Last Friday's Secrets & Codes workshop was all about starting actual sewing, at last! After some prep for the children's artwork two days earlier, in which they began to draft their final designs, we finally moved on to cracking out the needles and thread.
Firstly I must say someone has done an excellent job of this with them already as they were able to thread the needles beautifully and knew what a running stich was, which saved us all a lot of time. They were very excited about being able to choose the colour of felt for their Yoyo (as it's known in the US - Suffolk Puff in the UK). I took along this little sample (above) which I'd prepared so they could pass it round and scrutinise it to give them some gist of what to expect; and a few of Jennifer Collier's paper versions to give them a feel for some more creative options.
It was wonderful to see the few who felt they couldn't do this at the start proudly finish their little works and ask to take them home, we did start off with a few 'I can't sew' murmurings, but I promised them they would be able to by the end, and they worked hard to see if actually they could. The teacher said she really enjoyed the session and found it very theraputic (which was also lovely, as the group is quite pleasantly excitable - I imagine a little injection of calm now and again is no bad thing for Miss!)
To make life easier for everyone I prepared a cheat sheet which we had up on the smartboard the whole time. I thought since I'd made it, why not make it available for any other teachers or stitchers who wanted to try it alone or with their class. So you can see it below or download it here You are welcome to make copies and use it as you wish, though please remember to credit the source if you do, thanks.
A note to teachers or parents - we covered the health and safety angle of course. Pin cushions were placed on each table and children were told that the needle should only ever be in their hand or in the pin cushion at all times. It worked and we had no troubles at all. Also being 10 years old they were more than capable of using scissors responsibly though we did remind them to be careful anyway.
Sadly I didn't have time to take photos of the children's versions though many of them will be making more for their finished artwork so pictures to follow then. This week we're onto sewing buttons and embroidery, and there's a rumour the press will be making a visit...