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Forum > Creative Sewing > Teaching a bunch of Girls Scouts to sew need advice ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Teaching a bunch of Girls Scouts to sew need advice
I was thinking a small pillow cover & form?
PolishPoppy
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PolishPoppy  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/1/12 8:29 PM

I really (REALLY) do need advice, cause my daughter's in the class and I cannot embarrass her.

(1) I was thinking of getting the small 10inch round pillow forms from Joann's (unless there are smaller ones or cheaper ones?)
(2) Pre-cutting the material for the girls
(3) Putting the material right-sides together and teaching them to hand sew....but which stitch to teach 7 year olds?
(4) Bringing in the sewing machine to show how quickly and other ways the task can be done
(5) Should I bring in the iron and board? Or is that too much?
I would have an hour to get them the basics taught....
Please advise or add or subtract.... :)



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Date: 2/1/12 8:39 PM

With my boy scouts, I made a half apron base, had them choose the fabric for pockets, let them cut them out and taught a blanket stitch to attach it to the apron with embroidery thread. The embellishments were done with fabric glue, but it did count for their badge.

Girls have more attention span then boys. I know that an elderly woman in a nursing home used to make pillows and stuff them by hand with a simple running stitch, and an overcast to close it that might be easier and teach the basics to your troop. Cutting the fabric would be easier, and allow you the ability to buy "cooler" fabric since you're not getting forms.

Whatever you decide to do, keeping it simple will be a lot easier on the kids AND you.

sewme47
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sewme47
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Date: 2/1/12 9:00 PM

We did something similar to Elaina. I brought in pillow cases from Walmart and some pre-made fabric yo-yos and simple fleece flowers and some large buttons. The kids chose which embellishment they wanted, and we hand seewed them on.

One thing that really helped me was to have pre-threaded needles ready to go.

ETA another thing you can do to bring in about 6 different fabrics that are relevant to 7 year olds...corduroy, denim, fleece, t-shirt knit, and a few fabrics that they may have never seen before like satin, wool, etc. Help them learn the correct name for each fabric. This would be a fun way to start your activity.

-- Edited on 2/1/12 9:07 PM --

Miss Fairchild
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In reply to PolishPoppy


Date: 2/1/12 9:06 PM

I think your steps are fine, but I think the project will be a tad difficult. For one thing, you're using round pillows with young girls who have never sewn before. It will be difficult to keep the circle and some might become frustrated.

You need to show them how to cut the fabric, I would think. Why not a pillowcase? Because then you can use a yard of fabric; 3/4 for the main case, with a 1/4 yd. folded in half for the border. This way they get practice seeing just how big a yard is. And you can bring in the iron and ironing board (my first ironing project was pillowcases and handkerchiefs, at the age of 6) They can go with their parent to choose the fabric of their choice, and thank you every night when they go to sleep because they will be sleeping on the pillowcase you showed them how to make.

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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Ariadne

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Date: 2/1/12 10:23 PM

well, you could do like what the very nice woman at Rain Shed does as a first project. A tooth pillow- although they are old enough that maybe a pillow would be okay.

have them trace out a shape on fabric. mark a section as start and stop- so, have it have a two inch section of the traced line marked off. Stitch around, starting at one mark, ending at another. Tie off the threads. Using pinking shears, cut around the fabric, so that the pillow shape has pinked edges- they are on the outside. Then, have the kids paint with paint pens on the fabric. or glue on sparkles with fabric glue. Wait, have them stuff it first, so the paint doesn't smear. then sew that 2 inch section shut.

Another suggestion is: stitching stuff onto heavy paper- like for scrapbooking- using brightly colored thread. Like- designs in the thread, or sewing letters onto the paper, or zigzagging photos. You know- a collage? Paper is less floppy than fabric. They get a neat project without too much prep or ending- they just snip the ends of the threads- no unravelling. They can stitch rick-rack or ribbon, or anything onto the paper. I saw this in a Threads review of a kids learn to sew book. My boys loved doing this. They would stitch animals onto paper, to make a zoo scene. then sew bars and cages and balloons, using other colors of thread.

My daughter preferred making the pillow. She's used pillow stuffing fleece a few times to no ill effect- a sunday school pillow project, a stuffed bear, and a stuffed pillow.

Kids don't necessarily have good hand coordination, and they might get frustrated. A machine can stitch evenly, letting them concentrate on the design. And, well, it it's a shape they are stitching around- even doll shaped- they feel pretty proud. My girl did a heart- shape for her first project.

Foam stitches well, too, with long stitches. Short stitches- it gets cut up.

Ariadne

Ariadne
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Date: 2/1/12 10:30 PM

I'd second pillow-cases, with fat quarter edges, maybe.

Although, I'd get the fabric ahead of time,b/c innocents abroad at a fabric store can be painful. They like silky shiny sparkly things- without thinking that maybe this isn't the best fabric for the project. Nylon/ polyester knit pillowcases?

I learned this the hard way, by letting my friends choose fabrics for their infant slings. See-through sheer polyester sari fabric is great for shirts for grownups--- but for babies slings? Or ribbing fabric- the really heavy kind- for a too-sturdy for words sling. in summer, in texas. quilting cotton...one guy bought the fabric his grandmother quilted with---bottom-weight double-knit polyester.

Although, the sheer nylon/ polyester sari fabric sling worked surprisingly well. Nylon is a strong fiber, and the polyester was filament spun-and the sheer worked as ventilation.




diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/1/12 11:42 PM

I lead a Brownie group, and the girls earned their sewing badge. The first project we made were 'sit upons', a classic Brownie piece of equipment. We made them out of Cordura (backpack fabric) and stuffed them with newspapers. I punched holes in the edges and the girls laced them with lanyard string. Then we wrote on them with puffy paint. Then we made hand puppets, because they worked for the sewing badge and puppetry/perfoming badge. We also hand sewed those. When they're Juniors there is more opportunities for machine sewing.
I also had a large group, so our projects tended to be low key, but badge oriented.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

PolishPoppy
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Date: 2/2/12 7:20 AM

You all have no idea how much you are already helping me...as soon as I shoot the kids off to school I am getting my notebook out to take the notes...

What if I got a smaller rectangular pillow and did the pillow case, then also brought some fabric markers too? (I could give it a try and make some yo-yos or fabric flowers a head of time too)....

lisalu
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lisalu
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Date: 2/2/12 9:34 AM

I haven't read all the replies, just saw this thread in passing. But I wanted to comment because a friend of mine who is a GS leader had asked me if I'd be willing to work with her troop to get their Sewing Badge. Then I read in the paper last week that GS has DISCONTINUED the Sewing Badge!

I think that is carrying PC just a little too far.

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Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
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PolishPoppy
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PolishPoppy  Friend of PR
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In reply to lisalu


Date: 2/2/12 10:41 AM

That is completely ridiculous. Maybe a bunch of us should write a letter the girls scouts of America and explain to them the error of their ways?

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