This is my second Tips from Teachers Sewing with Kids interview. It’s with Jen Shuart.
Jen was trained as a preschool teacher but now works as a librarian in the Children’s Room at the Ansonia Public Library, Conneticut, USA and feels very blessed.
Organising the Workshop
She organised a sewing workshop at the library and chose Skater Rabbit Zenki as the project. I loved the way Jen broke the sewing down into simple steps the kids could master. She divided the workshop into two sessions: in the first two hour session she taught the kids all the necessary skills they needed and in the second two hour session the following day they sewed their own Skater Rabbit zenkis.
Jen’s Favourite Sewing Tool
Another of Jen’s brainwaves was to purchase fifty old fashioned wire needle threaders that looked exactly like the ones she remembered from her grandma’s old sewing basket. Apparently, the kids loved their needle threaders. She even suspected that several of them were letting their thread slip from the needle just so they could re-thread it with their threaders.
Every Stitch is a Good Stitch
Jen also kept to Sew a Softie’s mantra that every stitch is a good stitch! When the kids’ running stitches occasionally turned into over-the-edge stitches, she encouraged the kids to keep going and re-envisioned the wayward stitches as adding character to their softie. I think Jen’s approach works wonders on kid’s confidence: they cease to be afraid of making mistakes and that frees them up to create amazing softies. Their Skater Rabbits were no exception!
And Jen’s parting insight: “If I can sew with kids, then anyone can! And it’s easy when you break it down into clear steps”.
At the end of the workshop, one little boy, having finished sewing his own Skater Rabbit, told Jen that he now understood why Beanie Boos were so expensive…they take so long to make…awww 🙂 As Jen points out: “They’ve made a treasure.” And they know it.
Hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.
Don’t forget to have a look at my first Classroom Sewing Tips from Teachers for Teachers interview with Kylie Gomez.
And if you have any questions come on over and join my free Sew a Softie facebook group.
Happy sewing, Trixi