Sewing with Students

A guest post from Kayla…

I’ve been very busy with the end of the term (my high school runs on trimesters), but I had to drop by Mom’s blog and brag on my students who did so well with their sewing projects this term!

Two years ago while I was home on maternity leave with my son, Jasper, I made the choice to move from teaching Family and Consumer Sciences at the small school in the district to teaching Health at the larger school in the district. The school is only a few miles from Spencer’s family and the new position meant prepping for only one or two classes instead of 14, and no more grocery shopping.

I love teaching all of the freshmen in the building, but I found myself missing the hands-on courses with my students. Last year I proposed a new exploratory class and my (amazing!) district approved it, including the purchase of a dozen sewing machines and loads of supplies!

This was my first term teaching sewing again and it was such a blessing. It has been a very hard term with my family being sick with Covid and having a Covid spike in our district, but for two hours every day I got to “hang out” with my “kids” and have fun.

Notice that my videos and photos are embedding from my social media pages. You can follow us @wdhs.fcs on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.

First, students made felt magnets to learn hand sewing.

 

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Then they practiced their seam allowance by making nine-patch blocks. After they could show an accurate seam allowance they moved on to pillowcases.

I had several students who went above and beyond and even made their first quilts! Mom shared charm packs with me that blog readers sent and my students LOVE them. One charm pack and one yard of flannel make a baby quilt that my students were so proud of! I had many students start sewing at home, too, so I sent some extra fabric with them. Thank you so much for sharing!

 

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A post shared by Pins & Walke-Pollitt (@wdhs.fcs)

People are always asking what I need for my classroom. Truthfully, my district is awesome and gives me everything I need, but I sometimes feel shy to ask for what I want. I love having extras to share with students who get bit by the sewing bug in class. I added myself to Mom’s Charity Quilting page and I have a Classroom Donations page on my website too.

Now that the term is over, the students spoke loud and clear in their course evaluation: MORE SEWING!! I am happy to oblige.

Thanks for letting me brag! I will miss these students so much. They were a great group.

P.S.
The winner of the stickers was Virginia.  HERE is the link to my Etsy Shop if you’re interested in taking a look at the stickers again.

19 thoughts on “Sewing with Students

  1. Kim J LeMere

    How wonderful that your administrator was so supportive of the new class for your students. Learning to hand stitch can be helpful with something as simple as replacing a button. There quilts and pillowcases turned out quite nice, they did an awesome job.

    Reply
  2. Kate

    Great to know that some students are getting a taste of sewing and other skills. My son really enjoyed learning to sew when he had to do it in 8th grade. Great job, Kayla!!

    Reply
  3. Dianne R

    I enjoyed seeing the sewing projects of your students. I’m so glad that your district added sewing to its course selection. Sewing is a skill that every student will benefit from taking. I wish more middle school and high schools would bring back these basic skills classes. Years ago students could take home economics, building trades, mechanical classes, businesses classes, etcetera to gain these skills.

    Reply
  4. NJ

    Good for you, Kayla. I’m all for students getting comfortable with needle & thread. Our grandson brought his girlfriend to our house because she wanted to learn how to shorten pants. She’s a medical administrator & DIY is faster – to say nothing of saving $10 to $15 on each pair.

    In my working days, I worked in a school office & the music teacher decided to have a unit on ballroom dancing. It went over great and I remember girls coming to school bringing high heels for dance class. A good understanding of social dancing is valuable.

    I could go on & on with life skills. Keep us posted !

    Reply
  5. Kris in WI

    Kayla…Yea for you and your students! Being able to sew on a button, mend a hem, and cook a meal for 4 for less than the price of having pizza delivered along with budgeting and finance (like how much do you need to earn to be able to afford that first car or apartment) were all part of a Senior Survival class offered by a small high school in my neck of the woods. It was a real eye-opener for some students. Oh, and don’t forget to tell the guys that men sew, too. My son made over 125 masks for neighbors, friends and co-workers last year. After all, a sewing machine is just another power tool! I’m so glad you had a chance to share your skills as a sewist. And kudos to your administration for seeing the real value in your class.

    Reply
    1. Pat Bodary

      Way to go. We started a sewing class for kids at our church as a form of community outreach. The kids loved it. They all made pillow cases and small pillows, tie blankets and the second year full quilts. They had them ready for the local fair before they were done. They felt such a sense if accomplishment and pride. What a gift. They learned so much in such a short time. Then covid hit. We are are hoping to start it back up next year.

      Reply
  6. linda jackson

    This is so great. Everyone needs to learn to sew at least a little, and cook. Good for your school to see some value in this. Life skills…….we all needed them. Congratulations on a job well donel

    Reply
  7. Susan the Farm Quilter

    So awesome for you and your students!! They did a great job on their magnets, pillow cases and quilts…I love that you are donating the quilts as it teaches the kids to give the fruits of their labors to others, which is a feeling like no other! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  8. Samantha M

    Wow, Kayla, your students did great! I think it’s brilliant that you’re giving the students such an important life skill; and you’re obviously a good teacher, judging by the photos!

    Reply
  9. Penni

    This is fantastic! I learned to sew as a Freshman way back in 1982. I would have never had the opportunity to learn if it wasn’t for that brave 1st year Home Economics teacher teaching me.

    Reply
  10. Beryl BC

    It’s so good you are teaching sewing to the kids. Even if they don’t become super sewers, they will have a most useful skill for their future. It was fun to look at the videos.

    Reply
  11. Toni Wice

    This is awesome! Learning these types of skills is so beneficial, but not often taught. So good to see the students excited. My 10 YO granddaughter has asked me to teach her to sew. I was so excited. My daughter never had the interest and still can’t sew a button on. LOL!

    Reply
  12. Frances Whited

    Congratulations Kayla–you did a good job with your students. I was a home ec. teacher for 34 years and loved every moment of it. I didn’t have but 9 weeks of sewing as I taught evcry thing that a homemaker would need to know. You have planted a seed that will grow and spread. Nice seeing that this skill is still being taught in school!!!!!

    Reply
  13. Lynn Walker

    Very Well Done to those youngsters and their teacher. It’s lovely to see their work and their happy faces having achieved something tangible. Personally I consider sewing and knitting essential life skills and so enjoyable too. Congratulations to all.
    Regards from England

    Reply
  14. Pamela Crane

    This is wonderful. Do you have any tips on how to teach kids to sew? I would like to teach my grandkids to sew and was thinking if I could learn how to teach it might be a nice project to take on for other kids in the community. I don’t think there are classes in the public schools any more here teaching this. We have home school co-ops and 4H also.

    Reply
  15. Sally

    This is great, Kayla! What a great group of students. You have no idea what impact this new skill will have on your students in the future. They will undoubtedly use their sewing abilities in the years to come. I took sewing in 6th grade….sewed off and on over the years but was never a great sewist. Now, 50 years later, I am a quilter. Please be sure they know they can get a perfectly good used vintage sewing machine at the thrift store and can do their own repairs and maintenance with info online. Thank you for telling us about your new program!

    Reply
  16. The Joyful Quilter

    SEW awesome, Kayla!! I remember how proud I was of the special needs student who was the first in the class to finish her project in the sewing class I taught during my student teaching period. Kudos to you for inspiring such enthusiasm!

    Reply

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