I haven't been sewing myself lately, which doesn't give me a lot of subject matter for blog posts, but I have been up to something that I wanted to share with you. I love working with kids, and I have recently started leading a group at a local elementary school called "Sew Cool After School". The kids are so excited about it, which makes me excited as well!
In case any of you fellow seamstresses out there would be interested in doing the same thing where you live, I thought I would give you an idea of the process that we've gone through to get it started.
1. Last Spring, I approached the school principal about the idea. She brought it to the building council, and they approved it. I'm an employee at the school, but if you weren't, you would probably need to go through
a background check and fingerprinting, which is routine these days for any school volunteer.
2. I was lucky enough to find a parent who also shares my love of sewing, and she agreed to co-lead with me.
3. We sent out invitations to the 5th graders at the school. Out of 100 fifth graders, we had 14 responders.
4. The principal approved the purchase of a few very simple and cheap machines, and I secured donations of notions and fabrics.
5. Since we have a small room to work in, we divided the kids into two groups- they will come once a week on alternating months.
6. We are starting with learning the machine, and the first project was making a pieced wallhanging. The next will be a tote bag for each member to store their sewing projects in the future.
A lot of kids want to learn to sew these days, but may not have an adult available who can teach them. Schools are always looking for interesting activities for kids to do after school, so don't feel shy in asking if you could start a club! There may be funds available to after school clubs, so you don't have to take on the expense all by yourself.
I also lead a 4-H group called the Spinning Bobbins, which is a group of mixed ages, and they come from all over the county. We meet just once a month on Saturdays at my house, and unlike general 4-H Clubs, our only project is sewing.. There were funds from the Cooperative Extension program to purchase sewing kits for each member. It's another option to you if you have a 4-H program in your county.
There are lots of ways to learn how to sew these days, and the tutorials and videos on the internet are fantastic. But I still like the old fashioned way of passing down the love of sewing from generation to generation. This is a fun way to do that, so if you are at all inclined to get something started in your area and need any advice, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you've also started something in your town, please share your story!