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?


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