Sunday, June 27, 2010

the kids love to sew!

Just finished my second week of art camp, this week being "Super Crafty". It was a ton of fun and the kids were truly into the projects, which, of course, makes me easy and happy. The best day was Wednesday, when we did sewing projects. They were unstoppable and didn't even want to take our mid-morning popcorn break. They worked straight through until lunch time on the most adorable and varied collection of stuffies. Some finished more quickly and got busy on hair elastic decorations, bracelets, and even a hat made from a felted sweater that turned out beautifully.

If you are interested in knowing how to make the bracelets, head here- I developed and made these for Family Fun last year and they are so pretty and easy to do.

What you'll need:
felted wool sweaters
paper and pencils
embroidery thread and blunt needles (we used tapestry needles)

1) Draw your design on a piece of paper. I told them to keep everything simple and to avoid small arms and digits since they are tricky to sew and stuff by hand and still have them be the way you meant them to be. I encouraged them to think of their stuffies as really cute pillows. A couple kids chose to add felt arms and legs that weren't stuffed and they looked fantastic. Also, many kids tend to draw things that are smallish when given a regular sheet of paper. Encourage them to use at least half of the sheet- it just makes it easier.
2) Cut 2 pieces of wool that are a little bigger than the cut out pattern. Turn them so the right sides are together and pin the pattern to one side so it doesn't shift. Trace around the pattern with the chalk, remove the pattern piece, re-pin, and cut the pattern.
3) Remove the pins again and use felt and buttons to create the face and other details on one of the pieces- be sure to stitch them to the "right" side (the side you would wear out if wearing the sweater). If adding felt arms and legs, cut them out but don't stitch them on yet. When you sew up the stuffie, they will be sewn into the seam.
4) When you are ready to sew up the body, turn right sides together and pin in place. If you are adding arms and legs, sandwich them in place so they are facing in between the 2 "right" sides. The edges should touch the edges of the body so they will be stitched into the seam. Knot the end of the embroidery thread and use a running stitch all the way around the body, leaving a gap of a few inches for stuffing.
5) Turn right side out and stuff with fluffy filling- polyfill, wool, cotton balls. Stitch the hole up.

Next time, a whole week of sewing projects.

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