Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Sewing School - July 2015

Last Thursday was our July meeting for Summer Sewing School. It was Nancy's turn to plan the project and she picked a precious one! You should have heard the "Oo's and Ah's" when the girls walked in and saw the project for the first time!


(No owls were hurt in the making of this project!
He is "perched" safely atop a vase and propped up by a dowel.
He is definitely NOT skewered as it may appear!)

As usual, we had a sign-up sheet at church where the girls had a couple of weeks to let us know they were coming. We always prepare the kits ahead of time, and since we knew who would be there (we had a slightly younger class this time), Nancy did a little prep work ahead of time. She went ahead and sewed the white eyes on the owl since sewing inside a tight circle might be a little frustrating for some of the newer seamstresses. She also folded a piece of ribbon for a nose and secured it under the eyes before sewing them down.


When the girls arrived, the owls were laid out on a table along with a tin of straight pins. The fronts are a cute multi-colored cotton print and the backs are white minky fabric. 


Nancy took a moment to walk everyone through all the steps before turning the girls loose.

The girls picked up their owls and proceeded to Step 1.


Nancy had some flags that she had made for her grandson's birthday party to mark the various steps and display instructions for the girls. (Tip - always hold on to your party decorations and find ways to reuse them. It's more bang for your buck and effort!) 

In Step 1, the girls sewed on the black eyes using a simple "X" stitch. Nancy had already threaded the needles and knotted the thread.


Some of the girls can thread a needle, but we didn't want the younger ones to become frustrated. This little bit of handwork allowed them to practice finding where to come up from the backside of fabric and also how to tie off.



Once they finished this step, they went back to the first project table and pinned the owls right sides together.


Next they headed to the machines to stitch the owl together.
They were instructed to leave a 2" opening in the bottom.


Another table was set up for stuffing. Several of the girls compared this to making their own Build A Bear. I wish I had thought of that ahead of time. I could have made little "hearts" to put inside!


Here you can see the cute minky fabric on the back of the owl.
Not only were they precious, they were soft and cuddly!


Step 4 - They're almost done!


In the last step, they learned how to whipstitch and closed up their owls. They also tied a ribbon bow and attached it. Some used it as a hairbow, but a couple made them into bowties!


Again, Nancy was prepared and had pins
and threaded and knotted needles ready for the girls.


For a little bonus project, Nancy took some fabric scraps and sandwiched fusible interfacing between two pieces and ironed it. Then she used her Big Shot and a large metal die to cut out little book covers, along with some notebook paper for inside. She stitched them together ahead of time, along with a ribbon bookmark. The girls then decorated them with flowers and a title label that reads "An owl story by _______". 


Ashlyn and her finished projects!


Our class was a little smaller than usual, but everyone had a great time, and they all agreed that the owls were their favorite project so far!

That wraps up Summer School 2015, but we're already gathering ideas for next summer! I hope the girls will enjoy using the projects we made this summer and that they will pursue some sewing activities on their own throughout the year! Until next summer...

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