Thursday, June 24, 2010

Moving Blog

I have decided to start up a blog that deals with all craft making that my girls and I do.  I will not be updating this blog anymore.  Instead you can find us at Busy Bees Designs.

Thank you for all your support and friendship.  Please follow us at Busy Bees Designs.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sewing Straight Lines

The thing that seems to frustrate my girls the most is sewing a straight line. Unfortunately they inherited my inability to sew, cut, or draw a straight line! It is so hard to do a craft project and not run into straight lines at some point in the process.

The girls are working on sewing skirts. Well, yesterday they were suppose to sew up the back seam, a straight line. Well, we only had to rip out parts of the seams twice, and it's still not straight but it is passable. We ripped out the parts that we couldn't get away with.

I think that these tiny little imperfections make the items even more precious. You can definitely tell that they were made by the girls. The girls are excited that they are doing it all themselves! If I was going to be as critical with their sewing as I am with my own it wouldn't be worth trying to teach them.

After all they are only 6 and 7, they are just starting out. They are not professionals, they are still learning. There will be plenty of time for them to be critical about their own work. Now is not the time. They should be free to have fun and learn.

I don't feel that it should be so stressful for them that they end up dreading sewing. I want it to be fun and relaxing and get them excited to learn and try new things.

I will make sure to post pictures of them wearing the completed skirts when they are finished. I bet you won't even be able to tell from the pictures where the little imperfections are!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Let Them Help

One of the things that I am learning while teaching my girls to sew i the importance in letting them have a say in what we are doing. I did really well in letting them choose what color material to make things in.

I am now beginning to see the need to involve them in choosing not only what material to make the project out of but also letting them help choose what project to make next.

I have found that once the novelty of sewing with the "big" machine wore off, letting my girls choose what project keeps them excited and motivated in learning. Everyone likes to make their own choices. So, why not let them choose what to make?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Okay, this is my first time participating in the bloggy giveaways! I actually won something last time, me who never wins anything! So , I thought that I would go ahead and give some stuff away myself.

How it works is really simple, leave a comment about what the favorite thing is that you have made and I will randomly choose a winner on April 27th. The winner will win the pattern and directions for the denim skirt, from the Kids Can Sew curriculum that I talk about on this site. My girls are in the process of making this right now!

You don't have to be a blogger to win, just make sure that you leave an email address so I can contact you if you win! This giveaway is open to everyone. International entrants are welcome!

That's it, pretty simple! Just don't forget to leave a comment about the favorite thing that you have made (no "please enter me," or "I want to win," etc.)--if you don't you won't be entered to win.

Also don't forget to check out my other blogs for more chances to win more FREE stuff!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Laying Out The Pattern When Teaching Kids To Sew

We are starting our second project, a skirt! Our first step with any sewing project is to decide on what you are going to make. I let the girls choose between making a skirt or a pair of shorts or pants. They chose to make the skirt.

Then we read over the pattern directions. This is something that I learned from my mom, read all the directions through at least one time. This way you figure out exactly what they are saying and you won't make too many big mistakes, hopefully! Then we made our list of things that we needed from the store, this would include any fabric-what size and how much, thread, notions-buttons, zippers, elastic, whatever you need to complete the project. The list of materials needed are always found on the back of the pattern. With the kids can sew curriculum, the list is found at the back of the book for whatever year you are teaching.

Because I already have a ton of fabric, okay maybe I'm exaggerating--but just a little, the girls and I sat down and went through the material that I already had. After picking out a few choices the girls then made their final choice for what material they are going to use. The first thing to buy is your fabric because everything else you use will be built around what fabric you chose, the kind as well as the color.

We did have to purchase some thread to match the color and kind of fabric we were using, elastic, as well as some buttons which will be used as embellishments on the completed project. If you already have the fabric on hand make sure that you take a small swatch with you when you are shopping for the other items you will need, you will not believe how many different shades of pink thread there are until you get to the store. Then you will be grateful that you have your swatch with you to match it up!

The next step is to lay out your fabric and get the pattern pinned on so you can cut out the pieces. When you are working with kids let them do as much as possible, yes the cut lines will be a little crooked as well as the sewing, but how are they suppose to learn if you are doing everything for them. I would also suggest buying extra material so if there happens to be an accident of cutting wrong or such then you will have more on hand so you and the child can whip out the extra and learn from the mistakes that have been made. Even now I buy extra material for whatever project I am doing, maybe that is why I have so much fabric laying around. But it has been a lifesaver for when I have laid the pattern out wrong, cut wrong, sewn wrong, you get the point.

A quick word about layout, lay out your pieces before you start cutting. Pin everything down first, then cut. If you don't have the room to lay it all out then do what I do. I work in small parts, and neatly fold up the pieces on the large piece of fabric and unfold the fabric without any pieces as I go. This way you make sure that you have it laid down right and you have enough material for the pieces. Nothing is worse than getting to the end and you don't have enough material left to pin and cut out the last piece of the pattern. Just trust me on this. I should have listened to that piece of advice from my mom as well, some of us are just too stubborn for our own good!
With all our pieces cut out we are ready to take the next step and start sewing!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

First Kid's Sewing Project: The Drawstring Bag Is Done!

Okay, we have completed our first project, the drawstring bag! The girls are so excited to have something that they have made themselves. They want to take it everywhere so that they can show off their hard work.

It took a few weeks to finish, partly due to the fact that we do sewing on Mondays after their other schoolwork is finished. So if they took a long time finishing their schoolwork they don't have as much time to sew. Also, I don't tolerate whining, so if there is any whining no sewing, and if there is whining during sewing everything gets put away. Also add in the fact that we caught that horrible cold going around!

I somehow ended up with two sewing machines. Okay, I admit it wasn't the sewing machine fairy, it was my own organizationally challenged self to blame for that. I was making a baby shower present about two years ago, and I had lost the screw that holds the presser foot on, and I needed to get it done that day. At that time we only had one car and my husband had to get to work, so I could not spend all day finding somewhere where I could buy the screw, besides I had to finish the gift that day! So I ran to WalMart as soon as they opened to get the screw, be forewarned they do not sell just the screw at WalMart! I knew that I didn't have time to run all over creation looking for the screw, so I bought a whole new sewing machine, came home took the screw off the new sewing machine and sewed my project. Now the plan was to put the screw back on the new machine and return it, after all what I need two sewing machines for? And I would spend that weekend finding someplace that had the screw that I could buy. Well, I finished the project, put the screw back in the new machine made sure everything was in the box and in great condition, and set aside the box to return. Well, then life happened and the box got pushed back into a corner and didn't get rediscovered until months later, oh and by that time, I had already found the lost screw hiding somewhere else! Lesson learned, being disorganized is a sure fire way to spend money that you don't need to spend, and you will never get out of debt! But that another blog.

Anyway, so we now have two sewing machines, which has worked out well, 2 girls + 2 sewing machines = no fights about who's turn it is! Here are the girls sewing at their sewing table. We got the table at Sam's Club for my husband to take with him when he does magic shows. It has positionable legs, the lowest setting is the perfect height for my kids to sew at, and the tallest height is perfect for my husband to do magic at!

Overall, they did a great job sewing their bags and they are getting a lot more confident using the sewing machine as well as the other tools, or as they are known in the sewing world, notions.

They even had to use the iron for the first time ever to press their material. They were a little concerned but they did a great job. I have one of those height positionable ironing boards as well, which worked really well, because I needed to get the board down to their level so they could do the ironing themselves. I hear a new chore being added in a few years!


Some Rules For Kids When Sewing

When you begin to teach kids how to sew it is necessary to have a clear set of rules or do's and don'ts in place, for the safety of the children as well as making things run smoother.

I like that with the Kids Can Sew curriculum includes a poster of sewing do's and don'ts that you post in the sewing classroom. Whether your classroom is just an extension of your dining room or living room, a whole separate room, or a small corner at your local fabric store, going over the rules is a must for the first lesson.
You can see my daughter showing off the sewing do's and don'ts poster where we have it hanging in our living room. After talking about the rules at our first "class" and reviewing them at the second, the girls now know all the rules and follow them to the letter.
No matter if you are only teaching your own children, like me or whether you are teaching other people's children, safety is the key to a good time. After all, no one can have fun if they are hurt by a careless accident!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

How To Teach Kids To Sew!

Welcome everyone! I am a homeschooling mom of two wonderful daughters who are currently 5 and 6. While searching for things to add to their day that would excite them and also help motivate them to get their schoolwork done in a timely fashion, I came across the idea of teaching them how to sew. I love to sew and they are always extremely interested in what I am doing while I am sewing.

The results have been fantastic! Yes, I was a little worried about letting them at that young of an age run a sewing machine but I found a great program called, Kids Can Sew, which advertises that kids as as young as 6 can learn how to sew. So, I went ahead and ordered their curriculum and it really is as easy as they said it would be. And better yet, my girls love it!!

We just started their "classes" at the beginning of the new year and they are so excited. I'm not sure if their excitement level will continue as it has been or whether it will wane a little as it becomes less new but we will continue for as long as they want.

The course starts out with you teaching the students the safety do's and don'ts of sewing, and having them practice running the machine first on paper and then on scrap material. And then you jump in and start making a drawstring bag, they are learning just how much time and effort go into truly making something and they are still loving it.

The Kids Can Sew course is set up so that you can actually teach other children to sew and earn some extra income as well. At this time we, my family and I, just have way too much going on to make that an option for us, but it seems like a truly worthwhile venture that I might try out in a few years. We will have to wait and see how life is going at that time!

I will include pictures and details about our journey in learning how to sew!