I’m excited about my plans today! I’m going to be sewing with Pooh’s Girl Scout troop after school! She is in a fun troop with a fantastic troop leader, and 9 wonderful troop-mates. Her leader asked me about doing a little sewing tutorial for the troop, and I am happy to do it. I want them all to get a chance to be hands-on and use the machine themselves, so I had to come up with an easy sewing project that beginners can do (although some of them may already know how to use a sewing machine). I decided to teach them how to make a simple fabric bookmark, and let each girl sew her own so they can all have something to take home with them.
Unfortunately, it’s raining buckets, but maybe it will slack off by this afternoon when I have to lug my machine into the school. I’m taking Grandmother’s Singer…it needs a purpose, and I desperately do not want to haul that 100-pound Emdeko around!
I bought this adorable mustache fabric remnant at Walmart, thinking I would make some Flaxie Hugs out of it. When I got it home and washed it, I saw this, which means it has a copyright on the design (although I don’t see how anyone can copyright the mustache). I am not looking to infringe on anything, so I’m glad to have a purpose for this adorable fabric that can’t get me into trouble! There’ll be no selling of anything made from this fabric in my shop, ladies and gentlemen!
and add the iron-on stabilizer, because we only have an hour and a half, and I want each girl to get to use the machine. I will make one from start to finish at the meeting so I can show them how to measure and cut with a ruler, how to use a cutting mat and rotary cutter (just an alternate method), how to iron on the stabilizer (also called interfacing), and how to press the folded fabric. We’ll finish these by cutting all the way around with pinking shears to make the bookmarks super-cute!
Of course, I will give them a little run-down on threading the machine, loading the bobbin, and raising the bobbin thread, as well. Hopefully I can cover all the basics and let them sew in our time frame!
I decided to type up a little step-by-step sheet of instructions for the project so the girls can refer back to it, just in case any of them have a machine at home and want to make more bookmarks. I didn’t include pictures, since I’ll be showing them live and in person. In case any of you readers want to borrow this idea to teach a child, grandchild or Girl Scout troop a simple sewing project, I’ve included my instructions sheet in a PDF that you can print. Just click here -> GS Bookmark Again, it’s not a picture tutorial, just a take-home for anyone you may want to teach this method to, reminding them of the steps.
You’ll see an alternate method on that page, which I will show them tomorrow, as well, if time permits. I just really like the pinking-sheared edge, and doing it that way will save time since they’ll only have to sew around it once.
You could even paint on your fabric bookmark with acrylic paint (it won’t wash out of fabric, so it’s totally permanent), or maybe apply an iron-on applique to bling it up a little! These bookmarks would make cute little gifts for teachers, friends or family. You know how I feel about handmade gifts! 🙂
Unfortunately, I’ve never even asked my girls if they’d like to try using the sewing machine. They’ve never shown much interest, and it didn’t even occur to me until Pooh’s troop leader asked me about doing this little project. Maybe it will spark something in Pooh, and we can do some more projects together. Maybe I can do something like this with Tigger’s troop, too! Oh, man, my hamster wheel is just-a-turning with ideas!
I hope this little project is one you can use to spend some quality time with your own kids, or even someone else’s. I’ll let you know how it goes. Trying to coral ten 13/14-year-old girls into doing a project like this may be challenging…say a little prayer for me?