Skip to main content

School Age Program Idea: Sewing Camp!

Sample felt pincushion
It can be so hard to put together a program for school age kids that they will actually show up for! I was thrilled today when we hosted our first sewing camp. I got the idea from the wonderful book (and blog) Sewing School, which I was introduced to by my friend Anne at Canton Public Library. Side note: has anyone noticed how many librarians are named Anne? It is almost as crazy as all the Katies.

We did registration (capped at 15 & we filled it easily but a couple kids didn't show, so we had 10 total, including 2 boys) and limited it to kids over 7. I decided on 7 because I wanted them to not be so young that they would get bored or frustrated if they struggled. We picked a gender neutral project (felt pincushions). We provided all the supplies: templates, embroidery floss, needles, pins, felt, stuffing, and fabric scissors. We also copied instructions for all the kids so they could bring them home.

We also gave out these stickers
We wanted to start with a simple project because we had no idea what kind of background the kids would have. Some of them were really quite good and finished quickly, and others were total beginners. Our promotional materials said we weren't expecting any knowledge or experience with sewing. I don't really sew myself, but luckily one of my co-workers is a seamstress (she even sewed some of our puppets from a show last year, which I was super impressed by) and she agreed to help me out. That is her handiwork up in the picture of our sample craft.

This was a really fun, cheap, and simple program. We definitely want to repeat it in the future with a different project. We pre-threaded the needles for the kids to save them the frustration of trying to do it themselves and it was a big help, so I would advise doing that if you put this program on at your library. I'd reccomend having 1 adult for every 3-5 kids as some will need a lot more direction than others. It might be useful to ask the parents when registering if their children have any sewing experience, so you know what you're going into.

I'm going to leave you with a few links for some additional advice if you want to try a sewing program at your library:
-Sew Mama Sew has a great post filled with advice on how to teach younger kids to sew. Lots of comments on this one.
-Sewing School also has a post with suggestions for items that are especially child friendly to include in your sewing kit. I think a kids' sewing kit would be a great gift for the holidays. Sewing books are one of our most popular nonfiction circulating books.

Has anyone done a sewing program before? Or other fabric crafts?


  1. I have a regular sewing class for teens and adults (although lately only adults have been showing up. teens are so hard to schedule!) called "Needlereads." We choose a different project each month and the library keeps a stash of fabrics and two sewing machines on hand. Everyone who has ever attended loves it!

    and as a side note, i once worked at a library that had an Anne, Anna, Ann-Margaret, MaryAnn, Susanne, and we joked that our male employee Kevin's name was secretly "Kev-Anne." My middle name is "Ann" does that count?

  2. I just popped by to check your blog and was thrilled to see you starting a Sewing School! Yea! I hope you will blog more about it. I would love to hear your feedback and see the kids' creations. Thanks!

  3. @abcgirl--That sounds like a really fun program! I would go to that. And, yes, your middle name being Ann totally counts.

    @Amie, I'll see if I can get a chance next time to take pics of the kids' projects. Everyone had a great time and one of the girls asked if we could do cross-stitch next! So we're throwing ideas out of that.

  4. Are you going to do this on a regular basis? Monthly, quarterly??

  5. @Grandma Gippy, We are thinking quarterly right now due to staffing. But maybe slightly more than that if interest sustains. Every other month?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Program Idea: Parachute Playtime

This summer I offered a parachute playtime for kids 2-3 and 4-5. The idea for this program came from the genius that is my close personal friend Miss Lisa, so make sure you stop by her blog to see what activities she includes in her parachute programs. In addition to her program, I also got ideas from Parachute Play by Liz and Dick Wilmes

I like to do a lot of nursery rhymes with the parachute for a few reasons:
Parents/kids are more likely to participate in activities where the content is already familiarI already know them so I don't have to learn a whole bunch of material at once (just being honest here)Easy for the families to replicate this activities at home with whatever props they might have. If they (or you!) don't have a parachute, a bed sheet or blanket can be substituted easily. Even a beach towel would work for one parent and one child to play together.  This is my mean reason and I tried to hammer this in at all three programs I did the past two weeks! Parachute …

"Sleeping Bunnies" on the Parachute!

Here's one of my favorite parachute activities! I actually mentioned it a few months ago when talking about my summer parachute playtime but it's become a storytime staple since. We've been doing this here at my 2 and 3 year old storytimes and it's a great activity that I thought deserved its own post. I learned the song "Sleeping Bunnies" from Mary and I had the idea to adapt it to a parachute activity.

We use the version from Kathy Reid-Naiman's Tickles and Tunes CD.

Here are the words:

Sleeping Bunnies
See the little bunnies sleeping til it's nearly noon. 
Come and let us gently wake them with a merry tune. 
Oh, how are still. 
Are they ill? 
Wake up soon. (Here I yell "WAKE UP BUNNIES!" and the kids shake the parachute.)

Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop hop! 
Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop hop! 
Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop hop! 

Then we say "good night" to the bunnies and repeat a few times.

Today's Flannel Friday is hosted by Cate! 

A Year's Worth of Library Display Ideas (part 1 of series)

One of my favorite things to do in my library is create displays. I thought it might be helpful if I shared the calendar that I drew up to make sure I don't miss any of the "must-do" displays. It is so helpful if you can take people over to a seasonal display versus trying to look up in the catalog or find Easter books or whatever. I hope this helps any new librarians who might be overwhelmed by the process of marketing your collection!

As a general rule, I tend to keep displays up for about 3-4 weeks or if I run out of books all together. One tip I'd recommend if you have the space for multiple displays is to change one display in each space every week and rotate around the youth department like that. For example, one week you put up a new picture books display, then nonfiction, then YA/teen, etc. Don't forget to raid your CD and DVD collections for a multi-category display.

A great resource for making display is Chase's Calendar of Events, which is a prett…