Sewing Lessons with Miss Jenna

9:45 AM
I have been so busy lately, preparing curriculum for my summer sewing camps. I just completed my trial run with a friend's daughter, and it has been fantastic. I am loving teaching more than I ever expected.

Day one:
We learn about the parts of a machine, how to safely stitch with no needle, then place needle in machine and practice straight lines, corners and backstitching on paper. We then switch to fabric and sew 8 strips, 2.5" x 12", together for the front of a 12" x 16" pillow form. We then learn how to hem, by hemming the two overlapping back pieces, attaching all three pieces together, and turning right side out with the point turner.

Here is a picture of the pillow that my first student sewed all on her own, on our very first day of class!

Day two:
We started the morning by practicing our straight stitches and backstitching on paper again. Once we were warmed up, we learned how to sew a zipper, making a simple lined zipper pouch. I was a little nervous to try to teach such a young student how to sew a zipper, but I really feel that far to many sewists are nervous to attempt sewing zippers, and if I can teach her to sew one so early, she may never have to fear them!! And... IT WAS A SUCCESS! She rocked it and now I don't think she is afraid to ever sew a zipper again. Her favorite part of the lesson was the phrase, "Make a 1/2 zipper sandwich, and then a full zipper sandwich". Dorky, but it seemed to get the tricky fabric placement concept in her mind and stick!

So, after just two days of 2 hour classes, she had sewn, from start to finish, these two adorable projects! To say the least, I was so proud and happy that this class curriculum was giving her an opportunity to see the fruit of her labor. She took this picture herself, as soon as she got home after class 2, and her mom said she was jumping up and down saying, "BEST SEWING CLASS EVER"!

Day three:
Today, I wanted to help her make something pretty sturdy and learn how to properly fuse a medium weight interfacing. She picked out three fabrics, and she sewed a large lined tote bag.. or at least the body and liner sections, and sewed the corners for a nice 2" base.

Day four:
She finished the tote bag, learning how to baste the straps in place, and turn out the bag the right way! (We put the right side out outside bag piece into the wrong side out liner, and then turned through the opening and top stitched)! We also wanted to learn how to make a casing and insert elastic, so we finished the class off by sewing up a scrunchy! (I gave her the choice between scrunchy or skirt)

If you're starting to play with the idea of teaching a child to sew, I highly recommend using the worksheets and the curriculum of this PDF, from the, and picking a few of your own projects to teach the skills that you believe will be most valuable to your new little seamstress! Let me know if you chose different projects and had great success!?
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