Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew…..and didn’t I think that this week????
I thought I’d give the students at school a chance to learn something I love….stitchery, and what better way to do it than by embellishing a bag to carry their cutlery and crockery around on camp???? Sound good? Yes, well I thought so too but….. did I count on how much time it was going to take??? NO!!! That didn’t even enter the equation.
What about the amount of fabric it would take? NO!!! That didn’t even enter the equation.
And then stitching them into bags?? NO! That didn’t enter the equation either.
Nor did the threading cord through the tops of the bags….and did I mind????? NOOOOOO! I loved every minute of it….especially when I was able to hand them over to the children yesterday….they were ecstatic….EVEN THE BOYS!!!!!!
HOWEVER………..I do wish I had planned it a little bit better…..or should I say, “followed through with my plan” a little bit better! I had planned to make a few each day of my school holiday break…..but I got sidetracked! So this week has seen me up til midnight every night, getting these bags of fun finished…..but did I mind????……NO! not one little bit (apart from the severe lack of sleep and the grumpiness that comes with it!). The look of joy on the children’s faces more than made up for it.
Lesson One: Well, I really needed to calculate how MUCH fabric it needs to make 34 bags…..ended up nearly 15metres of calico.
Lesson Two: The thread wasn’t an issue and I’d use the same type again for introducing stitchery to children…it was a 2 ply cotton variegated thread….however, perhaps on the calico, I would choose a straight colour rather than variegated, or at least a variegated that doesn’t change right back to a white…..lots of the writing tended to disappear.
Lesson Three: The needles we used….I was thinking something nice and easy for students to thread themselves….a big eye and reasonably sharp to go through the calico and just the right length for medium sized hands (11 year olds). I chose the Chenille sizes 18-22 but favoured the size 20 and these were just perfect!
Lesson Four: Calculating the amount of cord …..believe it or not, we used a whopping 40 metres of cord …..I originally estimated about 1/2 metre per bag….boy, was that figure hit out of the ball park!
Lesson Five: Time…….stitching each bag together after the children had stitched the design didn’t take too long per bag….about 10-15 minutes, but multiply that by 34 (and I’ve still got to make the bags for the year 5 students who don’t go on camp till next term!)
Lesson Six: What to do with the leftovers….not the materials, but the children who don’t go on camp for one reason or another! I thought ahead (unlike me!!) and planned for these children to do a stitchery too, but I altered it slightly and just had their name, year and class on it, and instead of having the knife and fork, we had a smiley face….same sort of design so they didn’t feel left out and the others didn’t think they were either!!! They then had the choice to make a bag or a cushion.
Lesson Seven: Perhaps thinking about having some beads to add to the ends of the cords for decoration. I had some in the classroom but not enough for all. This really helped make a great individualised ‘finished’ product and looked ‘cool’ too according to the children! Next year I will have to have a selection or suggest they bring beads in to embellish the cords when they’re done!
Do all these lessons put me off stitching with kids? Not on your Nelly!!!!! We had a ball! I was initially conservative about keeping the boys’ interest, but I should have known, having taught a class finger knitting before…the boys were the most productive!!!!!
Some even went on to add their own embellishing!!! I can see some up and coming stitchers of the future!
….and I can say I have another 34 finishes for OPAM for the month of July!!!!!! Wheeeeeeeeee!
Have a wonderful weekend