Today was our first sewing activity and all-in-all, things went pretty well. My Co-Leader, Chelsea, just started a new job, and was unable to come. So, I called up my BFF Stepahnie, who of course came to my rescuse to help out with the activity. I gave her a quick overview of putting together these simple bags and she was able to jump right in and help the girls.
I sent out invitations ahead of time, asking the girls to bring a 1/2 yard of cotton fabric. I gave them the option of bringing two 1/4 yard pieces, one pattern for the outside of the bag, and another for the inside of the bag. The girls all brought very fun fabric! Some of the girls who only brought 1 pattern, traded with the others to make the fabric combinations even more interesting. I provided:.craft thread (almost like an embroidery floss), needles (with large heads), Felt (for the pocket) Ribbon (for the purse straps), pins and scissors.
For this activity, we focused on cutting and hand-sewing.
We showed the girls how to pin the pattern pieces to their cloth and cut out their fabric pices. Some of the girls were naturals and some had trouble with the whole pinning process--they were either bored or frustrated by it. They only had 3 pieces to cut: the outside & inside bag and the pocket, so the process went by relatively quickly.
We then showed the girls how to hand sew their felt pockets into their purse liners. I simplified the whole pocket process by making them out of felt and having the girls do a simple stitch to apply them. It gives the purses a cute rustic feel. Some of the girls had never sewn before and found it absolutely fascinating! I had no complaints once they got into the actual sewing portion of the activity.
After they sewed on their pockets, we had them pin the inside and outside of the purse to prep for machine sewing, which will be part two of this activity. Then, we helped them cut a length of ribbon for their purse strap (they got to decide how long they wanted their purse to hang).
We organized all of the girls' stuff for next time in paper bags labeled with their names.