Several weeks ago Rachel from Pins and Needles asked if we like to receive a copy of her new book, Girl’s Guide to DIY Fashion (affiliate link) and since I have a 10-year old who is wanting to learn to sew quite badly, I thought it would be the perfect way to get some sewing lessons in this summer. And it has been! The first couple of weeks we had the book I was super busy with deadlines so Hannie read, and planned all the things that she wanted to make first. I even found her up late one night reading every page instead of going to bed 😉
And so it was decided that we would first start our sewing lesson with a zipper pouch. Nothing like a zipper for our first official lesson-ha! But I guess if you start with zippers early then you aren’t going to ever be afraid of them. So, a zipper pouch it was…
Now, here’s the thing about me. In the past I have tended to take over our sewing lessons….if a seam was going wonktastic, I would stand over their shoulder and gently guide it back into place. But this summer I decided that my past techniques weren’t the right way….I needed to just let her enjoy sewing. And so that was the main goal for our lesson. Enjoy sewing! And to let her do all the work….which she did. (Even the seam ripping which she actually told me was fun 😉 Apparently I needed to learn to let go too.
The instructions were very clear and she read through each step and did them accordingly….and did a fantastic job. She did add a lining to the zipper pouch (mostly because she had already picked out the coordinating fabrics) and we used a longer zipper because it was what I had on hand. The main fabric she used was from Hawthorne Threads new fabric lines that I got as a sample at Quilt Market and the inside dots are Riley Blake Designs.
She and I did discover one trick by accident in the making of the pouch that I think I will forever use on a zipper pouches…especially for beginners. I happen to have left some 1/4″ double-sided fusible hem tape sitting on the ironing board from a hem I had done the day before…and when Hannie was ironing the zipper flat (it was curled up badly) I thought that the fusible hem tape would work to hold the zipper in place really well instead of pins….so I had her iron it on…and by golly it worked fantastically! Hem tape forever!!!
(Although, apparently it says that you should use it for zippers right on the packaging…so I am not a genius;)
The only other change she made was to topstitch down the lining inside but other than that she followed the directions and made the entire bag herself. And she has declared it her pencil pouch for school this year…which I think is a fantastic idea. Some handmade love at school that she made all by herself.
Thank you Rachel for such a fantastic book! We already have lessons 2 and 3 mapped out for this week and next and I am pretty sure we will be sewing through the whole book. It is a fantastic resource for teaching sewing and the love of sewing to girls!