Many of you will know me for the adult sewing classes I run at my home sewing studio, and some of you follow my sporadic blog postings here at Needleswift. However, for even longer than I’ve been teaching adults, I’ve been running an after school children’s sewing club at a local school. You can read a blog post about it from a few years ago if you’re interested in reading more about this.
The peculiar times that we’ve lived through in 2020 meant that I was forced to stop all sewing classes, for both adults and children alike. I had to stop seeing my amazing Stitch Club students mid-way through the term, and with a project unfinished. I’ve always designed every Stitch Club project myself and for around a year I’d been pondering the idea of whether I could produce kits for children, to help them enjoy sewing as much as my students. I’ve always had a waiting list for Stitch Club, and I’d love to be able to teach every child who wants to sew!
Forced into this strange new situation, I began by creating a kit so that my students could complete their project at home. This went down well, and I was thrilled when they started sending me photos of their completed work!
And there, for me, was the silver lining to lockdown 2020. At home with my family, and no students to teach. In between supervising home-schooling, and feeding a family who seemed to be constantly hungry (!), I put together the first six Stitch Club kits. I fitted designing, product sourcing, die-cutting, website planning, sample sewing and photography into every spare moment.
Finally on July 10th, Stitch Club was ready to launch! I had a great first week, with the buzz of trotting off to the Post Office with deliveries, and meeting parents as I dropped off orders to local families. Currently there are 6 sewing kits to choose from, aimed in general at children from around the age of 9+, but with several of them also offering a really fun and crafty way for adults to learn to sew as well. My favourite is the embroidered elephant, which is an amazing way for anyone to learn beginner friendly embroidery skills, and comes with the option of sewing your finished work into a stuffed ornament.
I’m passionate about giving parents the tools they need to help their children sew. We live in a time when it’s too easy for our children (and us!) to watch too much tv, or lose hours on social media. Having taught my own daughter to sew from the age of 7, my heart has swelled during lockdown as at age 14 I have never once seen her mope about or say ‘I’m bored’. She has embroidered, cross-stitched, crocheted and macrame’d her way through the months at home.
If you need help getting your children (or yourself!) started on the sewing path, visit www.stitchclub.co