About the Holiday
Patented in 1790 by Thomas Saint, the sewing machine revolutionized the textile industry. No longer did clothes and other fabric items need to be made by hand. The sewing machine made this job faster and less tedious. Long a favorite hobby for clothes makers and crafters of all types and ages, sewing is creative and fun! If you like to sew celebrate today by making something new or sharing your talent with a beginner. If you’ve never sewn, consider trying it—needle crafts, either by hand or using a sewing machine can become a life-long enjoyable activity!
Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing
By Amie Petronis Plumley & Andria Lisle | Photography by Justin Fox Burks
Sewing and crafting are popular hobbies shared between friends and family. Skills that were once passed down from generation to generation are being rediscovered by kids and adults alike through widely available craft and sewing chain stores and books like the Sewing School series. In this second edition, kids are taught everything they need to know to feel comfortable at a sewing machine and create awesome projects they can really use.
Divided into five sections, Sewing School 2 is easy to navigate and builds on skills presented in previous chapters. The first section “Getting Started” provides 13 lessons that cover choosing a sewing machine, the elements of a well-stocked sewing kit, learning about different fabrics, how to do basic stitches and techniques, and laying out and cutting patterns.
With clear photographs on every page, kids will easily be able to understand the concepts being described. “Anatomy of a Sewing Machine” points out each part of a machine, from the spool spindle to the take-up lever, presser foot, stitch selector, and more. The most common stitches are depicted here too—straight, reverse, stay, and reinforcement stitches share the page with short discussions of what a bodkin and pinking shears are for.
Budding sewers will learn about the right and wrong sides of fabrics, how to sew “right” sides together and turn the project inside out, and the way to stuff a pillow and finish the opening. One chapter is devoted to starting off right as well as tips on guiding the material through the machine.
After kids have been introduced to the basics, it’s time to try out those new skills! Four sections containing five projects each let kids make items for all the important aspects of their lives. “In My Room” shows them how to make a pillow with a space for secret messages, a welcome sign, a pocket organizer, a sleepy teddy bear, and a striped blanket. The “Let’s Go” section is perfect for kids on the run. Projects include a coin holder, a handy pouch for carrying extras, and a safe place for their electronic gadgets.
The projects in “Time to Play” prove that sewing results in plenty of fun! Things like stuffed guitars, microphones, backpacks, game boards, and decorative hangings are just a stitch away. Finally it’s time to take sewing outside with a section titled “The Great Outdoors.” Kids will wonder how they ever got along without their snack pouch, belt with pocket, water bottle carrier, scarf, and portable tree stump—huh? You’ll just have to get the book and see!
Each project comes with a one-to-three star difficulty rating, a list of all materials needed, a list of the skills used, how to personalize each project, and tips for adult helpers.
The final pages help kids out when things just don’t go as planned, how to do hand-sewn work, and tips for adults who are working with a group.
Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle have created a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to get in on the fun of sewing. The easy-to-understand directions and conversational tone of the book will put kids at ease, and Justin Fox Burks’ photographs of children using the concepts and happily displaying their work will make beginners excited to start sewing. Burks’ up-close photos of the parts of the sewing machine as well as each technique make Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing a leader in its field.
Ages 7 and up
Storey Publishing, 2013 | ISBN 978-1612120492
Sewing School Takeaway Project
Sometimes it’s so hard to give away a favorite t-shirt! With this project from Sewing School you don’t have to! Use your hand-stitching skills to create a pillow that will make your room even more awesome! Click here for the Save-My-T-Shirt Pillow directions.
Sewing Machine Day Activity
So You Like to Sew Word Search