Sewing Camp at the Library

Libraries are branching out into different venues, as seen with the “branch” public library of Fairfield, Connecticut, where they offered a free four-day sewing camp during mid July to the patrons of the library who were entering grades 6 – 8. 

It was an exhilarating four days.  I had the privilege to be their instructor for two hours each day, and astonishingly, with almost three hours on the last day for many who willingly came in early to finish their projects from the day before. There were thirteen wonderful teens, who came to have fun creating on the six sewing machines in the library’s sewing studio.

  Sewing Machine image courtesy of the Fairfield Woods Branch Library

Sewing Machine image courtesy of the Fairfield Woods Branch Library

It all began back in April, when I was contacted by LinkedIn with a “link” from Volunteermatch.org who thought my credentials would be a good fit – current volunteering and sewing skills. The library had listed their need with that organization.  It was a great match.  Not only did I volunteer, but three other women volunteered to help with the sewing camp. The sewing class would not have been as successful without all their hard work and that of the two awe-inspiring staff members from the library.  They were all invaluable and I am so grateful for them.

  Sewing Notions from the Fairfield Woods Library Sewing Studio

Sewing Notions from the Fairfield Woods Library Sewing Studio

During the four days, the teens learned how to sew on the sewing machines, all about sewing notions, how to cut fabric, iron seams, sew an elastic waistband, insert a zipper and all the other skills needed to complete four sewn projects. They made a flannel heating pad, cuddle-soft pillow, pajama bottoms, and zippered pencil bag (I will show you each project in a separate post).  That is an incredible amount to learn in just eight to nine hours. They all just soaked up all those skills so quickly and just kept up with the fast pace of the class. They were an awesome group of teens!

The goal of the four projects was to use existing fabric – you know what I mean – their stash. Even the library had a fabric stash.  Who would have guessed! This goal is what drove the specific projects so that the class could be offered at no charge to the students.  The library did purchase a few items, but nothing over their budget, and the students were requested to bring in a 16 ounce bag of polyfil for their pillow projects.  That was quite a feat – four great projects for just the cost of some polyfil that I hope they purchased with a 50% off coupon at their local chain sewing store.

  Graphic used on the Sewing Camp Student Manual

Graphic used on the Sewing Camp Student Manual

We did not use a purchased curriculum, but I designed one specifically around the four projects.  If you are interested in setting up a sewing camp for your library or another organization, please contact me and I will send you the proposal and the sewing manual.

Thank you Fairfield Woods Branch Library for a wonderful four days.  I will never forget each one of the teens that greeted me each morning with eager smiles on their face.