Sewing with Teenagers!

Each year when we return to school after the Christmas break, we have a special “Winter Week of Wisdom and Wonder” (WWOWW) selection of classes and activities.  Kids sign up for one class and one activity (there are so many awesome choices!), and this year a co-worker’s wife and I offered a beginning sewing class.

On the first day of class, we went on a fabric-shopping field trip. Over the next few days, students made drawstring bags, hand warmers, pillowcases, and small stuffed animals.  Such fun!

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It was SO much fun that I decided to add machine sewing to my art curriculum (in conjunction with a sculpture unit), and the kids had a blast.  We did many of the same projects we did during the WWOWW sewing class.

I worked with each student, individually, to show them the basics of operating the sewing machine.  After they practiced sewing straight lines, back stitching and pivoting at corners, they were able to choose a simple sewing project to make.  The boys enjoyed this just as much as the girls did, and as one boy said, with foot on the pedal and eyes on the lines on his paper, “It’s kind of like driving a car….” 🙂




Some made hand warmers, which are small squares of flannel-lined fabric, sewn together and filled with rice.  When microwaved for 30-45 seconds, these are great to put in pockets, as they stay warm a surprisingly long time.


They also made pillows, and self-designed stuffed animals and “monsters,” which they created from their sketches.  Details were added with fabric paint, stitchery, and fabric pastel sticks.



Advanced Art students were challenged to do a multi-step project that first incorporated a painted or printed design.  One student, who wanted to screen print his design, asked if he could make t-shirts for the golf team if he provided the shirts.  Great idea!

WillB-ScreenPrint-01  WillB-ScreenPrint-03

He also printed on fabric to make a pillow.


The kids are very proud of learning this new skill, and I’m very proud of them. 🙂

RyanS-Sewing2  SecretB-Pillow

KaylaM-DrawstringBag SecretB-Pillow-2 ThomasT-Pillow DavidX-Pillow

More pics are here: Art Students Learn to Sew


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