Friday, June 4, 2010

Recycling is Sew Fun!

Recycling is Sew Fun

This summer one of my goals is to teach my daughter Naomi to sew. She's been wanting to learn for a long time, and I recently managed to find a used machine at a garage sale for $5 to replace our other one that needs a more expensive part.

We decided to start simple! I had just been organizing all of our old clothes, and found some that we weren't going to use. One little denim baby shirt had elastic that had been stretched out. And one dress had a stain on it after years of use.

We decided to turn the shirt, which has cute cherries embroidered onto it, into a purse. We cut off the sleeves, sewed seams along the cuts, used the sleeve fabric to make a strap, and sewed a straight seam along the bottom.

Voila, a new purse!

The dress seemed destined to be an apron. It already had a tie for the back, a bodice and a hemmed skirt. We only needed to cut off the back of the dress, sew up the loose edges, and add an elasticized neck strap.  I showed her how to turn the fabric wrong side out, sew a tube, then turn it right side out by drawing the end through with a large safety pin.  Then we shimmied the elastic through this fabric tube using the same safety pin, and sewed it so it wouldn't slip.

Any kind of sewing can be frustrating at times. We weren't using a pattern, so we had to improvise along the way. I had to "take over" a few times, but mostly I let her do the actual work. We also found out we needed a seam ripper, a needle threader, some decent scissors, extra bobbins, and more ball head pins, which are much easier to grab. So in between the two projects, we took a trip to Walmart's sewing department.

My next project is actually with 7 year old Ben, who wants to make his own tote bag.

I hope this inspires you to tackle a little sewing fun this summer!

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