Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Of Mice and Milk!

A wee while ago I was ̶r̶o̶p̶e̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶  politely requested to help out with a girls' Summer Camp being run by our FSSP seminarians.  I was merely asked to do one afternoon of sewing...with 21 girls! Not being a teacher, (I really don't think home-educating one boy counts!) and realising that there would not be any sewing machine facilities for all of them (even if I brought my collection of 6 machines along!) I was rather daunted by the prospect. After all, I can thread a needle, and do a bit of hand-stitching when   ̶a̶b̶s̶o̶l̶u̶t̶e̶l̶y̶  necessary, but to spend a whole afternoon teaching girls to hand sew was going to be well outside of my comfort zone. Nonetheless, after googling some simple hand sewing ideas, and madly trying them out myself, to make sure they were achievable in the time allotted to us, I ventured forth, and I have to say, an enjoyable time was had by all.

I chose three main projects, a zip and ribbon purse, which mainly involved a lot of straight stitching, to hold the ribbon to the zip, but with a bit of clever going round the corners, which made it into a purse once the zip was done up:-
Of course, nearly all the teenagers wanted to do this one, but they had to be competent stitchers if they were to get through the amount of sewing needed to finish the project, and fortunately most of them did manage to do so.

The simplest task was to make a ring pin-cushion as this only needed one line of gathering stitches to pull the circle of fabric up to make (once it was stuffed) a little ball that could be glued into the "ring" made from a bottle cap and elastic.

This shows one of the girls very seriously studying her pin-cushion ring! whilst the lassie behind
is furiously finishing off the nose on her mouse!

 And the third project was to make a mouse pin cushion. I had cut out all the pieces necessary so the girls just had to sew and stuff them, and finish off the eyes tails and nose. I was pleased that the girls all seemed quite keen to achieve something, even the ones who had obviously never done any sewing before, and I was glad that I stayed overnight, as many who hadn't quite managed to finish in the afternoon were still requesting my help the next day. For those who wanted simpler tasks there were bookmarks and little purses or stuffed shapes to make too.

When we came down to breakfast, Father was blaming the mice who had been sitting on the mantelpiece for the fact that the milk supplies were rather low! (But I'm sure they were innocent!)

All in all, it was quite a good learning experience for me, (hand sewing isn't so bad, after all!) and I do hope it inspired a few girls to take sewing further.

And especial thanks goes to the helpers who were with me that day, as I know I couldn't have managed such a big class all alone.

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