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Summer Sewing Camp: Your First Projects

Sewing Camp Day One- The Lost Apron

This is part of a series of  instructions on how to teach your children to sew in the form of a camp.  This series can also be used to teach yourself to sew.    Click on the button below for the entire series.  This will give you the supplies and materials needed.


Today I will go over the lesson and tutorials for your first day of your Summer Sewing Camp.

Day One:  Straight Seams 

Now that you know how to sew a straight seam, you are ready for your first sewing projects.

Tissue Pack Cover - The Lost Apron
Project 1 is the Tissue Pack Cover.

Download and print Pattern Here:   Download TissuePackCoverPattern

Pattern Placement - The Lost Apron
Once deciding on a fabric, children are drawn to the center of the piece.

Place pattern in the corner - The Lost Apron
Find a corner of the fabric and press.  This keeps your stash of scraps more usable.  Try to align the pattern with the grain of the fabric.

Pin & Cut Pattern - The Lost Apron
Pin the pattern to a single layer of fabric.  Pins should be just inside the line all the way around the pattern.  Now cut on the line.  I like to have just an edge of the line showing after it is cut, otherwise we are not sure how far inside the line they wandered.

Make snips where marked - The Lost Apron
Before removing the pins, make a snip at each of the four markings.  Use only the tip of the scissors to snip the fabric.

Help little ones to iron with cardstock and point turner - The Lost Apron
Cut a piece of poster board or open file folder to 13" X 2".  Use the strip to find 2 of the snips.  This makes your first folding line.  Use your Point Turner & Creaser to "press" the fold.  Now press with an iron.  Little fingers can be out of the way.

Now fold and iron flap down in half so that the cut edge is even with outside fold just made above.  Only the right side of fabric is now visible.

 Folding tissue pack cover - The Lost Apron

Repeat the process on the other side, folding at the other set of snips, then folding flap back.  There should be 2 folds that meet at the center.

Make 2 seams as shown - The Lost Apron
Pin side edges together through all 3 layers.  I like to use the Wonder Clips instead of pins for this first project.  Stitch both seams using a 4/8" seam allowance.  Be sure to backtack at the beginning and end of each seam.  The only difference between sewing this and sewing on the practice paper is that you need to stop to remove pins/clips as you get close to each one.  Be sure that the center folds stay down when sewing over them.

Turn right side out.  Poke out corners using the Point Turner & Creaser.  Iron flat and insert tissue pack.

Congratulations!  You have just sewn your first project.

Some children at this point want to make many more of these for family and friends.  This is a good project to do later when you have some down time.  At this point keep going on your next project:

Instant Gratification Pillow - The Lost Apron
Project 2 is The Instant Gratification Pillow.

Download the complete Instructions and Tutorial Here:   Download InstantGratificationPillow-PDF

The first project was cut from a pattern.  I think its important that children learn to cut from patterns if they are going to go on to sew clothing from patterns.  The pillow has two options:

Cut pillow with a pattern - The Lost Apron
Method A:  Make a pattern, pin and cut with scissors.  If you grew up making clothing like me, you have a cardboard cutting board that you can use as your grid for making patterns out of tissue.

Cut pillow with a rotary board and cutter - The Lost Apron
Method B:  Cut the dimensions with a rotary mat and cutter.  

Either way, with fabric on the fold cut the fabric 13" X 18".  This makes the piece 13" X 36" when opened.

Pillow folding illustration - The Lost Apron
Then fabric is folded as shown above.  This is what makes this pillow so easy.  See complete tutorial (download above) for more details.

For speed on the first day, I always cut this for them, so they can move on with the sewing.  

NEVER let children use the rotary cutter!

Use cardstock and Wonder Clips for easy ironing - The Lost Apron
Use the cardstock to make your folds.  Hold in place with the Wonder Clips.  Press first with your Point turner & creaser.

Wonder clips holds fold for ironing - The Lost Apron
Then with little fingers out of the way, press with the iron.

Sewing the pillow using Wonder Clips - The Lost Apron
Once all the folds are made and pressed, use the Wonder Clips to hold the seams in place.  Make 2 seams using a 4/8" seam allowance, backtacking at both ends of each.

Turn and stuff pillow - The Lost Apron
Turn pillow.  Poke out corners with Point turner & creaser.  Press flat.  Insert pillow form.

Enjoy!  - The Lost Apron

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Please visit The Lost Apron Sewing Store: HERE