directions typed up for the ladies who are helping the girls.
There you go! I've got one of my samples tucked in my favorite EO book. It has a lot of great EO recipes and useful info. I highly recommend it if you're an oiler.
Here's my neice with her finished projects. As I mentioned, my mother has recently retired and she worked with us that night helping the girls to sew. On the way home, she told me how surprised she was with the skills many of the girls already have. As I reminded her, this was their third year of SSS. They're learning a lot, and they're exciting about using their new skills!
You'll have to check back next month to see what projects Nancy has cooked up for our second class. I know, but I'm not telling. But trust me, it's really cute! You'll love it as much as the girls will!
I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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