Showing posts with label Sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sewing. Show all posts

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tool Belt!

Today's work: a tool belt to wear during sewing classes!

I've only had this on my to-do list for oh, seven years or so, because having to choose between always carrying a bunch of supplies in your hands or always running back and forth or always allowing a couple dozen junior high kids to get out of their seats is a paltry, paltry choice. I have a BUNCH of aprons because I LOVE making aprons, but I needed something more heavy duty with a lot of pockets. This guy has six pockets and is made with home decor fabric (50% off at Joann this week!) so it is highly functional. My favorite part is that rather than making straps I made the casing wide enough to accommodate a real belt - that way it won't start to slide off under the weight of six pockets full of notions!

Tomorrow begins my 6th curriculum rotation of the school year - hard to believe I've gone through everything five times already, whew! As I go through this time I'll share some of the ideas I've implemented to make shorter sewing units go more smoothly with my classes. And as always, if you have any suggestions I'll be glad to hear them - after all, the first day of school is a mere four months away!

Sorry! Don't shoot! Don't shoot!

I'll also share some of the classroom organization projects I've tackled. As you've seen from the pics I've previously posted, it has been one big uphill battle trying to get these rooms set up the way I want. Yesterday I worked on just the rooms (no grading, lesson prep, copying, etc) for over six hours, and I think I finally achieved the tipping point where I feel that the "sewing" room and the storage room are breathable - one more full day and perhaps I can hit that point with the foods room and begin to focus on the decor more! If only we were allowed to take a personal day just to work in our classrooms, eh? Here's to dreaming...

Have a great week!

Tutorial added here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Smart Boards & Sewing

I have to say, Smart Boards rock! Last year I had a projector for the first time ever, which was a game changer, and about a month ago I received my first SB. Not only is it glorious, it has saved lives. Student lives, which may have ended had I been forced to repeat myself any more.

Here's an example: the dilemma of teaching sewing to a couple dozen kids is that only two or three can see you demonstrate at a time. Meanwhile your back is turned to about 20 kids who have access to pins, needles, and scissors. We've all been there, it ain't pretty. Then of course throughout whatever project you're working on kids wind up spread out across seven different steps and it takes forever to get anywhere because you can't help them all at once.

Smart Board to the rescue! For each of my projects (and each of the practice steps leading up to the projects) I created short videos for each step. The entire class can watch the instruction, and I can replay it as many times as they need without losing my mind repeating myself endlessly. Then when some begin to move ahead while others move slower (or miss a few days of school), I can just play the video for the step everyone needs. It's been amazing!

An added benefit: I upload all the videos to a designated channel on YouTube, that way kids can access them at home if they are doing make-up work or just want to work on projects on their own time. Not saying I get a lot of views, but at Parent/Teacher Conferences a few weeks ago a few parents did tell me that their kids had been watching the videos at home. Hooray for useful technology!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sewing Project - Rag Quilts

It's been quite some time since I've posted, and for good reason: the end of the school year, moving to a new city, changing school districts, unpacking, preparing for new job, laziness... pretty intense stuff!

Anyway, here was our final project for the semester: Rag Quilts! These are a great beginner quilt, because with the ruffles in between each piece you don't need to worry about them lining up perfectly. Here are a few samples:

Mickey & Minnie - she made this for her mom. Awwww.

Blurry focus, sorry. This one is flannel.

Close-up. Once this is washed, the frills will be softer and more curled.

It was ambitious, but they were a very motivated class - I just wish I had remembered to take more pictures of the final products!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sewing Project - ConKerr Cancer

Once kids have mastered the art of the pillowcase, we complete a second one for ConKerr Cancer. This is an organization started by the mother of a child with cancer. To brighten his hospital room, she sewed cheerful pillowcases for him. This led to sewing pillowcases for other children, and continued to grow into a national program which donates thousands of pillowcases annually to children throughout the US. I show a video (thank you, YouTube) to introduce the project, and from that point on the kids in my classes are hooked - they really enjoy getting to create things to make others happy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sewing Project - Reversible Tote Bags

Here is a project my class just completed - reversible tote bags!

The bags turned out super cute!  It combined all of the skills they've learned so far, plus added the use of fusible interfacing and the making of straps. We used this pattern, which I picked up on a whim a few years ago from Joann Fabrics.

The bag from the pattern is pretty big, so I reduced it to the size that would hold a standard notebook/textbook. This year one of the kids decided to make it a one-strap satchel rather than a two-strap tote, and they all followed suit - with really great results! It was also a really fun project for me, because the kids have become so confident in their sewing skills I didn't have to give really detailed instructions for each step - in fact, most of the time the kids could figure out on their own what they were supposed to do next. I love that! Pretty great for a class that just started at the beginning of January!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sewing Project - Monkeys!

February 2, 2016 Update: Over 100 new FACS resources are now available in exchange for a small donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - see details here!

For hand sewing practice, my classes have always really enjoyed creating monkeys - particularly the boys, go figure. They are simple little felt creatures with button eyes and stitched noses and mouths.

If you're wondering what happened to the one on the bottom left, the creator of that particular monkey told me that "He was in 'Nam." Fair enough.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sewing Project - Zippered Pouches

Here's a terrific project you can use scrap fabric for: zippered pouches (click for tutorial found on Pinterest). A parent donated a whole box of zippers for my classes (yay for free stuff!), so we used the leftover fabric stash to stitch together these cuties.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sewing Project - Pillowcases

One of the first machine projects I attempt with my classes is the three-fabric pillowcase. It involves measuring, aligning, layering, right side/wrong side recognition, pivot stitching, French seams... all the basics. They turn out really well!

I love seeing all the fabrics the kids pick out - pizza, yum!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Desk Trashcans - Sewing

One of the problems with sewing projects is that threads tend to take over the floor. My solution is this – baby formula trash cans! Take empty formula cans, wrap with some fun wallpaper border, and there you go! A mini trashcan for every sewing station! Kids use it as they go to collect threads and other trash, then at the end of class empty it out into the main garbage can in the classroom. No more threads! Can also double as a container for scissors/pin cushions/etc after it’s emptied out.

Décor - Ironing Board Covers

Worn-out and/or hideous ironing board covers in your classroom? Make your own! Very similar to upgrading your desk chair. Turn ironing board upside down on fabric of your choice and trace around, adding approximately 4 inches all around. Cut, sew casing, insert elastic, fit to board. You can leave the old pad on or make your own from fleece, an old blanket, etc. Gives a whole new look to your classroom!

 Hideous, stained, worn-out ironing board cover.

FABULOUS ironing board covers! I can't decide which one is my favorite.

Décor – Pimp My Desk Chair

Time for a little fun - some ideas for classroom decorHave an old, shameful-looking desk chair? Reupholster it! It's a much easier task than you might think. Choose a fabric that can take a little abuse and won't wear or fade quickly. Remove the cushions and trace around them onto fabric adding about 4 inches all around. Create a casing, insert elastic, fit around cushions, reassemble chair. Presto – “brand new” chair, in your choice of covering!

Ugly chair!

Home Ec teachers can't have ripped chairs!

Fun fabric...

Cover ugly fabric...


Sewing room chair (this gets addictive).