Summer Sewing Camps 2016…

We had a great holiday break–so great, I am already dreaming about summer break and fun with my family!  I am also excited to see my sewing students again this summer, and meet new students!!  For those who have not taken classes from me before, here is a little about me;)…

My mom started me hand sewing at a very young age, and she let me start sewing with her machine when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  She would let me use up her scrap fabrics in the summer and I would create all sorts of clothes and sleeping bags for my dolls and stuffed animals.  I loved figuring things out and making up stuff on my own.  My mom and I started taking quilting classes when I was 14 or 15 and I was hooked!  We have taken many quilting classes together since then and I have also designed quilting patterns that in my Etsy shop.  I started bartering sewing lessons for piano lessons and eggs from some of my friends 3 years ago and found out that sewing isn’t taught in school anymore!?!?  I started offering a few sewing classes to my friends and their kids and then a year later started offering Summer Sewing Camps.

Sewing has helped me create beautiful things for my family, friends, and home and has been my creative outlet.  My goal in teaching young students to sew is to help them get excited about creating something independently and feel empowered to try something new—and hopefully continue sewing on their own and use their own creativity to make new things.  Most beginners come in very nervous and wonder if their projects will turn out or if they will finish–it is priceless to see their proud smiles when they finish, and they always do!

Classes are taught out of my home.  I have a sewing classroom set up in my finished basement…

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Here are the camps offered for 2016

Sew Little Beginner Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 6 and up. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, hand stitching, and making: tic-tac-toe boards, bookmarks, button closure clutch, lined tote bag, and owl pillow.

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Sew Basic I Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 8 and up. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, sewing bias tape, sewing a zipper, and making: an infinity scarf, pillow case, Anna tote bag, lined zipper pouch with ruffle.

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Match with Me I Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 8 and up. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, sewing zippers, and making: necklaces for student and doll, headbands for student and doll, embellished elastic skirts for student and doll, and zippered sleeping bag for doll.

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This is a new class this summer! Match with Me II Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 8 and up. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, hand sewing fabric yo-yos for headbands, how to make ruffles, and making: headbands with hand sewn embellishments for students and doll, pillowcase dresses for student and doll, bracelet bags for student and doll, and ruffle apron for student and doll.

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Sew Basic Plus Summer Sewing Camp is for ages 11 and up, or students who have taken classes with me previously. Students will have lots of fun learning how to thread the machine, sewing machine safety, sewing vinyl, using pellon, sewing on velcro, sewing zippers, and making: zippered shark pencil case, Travel pillow with piping, fabric stand-up bin, and vinyl velcro closure pouch.

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Classes run from Mondays through Thursdays and specific dates and times are listed in the photo. Cost of the class is $135. Please contact me through FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/SewSweetCottage/) if you are interested and I will send you an email with registration information. I am requiring a $35 registration fee which is non-refundable to reserve your spot. This amount counts towards your total tuition, so the remaining $100 will be due on the first day of class. Fabric supply lists will be emailed out in May and students do not need a machine to attend–my classroom is stocked with machines for each student!

Summer Sewing Camps 2015…

Here is a list of my Summer Sewing Camps for 2015!!  Some of these are almost full–email me or comment if you are interested in signing up.  You can email me at sewsweetcottage@yahoo.com.

I have a special new camp for younger students, ages 6+ called Sew Little Beginners…

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also running this camp the last week in July…

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And for students 8 years and older, I have some returning favorites from last year…

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and a new Sew Basic II class for students who have had previous sewing experience or who are 11 or older.

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I will be running my most popular class, the American Girl Match with Me again in July as well…

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Class fee includes use of my classroom machines, and instruction for the week.  I will email you a supply list once you have signed up for class!!

It is going to be a great summer full of sewing!

Sewing Class Schedule 2014-2015…

I am a little late on posting my Sewing Class schedule this year!!  Summer sewing camps were a big success and now an annual event!  Thanks to all my summer students and the great parent feedback after classes.  Summer Sewing Camps will be an annual event now!  Summer camps 2015 will be between June 8-12, June 15-19, and June 22-26. Save the dates!

My Sewing Studio is now set up with four, Brother machines and is a perfect environment for students to learn how to sew.

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Here are a few new things to note about my Sewing Studio…

  • All classes are now $25 each(2 hours of group instruction).  Adults and children ages 8 and up.
  • If you are interested in private instruction(one-on-one lessons), the cost is $35 per hour.
  • Birthday parties for a group of 4 children (ages 8+) can be scheduled on Saturdays with supplies included for $150.  (More than 4  children can be accommodated if needed, please contact me for more info)
  • Girl’s Night Out classes can be scheduled with a minimum of 4 students for $25 per person for a 2 hour class.
  • Summer Sewing camps are $125 for 5 days of instruction, (10 hours total), ages 8+.  If parents are interested in having the supplies included, the cost is $175.

I know it is still the beginning of October, but I am already planning Christmas!  These classes are great for teaching how to make personal, hand-made gifts with the intent that you can also make more on your own after class!  If you are interested in a class, email me and let me know to reserve your spot and then I will send you an email with a list of supplies needed.

Sewing Class Schedule 2014/2015

Reversible Headbands and Necklaces

Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 1-3pm, $25.  You will be making 2 headbands and 2 necklaces during class time!  This is a perfect gift for girls and my 3 year old loves wearing these necklaces!

Saturday, November 22, 2014 from 12-2pm $25.

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Bunting Class

Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 10-12am, $25.  You will complete 2 buntings in this class!  These are so fun for picture backdrops, holiday decorating, or just home decorating!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 from 9:30-11:30am, $25

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Beginning Quilted Placemat

Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 1-3pm $25.  This is a perfect beginning class for quilting.  Don’t be scared to quilt—I will teach you the basics in this back-to-front binding that doesn’t require any hand sewing!  You will complete two placemats in class.  These are wonderful presents for any holiday—Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.  They would also be great for kids in their favorite character fabrics!  This is a great class for kids as well as adults and would be fun as a parent/child class together!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 from 9:30-11:30am $25

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 from 7-9pm $25

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Ruffle Pillow

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 9:30-11:30am $25.  These pillows can be made in any size, and become a beautiful accent in any room!  Can be made with holiday fabric as well!

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Pieced Skirt *Matching AG skirt*

Saturday October 25, 2014 from 9:30-11:30am $25.  This is a sweet and easy pieced skirt for girls, with an elastic waist.  Matching American Girl skirt can be made during class time if desired!

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Burlap zipper pouches

Saturday October 25, 2014 from 1-3pm $25.  The contrast between character burlap and bright lining makes these burlap zippered pouches adorable!  You will complete two pouches during class.

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Pleated zipper pouches

Saturday October 25, 2014 from 3-5pm $25.  These are my favorite things to sew!!  I have made probably over 40!  They are a perfect gift for teachers, therapists, friends, or family!  You will complete two pouches during class.

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Ruffle Apron *Matching AG Apron*

Tuesday November 4, 2014 from 9-11am $25.  Whether you make one for yourself, or a daughter, mother, mother-in-law, or friend—this apron is sure set the holiday mood!  Can be made in non-holiday fabric as well.  There will be time to make a matching AG apron if desired.

Saturday November 8, 2014 from 10am-12pm $25

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Apron for Dad and Key Fob

Tuesday November 4, 2014 from 12:30-2:30pm $25.  Dads don’t have to be hard to shop for—or sew for!  Come make this styling Grinch apron, or use whatever fabric you would like!  There will be time to make a key fob as well!

Saturday November 8, 2014 from 1-3pm $25

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iPhone or iPod charger

Saturday November 22, 2014 from 9:30-11:30am $25.  Here is another gift that would be great for the men.  This case will hold an iPhone or iPod while charging—keeping everything together in one place, and looking stylish too!  You will complete two in class.

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Drawstring Bag

Saturday December 6, 2014 from 9:30-11:30am $25.  I love these bags because my kids can use them for lunches, vacation day bag, ballet bag, music lesson bag, or library book bag—they are great at helping me stay organized!  They would also be a cute and practical gift wrap for another present!

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Christmas Pillowcases

Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 9:30-11:30am $25.  Start a new tradition this year of Christmas pillowcases.  We get ours out every year after Thanksgiving, and my kids love their Grinch pillowcases!  You will complete 2 in class.

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If you have any questions or ideas for classes, I would love to hear about them!  You can always email me at SewSweetCottage@yahoo.com.

Lennon Jane Quilt Pattern…

Just finished a new quilt that I had to share…it has special meaning for me because I made it for my Aunt.  She has been there for me at every crossroads of my life and she is now fighting cancer.  I felt so helpless when I found out.  I live far away from her and my cousins, so I couldn’t even give them a hug!!  So I got busy sewing.  I wanted something that she could pass on to her granddaughter, so it needed to be happy and girly!!

Here is my new design in honor of my Aunt—the Lennon Jane Quilt…

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My favorite Beginner Sewing Machine… Brother XR1300

At the suggestion of a friend in bartering for eggs this year, I ended up teaching sewing lessons—who would have thought I would love it so much!!  In the process of teaching, I had a student bring her Brother sewing machine and I noticed it had speed adjusted button with “turtle speed” (it literally has a picture of a turtle on one side!!) as an option.  My Little Miss tried out her machine on turtle speed and she was in love.  She had already used my sewing machine since she was 6, but using the Brother machine with the speed adjuster really helped her feel more comfortable and really enabled her to be more independent in sewing.  After that, and because of all the young students I was getting, I started looking to purchase a new machine.
On a recommendation from a quilt shop owner who I adore and who I took classes from in the past, I tried the Brother XR1300 from Costco.
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I have had this for 6 months now and used it myself, and had several students use this machine…..and I love it.  It was about $169 and I bought it online.  The best thing is it has the speed adjuster button and so my daughter is in heaven.  She can sew independently and because it goes a consistent slow speed she also has the time needed to adjust the fabric and learn how to sew straight consistently.  I have had several adult student who like the slow speed as well to start, and then you can adjust it to a faster speed as soon as you get the hang of things.
Here are the other things I have tried, and like about the machine…
  • Zipper foot—I have sewn a zipper once or twice in my life before this machine, but this one is very easy to use and I have made several of these adorable zippered pouches (pattern at www.skiptomylou.com).  
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  • Straight stitches and zig zag stitches are easily adjusted in length and width with the digital adjusting buttons.  I haven’t had problems sewing burlap and minky fabric on this machine either.
  • I recently tried out the free motion quilting on this machine and I felt like it was comparable in ease to my mom’s Bernina machine that I have.  It also has a mini stippling stitch available to choose on the digital decorative panel—I thought it was a great option for smaller pieces or doll quilts.
(free motion example on left, decorative mini-stippling on right)
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I went to a local Bernina shop and asked them to show me some of their basic models for beginners and they showed me a great little machine that was $800—that was their student/basic machine.  I am sure it was a good machine, but if you are looking for something more affordable to start a new hobby or teach children how to see—I love the Brother XR1300.  Enough that I bought another one for my sewing classroom so more students have the option to go “turtle speed!”  It is a great beginner sewing machine!!
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DIY American Girl doll skirt sewing tutorial…

My Little Miss loves to sew, she is almost nine and loves using the sewing machine by herself—and she’s getting pretty good at it!!  We have lots of mommy-daughter sewing dates, but she also gets sewing time rewarded to her if she gets all her studying and assignments done.  She has been working so hard the past couple of days to get all her chores and studying done that she earned some sewing time today.  We had about an hour while the other kids were napping and she pulled out some of her favorite fabric from her stash and asked if she could make a skirt for her American Girl doll.  And so we did!!
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Little Miss measured Kirsten’s waist as 11 inches.  So we doubled that length to 22 inches and cut a piece of her fabric 22 x approximately 6 inches. 
She sewed the edges of each 22 inch side over about 1/2 inch.
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Then she pinned a row of rick rack to the bottom edge and sewed it in place.  She couldn’t decide on which color, so she ended up using both!
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She folded the skirt in half and sewed a seam to connect her skirt.
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Next we cut a 10 inch piece of 1/4 inch elastic and sewed the ends together.  I helped her pin the elastic to the seam and then match the middle of the elastic to the middle of the skirt (so the elastic will be stretched evenly when it is sewn).
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To finish the skirt, I helped Little Miss stretch the elastic until it laid flat against the fabric and sewed all the way around the waist.
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We spent about 20 minutes on this project and it was done!!  And my Little Miss couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.  I think I know what to get her for Christmas—a bag of scrap fabric and rick rack!!
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Up-cycled Denim Ruffled Skirt tutorial…

I don’t like sewing clothes—have I mentioned this??  I am sure I have!!  I do love sewing clothes from a blog tutorial or refashions, but if it is a big chain fabric store bought pattern—I am not a fan!!  But I love making stuff for my kids—so I just improvise!!
I took an old pair of my toddler’s jeans that had a hole in the knee, cut them off, and added ruffles to make a skirt—and it turned out adorable!!  I have taught this a few times as a sewing class and the girls love it!!
Here’s what you need:
  • Old pair of pants you don’t mind cutting up!! (I like denim but any structured non-knit pant will work)
  • muslin fabric for the underskirt
  • three, 4-5 inch x 45 inch(standard bolt length) strips of fabric***If you are wanting a more ruffle/pleated look or are making this for an adult, you will need to double the amount)
  • sewing machine
  • serger**you can turn over the edges instead if you don’t have a serger**
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1. Lay out your jeans and measure from the outside of the side pocket down the side of the pant leg until you reach the same point across from where the crotch of the pants are.  Mark with a fabric pen and then measure that same amount from the other side and mark with a fabric pen.  Next cut from that outside marked point to the center of the pants and then to the other side so you end up with no crotch in the pants anymore and it looks like a super mini skirt.  **Make sure you watch that you are not cutting the back pockets off in the process.  If you have lower pockets in the back, than adjust your measurements lower so all of the back pockets will still show once the skirt is finished.**
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2. Next take your muslin fabric and measure around the bottom of your denim skirt.  Pin to the skirt, right sides together leaving enough extra fabric to create a quarter inch seam down the length of the skirt.  Sew to the denim fabric, then sew down the side seam of the muslin.
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3.  Take your 4 inch strips and serge the raw edges on both sides so they won’t fray.  If you don’t have a serger, just turn your edges under and sew a quarter inch seam.  Sew the short ends together with a 1/4 inch seam so your strip is now a continuous circle or loop.
4.  Slide your circle strip around the muslin skirt and fold over every few inches all the way around and pin it to form “pleats.” 

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5,  Sew the strips with pinned pleats on the muslin skirt.  Repeat with the two other strips. Trim bottom of the muslin skirt and either serge or turn under edge and sew a 1/4 inch seam.
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And that is it!!  These are quick and easy to make and look so cute too!!

My Sewing Room…

With our move to a new house, I was able to take claim of a room in the basement just for me—which became my sewing haven!!  It is my favorite room in the house, and is now set up as a sewing classroom so I can teach sewing lessons!!
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It is my little get-away room where I can just be creative and sew without and distractions—it is so therapeutic.  I display my product on the walls as decorations and inspiration.
I have a bulletin board that has my patterns for sale, and my class schedule and of course, my Project Runway sign;)  I can pretend…it is my room!!
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I love all the new friends I have made from teaching sewing!!  I heard one student say to another, “Isn’t it so therapeutic being in this room sewing??”  YAY!!!  That is the exact environment I was hoping for!!
I’d love to see your sewing spaces too, feel free to link to your blog in the comments!!