Friday, July 12, 2013


It was a full and extremely creative week around here. Running a sewing camp for girls was a completely new experience for me. It was truly a melding of all of the things I've ever done.  But even though plenty came naturally, I still felt like a newbie at times. Here's a few things that I learned and will repeat:
  1.  Sewing makes littles people very hungry... have lots of healthy snack breaks. Berry picking  work well, too.
  2.  Crafting and sewing need to be balanced with a good deal physical activity to guarantee focus- swinging, tag, jump rope, hula hoops, swimming, and badminton are all great bets in the summer.
  3. Dolls and stuffed animals are wonderful teaching tools. Make them mini versions (we made skirts) of something that will be made larger next.
  4.  Some children want their hands held as they learn new things, others insist on a "hands off"approach and want to figured it out themselves. Determine who you've got in your group early on so that you can meet their needs.
  5. No matter what, 5 young and fairly new sewers will still need all of your attention almost every second of the day. Have alternate independent crafts and activities to entice them while they wait their turn. Yarn (finger knitting) watercolors, clay, paper and markers, duct tape (the craze for our second summer in a row).
  6.  Teach older children new skills first, and then partner them up with younger ones.
  7. There can never be too much positive feedback. Praise good listening. Praise good safety skills. Praise kind words of encouragement to other sewers. 
  8. End the week with an open house/gallery... a sew and tell for all of the parents. Have your stitchers model any clothing and serve lemonade.
Project list: lavender stuffed softies, tyvek zipper pouches (yes a 7 year old can insert a zipper!), skirts of all sizes, tote bags and purses.

 Here's to girl power!
Above all... trust their abilities and believe in their vision... and then they will do the same! 

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  1. It looks like they had a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing the tips. My nine-year old is learning to use the machine and I am trying to be so, so patient. . .

  2. congratulations for this laboratory and confidence in the children's creativity!

  3. This is all so great! Love all of those skirts. I led a 2 week art camp in June & definitely learned some of the same things you've shared- recess IS a very good thing & having good stories to tell while stitching & picture book breaks did us all good.

  4. What a lot of fun you all must have had! I imagine you were tired by the end of each day! I'd love to take a skirt sewing class from you if you were just a bit closer. ;o)
    ~ joey ~

  5. Oh Maya, how I wish I was your neighbor. You are an amazing woman and I totally admire you and all you do. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  6. Oh Maya the photo of the girls "in full swing" is so wonderful. Bliss. And then all they have MADE! So beautiful. It looks like a huge success, which absolutely does not surprise me. There just couldn't be a better teacher than you for this. Makes me think back to the circus week you made some years back. Love your ideas.

  7. P.S. The skirt on your girl looks so beautiful. Is it Anna Maria Horner fabric?

  8. This just looks like all kinds of awesome!!! What a wonderful summer and perfect for all of you!!!