Thursday, June 24, 2010

370 Camp Katie's House

Somehow I managed to volunteer myself to teach Katie and Mia to sew. I am not a seamstress. I can sew straight lines, and I have been known to knock together some quilt blocks on occasion. My mom taught me to sew when I was in Girl Scouts. I remember my first project. I sewed a pair of simple shorts. The fabric was yellow and had comic strips on it. Dagwood if I remember correctly. In college I started making quilt blocks. Sewing by hand at first until my mom bought me my first sewing machine (yes, that is the one the girls are learning on as well, although I have since bought another). I have tried to sew clothing ... it never goes very well. I have sewn stuffed animals and a doll, and that is a little better but only because it is not an exact type thing. In other words, I am not the best person to teach ANYONE to sew. Much less an eight year old and a seven year old. But here we are, "camp" started Thursday.

I would have preferred to have Connor down for a nap, but it didn't happen this time. The girls were very excited. AND SILLY ....And of course Connor could not be outdone by the girls stickng their tongues out.Mama Carrie's Tips for a Successful Sewing Camp

1. Let them pick out their own fabric.
(1a. steer them toward the sale tables)
Katie and I dropped into Hancock fabric. I couldn't resist the Siren's call of 50% banners all across the front of the store. Katie could not resist all the color. Apparently I am raising a hippie chick ... albeit a very materialistic hippie (one day I will explain the irony of this to her).
2. DO NOT LET THEM USE THE NEWLY PURCHASED FABRIC! Break out the old stuff that you bought off the dollar table when Walmart had a real craft section.
3. Start small. A pillow seems like a simple enough project.
4. If at all possible, pre-cut squares of fabric (even better if you pre-cut them 3 years ago for another project that you never got around to actually doing, so that you did not have to really do anything)
5. Helpful Hint, do not have a fire in your house. This does not seem related, but trust me, the cleaning people will put your stuff where you CANNOT find it!! That tomato pin cushion that has been on a shelf in your "craft room" for eons is now no where to be found. Cleaning people have no respect for your organizational skills.
6. After finally rounding up enough pins, teach the kids to pin together their two squares of fabric.
7. You will give up and end up pinning the squares yourself. Otherwise there will be a pin every inch.
8. Do NOT use the squares you have pinned together. Grab two more for them to practice sewing speed.
9. Carefully explain the importance of keeping your fingers clear of the needle.
10. Remember to lock your stitches, they will not get it or remember it, but do it anyway.11. After sewing around three sides, STOP.
12. Turn the fabric right side out and say "look, its a little bag". They will now discuss how it looks like an American Girl "sack race" bag ... This will get them off on a tangent where they will talk about their American Girl dolls. (try not to bang your head on the table, this too shall pass)
13. EUREKA! You can turn these "bags" into "purses" Grab another piece of fabric, cut in half. Fold in half and sew along the edge. Repeat. Turn over the raw edge, pin on the handles ... Sew it yourself because the girls have lost interest by now.
14. Try not to laugh uncontrollably when they start talking about selling purses ... and making hundreds of dollars. Use your Mom voice to explain to them that maybe when they get better at sewing they could do that. (do not crush their dreams ... do not crush their dreams ... do not crush their dreams)
15. Be thankful that the girls are only 7 and 8 because they really love the purse you just made. They are incredibly proud of their accomplishment. You are an AWESOME mom (for now)! Take a few pics to commemorate the occasion. They will never be this happy over a crappy purse again.

16. Put up their pinned squares. Maybe next week we will make pillows. There is a whole summer ahead of us, and I am in no hurry.

17. Oh, and don't forget that the two year old wants his own bag. Do not put handles on it because Dad would not appreciate you making his son a purse.

18. Rub your temples. Take some Tylenol.


MaryBeth said...

oh Carrie
this is such a wonderful thing to do!
I wish i lived just down the road, so you could teach me.
The photos are absolutely wonderful!
What will this duo make next??

Rayven Victori said...

How precious!! My mother started teaching me how to sew last year and, oddly enough, she feels your pain. In orther words, I'm 7...& 1/2.

The kiddos are so friggin adorable! Enjoy the break between sessions :)

Gertie said...

HAHA! You're such a funny lady :0)


Anonymous said...

Great job!! My dad actually taught me how to sew. He made tents and leather pants for hunting.

Av Man

Anonymous said...

Yes, Carter always runs for the purse at the gym childcare center. Daddy loves that!