Basic Sewing is a Life Skill to Teach Your Girls
Sewing is a life skill, and earning the Brownie Girl Scout Stitch It Together Try It patch is one way to learn a few sewing basics. As with all Brownie Girl Scout Try Its, your girls will have to complete four activities in order to earn the patch. Since these are actual projects, this Try It should take at least two meeting sessions.
The sewing projects involvedwill require extra volunteers. Send out an email to the parents a few weeks in advance to see who can come in and assist you and your co-leader. In your email, ask if anyone knows how to sew or knows someone who is proficient with a sewing machine. If they do, ask for a contact number and see if she is willing to come in with a sewing machine and give a demonstration. Ask if the girls will be able to run a straight stitch on some fabric scraps. This can count as an activity towards earning the Stitch it Together Try It patch.
Here are some projects that are not in the Brownie Try It Handbook for you to do with your troop.
Make a Sewing Box
Even if you do not sew anything other than a hem, a button, or to fix a tear along a seam, a basic sewing box is something everyone needs. The girls can make this and give it as a gift or keep it for themselves.
A small box to decorate
Decorations for the box-fabric scraps, markers, pictures of sewing machines or sewing items run off on paper to Mod Podge on (then you will also need foam brushes)
Glue for the decorations
Sewing notions-thread in basic colors for each girl, a pack of needles, a small scissors
After the girls decorate the box, have them fill it with the sewing notions you have purchased for them. Talk about the items and how you would use them.
Make a Bookmark
The running stitch is a sewing basic. Do this activity before making a pillow (the next project). This is great practice for it.
Large plastic needlepoint canvas cut into bookmarks (or see if the craft store sells these already cut for you)
Yarn in three or four colors, a few strands precut to get the girls started
Large needlepoint needles
Demonstrate to the girls how to do the running stitch, as well as how to make a know at the end of the yarn and how to thread the needle. Each girl will make a bookmark running different colors of yarn throughout the plastic canvas. When each girl finishes a color, show her how to end the piece of yarn so it will not unravel.
Make a Pillow
Making a pillow is something the girls will be able to do for the badge, as I did this with my own daughter as a fun project. If you want it to match rooms, you can ask the parents what is the main color of their daughter’s room. If you want to keep it uniform and have no arguments about who gets which piece of fabric, then keep them all the same. The choice is yours.
Precut fabric rectangles before you plan on doing this Brownie Try It project. I strongly suggest a few volunteers to help with the threading of the needles, pinning the fabric down, and with helping the girls keep the stitches small, even and close together.
One rectangle piece of fabric for each girl
Matching spool of thread
Fiberfill-one large bag per four or five girls
Talk to the girls about sewing and how in the past people had to sew their own clothes, only rich people could afford dressmakers. Even if they never want to sew their own clothing, it is good to have some basic sewing skills.
Using the running stitch they learned in the last meeting, they will now make their own pillow. Discuss safety while using pins and needles, as they are sharp an could hurt.
Give each girl a fabric rectangle and place a bowl of pins on the table. With adult supervision, have the girls pin one side down on the reverse side of the fabric. Have them thread the needle and start sewing.
When all three sides and most of the fourth are done, have the girls turn the fabric inside out and stuff it. Help them finish the end and the pillow is done!
Sew Buttons on Fabric Scraps
Even those who do not sew anything at all will find at one time or another, a button falls off a shirt. It only takes a few minutes to sew it back on if you know how!
This activity helps the girls practice this basic sewing skill. The girls can master sewing on buttons with two button holes. If you think they can sew four, then have them try that, too.
A few parent volunteers will help your co-leader and you out on this activity!
Bag of buttons
Fabric scraps cut into 5 x 5 6 x 6 inch squares
Bowl for buttons
Demonstrate to the troop how to sew on a button. Then hand out the fabric scraps, needles and thread. Have the girls thread the needle and then select a button to sew on. Once they have done one, have them do a few more.
Sew on Patches
Back in the 1970’s jeans were decorated with funky patches. The girls in your troop can sew patches on a plain white tee shirt to make it look jazzy.
Buy tee shirts or tank tops in the craft store and make sure you have the correct size for each girl.
Shirt or tank top for each girl
Have the children pin the first patch to the shirt. They will then thread the needle and use a running stitch to sew the patch on the shirt. When they finish the first patch, they can sew on another.
The sewing projects for the Brownie Girl Scout Stitch it Together Try It will take some time and a few extra volunteers to make it work. The life skills you are teaching the girls is worth the effort.
Needles for Kids to Use
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