Londa's Summer Sewing Camp Curriculum

Londa's Summer Sewing Camp Curriculum

Teach a Child to Sew - in Summer Sewing Camps

Read below for all the details on how I structured my Sewing Camps for Kids - and made some nice $ too!

All the students were required to bring were:
*2 yards of a cotton fabric print - good quality - that THEY chose out with their parent ahead of class. Washed and pressed.
*a Pair of old jeans

I provided all the machines, and a basket of supplies for each gal. In each basket - numbered, and every item numbered, were the following: Large scissors, small scissors, seam ripper, tape measure, seam gauge, blue wash-out marking pen, some extra wound bobbins of a color that will work with their fabric, pin cushion with glass head pins, and the strawberry cut off and separate with a Number 8 Crewel needle for hand sewing. Then everything is 'mine' - and if I use someone elses' pins in anothers' project, I haven't "stolen" them as they say. I've found that if they bring their own stuff, it is a nightmare keeping track of whose is whose - and when I'm helping around, I just grab what I can find. They are VERY proprietary about their own 'stuff' - even when it's mine, but I've found it ' being 'mine' solves this problem.

Machines are all mine as well - that way I know they work, and have every right to warn them to take great care. The machine has the same number as the basket. So as to not show any favoritism, I then have the numbers in a basket the first day - and they draw out a number, which assigns them to a spot to be their machine and basket. If friends come together and want to sit together, we then switch the stuff to accomplish that. Machines I have include: a Brother 1250 (my absolute favorite little machine), Brother 2200, Pfaff 1472, 1471, 7550. So - a range from $300 to $5000 new.

Day 1:
*Assign places.
*Learn about fabric: "God-made" natural fibers and where they come from. (Cotton, linen, silk, and wool).
"Man-made: polyester (made from oil), rayon (made from oil and tree bark). Fabric can be made by weaving it or knitting it. ID these on what they are wearing, and from my fabrics. They really seem to like this. Then - review a couple of times during the day - and they are to 'test' their parents on these interesting facts and report the next day.
*Go over parts of sewing machine. Most important parts are: presser foot - that must be DOWN to sew, (emphasize that over and over and over), feed dogs, take up lever, handwheel, foot pedal, reverse button, Slow button if their maachine has it.. Practice threading the needle. teach not to cut thread unless they have it pulled out at least as far as the bed of the machine is - then cut close to fabric (to eliminate needle unthreading). Other than that, they see me thread the machines for them over and over, and get it by 'osmosis'. I don't get hung up on this. Machine operation - threading - is not real fun. 9maybe for boys). Oh - and how to change stitches from straight to zz, etc.
*Sew without thread on paper - following lines, pivoting, sewing in a curve.
*Watch me come around and thread each machine.
*Have two pieces of fabric (I use fabric samples I save) and teach how to sew a seam - right ([pretty) sides of fabric together, - reversing at beginning and end and pivoting at corners with a 5/8" seam - using the brown painting tape as a guide on the bed of the machine. I give them a dot to pivot on at each corner. Clip corners and why - and turn right side out = a 'pocket' - which thrills them.
* Hair Scrunchies from a 5" x 45" strip of fabric I have them have the fun of tearing from their fabric.

Day 2
TeePee Bags - onto which we sewed a 4 hole button later in the day by hand.
Pocket Purse from old jeans.
I measure them this day to make patterns for Nighties for next day.

Day 3
Cut out nighties - in pairs. So - learn cutting on a fold, pinning, cutting around a pattern.
Stitch on nighties.

Day 4
Finish nighties.
Holiday Coasters - I"ve cut their leftover fabric into 5" squares, and they all used a combination of each others' fabrics. Interesting - this first group ALL had purple!

Day 5
Flip n Stitch PotHolders.
Flip and Stitch 1 1/2" strips of fabric (which I purposely cut short, so they'd have to piece them together before doing the flip and stitch) on a 7" stabilizer base. Do for both sides. Straight on first potholder, diagonal on 2nd potholder was my plan - none got to the 2nd potholder - in 2/5 hours!!! One piece of scrap batting 7" square for each. They made a 'hanger' to stick in a corner.
THEN - I had them decorate with all their decorative stitches - they Love this! And, - it takes time.:) By the 5th day they are kind of crazy anyway...
I squared them up as ready, and gave stitching lines and pivot intersections - and leaving a 'hole' in one side to turn. ZigZag around the edge, catching in the opening.
Directions for all my projects is just $10.00 and can be found HERE.

I changed all needles to a 90 Denim Sharp for the Jeans Purse.
Class Motto was "I Think I Can" which I repeated over and over and had posted all over the room. Easy answer whenever I heard "I can't....."

They went home with projects and directions each day.
I gave a Student Evaluation form for them to fill out the last day.
Gave a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to the parents with an evaluation for them to fill out on the last day and mail back. Also included info of other camps, and my after-school curriculum.

I had 4 students per class - stretched to 5 (which I thought might happen).
I charged $99 per student. (Hey - I made right at $40/hour!) This was for the summers of 2003 and 2004. I haven't had time to run these camps since then - which is a sad thing for me.
Met 10 - 12:30 for mornings. Afternoon was advanced (we met at a fabric store earlier and selected their projects). Met from 2 - 4:30. The time inbetween was needed to clean up and recoop!
I had simple snacks each day and (grapes, candy, etc. and baked Brownies) for the last day. Keep drinks to one place, away from projects and machines.

So - feel free to take and make use of any of these ideas as you care to - I just want to help YOU to share the love of sewing - and perhaps make some money as you stay at home to 'work' like I did for many years before I opened my shop - and then after I closed it 13 years later. :)

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