Monday, August 29, 2011

Service Project, Hurricane and Earthquake

Every year I like to work on a service project with my students. Last year we made 100 lunches for a shelter near our school. This year we made burp cloths/pads for a pregnancy center. I wanted the students to sew on a machine because very few get that opportunity. Also, I wanted the students to learn that they can serve others even though they are only in elementary school. As I thought through what the project should look like, I considered bibs. Bibs would require sewing around curve and would take more finishing steps. The burp cloth is just a rectangle. Rectangles are easy to sew and with using steams a seam to close the opening the whole piece can be finished on the machine! The above is sets of fabric before they were sewn.
We made over 40 burp cloths. Each student picked the fabric they wanted and sewed under the instruction of a parent or myself. Many of the students sewed on my Singer Featherweight. They really liked sewing on the Featherweight! It was a special time to sit, teach, sew and chat. The students picked out a piece of ribbon which they attached by machine to the front. Top stitching completed the cloth.
I explained to the students that the cloths would be given to "Moms to Be" that might not get anything new for their baby. The pregnancy center gives a gift bag to new moms with items for their babies and themselves. The center asked the students to make cards for the moms. Our students designed cards on the computer. The cards were so sweet.
I was very pleased with this project. The students served using their own two hands.

Final Thoughts
This has been a week to remember! An earthquake and a hurricane in one week. So far we have missed two days of school due to power outages. I did not have any power outage, but did not have internet service for a day. Many neighborhoods have trees in the roads and power lines down. What an interesting way to start off the school year!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Look 6901

During vacation at the beach, I bought a few ITY knits from This is the first top I sewed. It is a cowl neck top.

I was a little concerned about the large scale design in the fabric,but I wanted to take a chance on something different. The construction was easy and the only question I had was a back neck facing. The facing was a 1 1/2 wide. You folded it in half and attached it to the back neck edge, then you had to fold it to the inside and top-stitch it on the right side. The back neck edge is quite thick. I am assuming the reason for this procedure was to give strength to the back edge since the cowl neck would be draping in the front.

The side seams are curved to give a nice contour. How do you like the necklace? I found it at the beach!
I use a twin needle to hem all my knits. First I press a desired hem and then I use Steam- a-seam to hold my hem. Next I hand stitch a placement line exactly where I want to top stitch with my twin needle. I read about this procedure from Sew Passionista.
The sleeves needed some ease stitching. I found a great idea from Pattern Review's "1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips. The tip was from Jennifer Shaw. You hold your index finger behind the presser foot as you sew a 1/2 inch from the edge of the sleeve cap. When you move your finger, the sleeve cap is eased.

This is another picture of the back neck facing before I folded it to the inside.
Here you can see the thickness once the facing is turned to the inside. Any ideas on a better way to handle the neck facing?
Parting shots. While at the beach, my DS's friends came down for the day. Our favorite dinner to have on the deck is fondue. We had shrimp, chicken, beef, potatoes and mushrooms cooking in chicken broth seasoned with some great spices.

Everyone had a great time. There was plenty of laughter. Most of the guys have been together since kindergarten. They represented six varsity sports from their high school. Dessert was a chocolate fondue with strawberries,rice crispy treats,oreos, and marshmallows.