Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make

Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make

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by Amie Plumley, Andria Lisle

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Kids everywhere discovering the wonder and joy found in simple needle and thread. And while sewing offers lots of benefits for children — it nurtures creativity, cognitive ability, coordination, and confidence and is a skill they’ll use their whole lives — kids know that it’s just plain fun.

Authors Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria

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Kids everywhere discovering the wonder and joy found in simple needle and thread. And while sewing offers lots of benefits for children — it nurtures creativity, cognitive ability, coordination, and confidence and is a skill they’ll use their whole lives — kids know that it’s just plain fun.

Authors Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle teach a sewing camp in Tennessee that has earned praise from delighted children and parents. When families clamored for more, Plumley and Lisle launched a blog,, to rave reviews. Now, they’ve channeled the best of their children’s sewing projects into this lively, how-to sew book for ages five and up.

Featuring 21 inspired projects for young sewers, Sewing School allows kids to create fabric masterpieces with minimal supervision. All projects have been kid-tested, most can be made using simple hand stitches, and all can be embellished with personal touches. To further inspire young crafters, the book is full of photos and quotes from real boys and girls who have participated in the authors’ sewing camp.

Projects include items that children can hug (pillows, doll, blanket), hold (wallet, tote, drawstring pouch), give as gifts (coasters, glasses case, pot holder), and wear (sleep mask, hat, cuffs). Each project features step-by-step instructions written at a second-grade reading level, a close-up photo of every step, and a photo of the finished project. The book includes full-sized cutout patterns and instructions for how grown-ups can help.


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Editorial Reviews

host of the Craftsanity podcast Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood
"Fun projects & clear instructions combine for the perfect recipe to get kids hooked on handmade." Diane Gilleland
"Fun projects & clear instructions combine for the perfect recipe to get kids hooked on handmade."
From the Publisher
"A thoroughly engaging way to learn one of the most empowering skills around...I would have spent hours and hours with this book when I was a kid."
Children's Literature - Lisette Baez
This is a great resource for educators, parents, or adults to use and share with children. Kids will be able to share their work and say proudly, "I made that myself." The fun projects and easy to follow instructions make for a perfect outcome. Kids will learn how to make masks, wallets, coasters, or even repair a rip or falling hem. Sewing School separates the book into small valuable lessons of sewing; such as an introduction for adults, how to use the book, in your sewing kit, and finding out about fabric. As the book progresses, the sewing and excitement will begin. Kids will be able to thread a needle, create several different types of stitches, work with patterns, and sew a button. Children will also be able to assess their progress by following the pictures accompanying each stage of a sewing activity. Pattern pieces are neatly packaged in the back of the book for each sewing activity. The back cover also incorporates a ruler to assist with the various sewing projects. This is a charming and engaging way to learn such a great skill that can be used way beyond childhood. Reviewer: Lisette Baez
School Library Journal
Gr 2–8—These projects were tested by kids between the ages of 5 and 13, and there is no denying their appeal or their ability to instruct and inspire. After learning the basics (threading a needle, knots, simple stitches), beginners can easily dive into the initial projects—a needle holder and pincushion. A ratings system guides intermediate sewers to items that require more skill, like doll clothing and skirts, with plenty of tasks in between that build confidence and experience. Almost everything is hand sewn, with any machine use acknowledged in the "Note for Grown-Ups" sections that identify the steps requiring adult help. The authors have a fun and encouraging writing style, offering tips to personalize projects and breezily stressing that results do not have to be perfect. Also helpful are the practical techniques like repairing rips and holes or replacing buttons. Bright photos add to the enjoyment and provide guidance for the step-by-step instructions. A "Sewing School Dictionary" and "Resource Guide" are included. However, librarians may find that the ebook binding and the attached envelope of patterns will make it difficult to keep everything complete and intact. These features make the book better suited as an excellent gift idea for creative kids or for adults conducting youth-centered group activities.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

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Product Details

Storey Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Andria Lisle is the Public Relations and Public Programs Manager at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. She and Amie Petronis Plumley are the authors of Sewing School and run a summer Sewing School camp.

Amie Plumley teaches kindergarten, where she utilizes her creative background and her Masters Degree in Education to inspire students to sew in the classroom, in an after-school Sewing Club, and at a summer camp. She is the mother of two small children and lives in Tennessee.

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Sewing School 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anne-B More than 1 year ago
I wanted to find a good resource for was sewing. Although I know how to sew, I am a learned teacher, not a natural teacher. I need books that will give me good directions that both me and my kids can read. I need things to be simple. I don't have a lot of time for prep in my life right now. I like good, clear, and simple illustrations. Surprisingly, I found all of those things in this book! There is an introductory section for parents about how to teach sewing and how to approach the endeavor. Then, there are the basics of knots and hand sewing stitches. The pictures are simple and the directions below the pictures are concise and clear. From there, the book includes directions on how to make 21 sewing projects. I wondered what these projects would be like. I was wonderfully surprised at what I found. Patterns and stuffing are introduced. Projects range from simple to more complex. There is even one for making a skirt using a sewing machine--on the most basic level! Honestly, that was just what I wanted. I was looking for a book that primarily focused on hand sewing with a little machine sewing towards the end so that I can introduce the kids to my sewing machine when it's time. The projects in this book are wonderful ideas for gifts that my girls will be able to make for others come next Christmas. I think the best age range for this book is 5-12 year olds. 5 years old may be a little young for this book, but if you take it slow, have patience and a needle threader, I think you'll be in good shape. 12 may seem a little old for this book, but if someone was starting off sewing that has never sewn before, I would start them with just these projects. The directions are clear and simple--and that's helpful no matter how old you are! The authors obviously know what they're talking about. They run a summer camp for elementary age children in Tennessee every year to teach them how to sew. So, these projects have been tested and made over and over. These authors are writing with experience! Every so often I find authors who pretend to be people they're not or write about things that they have only a little experience in. That's not the case with these two! I am impressed. This book has made me really look forward to sewing with my girls and now I just can't wait to introduce my girls to sewing! We just so happened to get them new shoes this weekend and the boxes are just the perfect size to become their new sewing boxes. So, I'm off to cover them with paper... Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Storey Publishing.
Janelle1940 More than 1 year ago
I taught my 6 year old granddaughter and my 12 year old neice to sew. These skills can be used their whold life. The book gives rules for the children and for you in dealing with children. The book is full of pictures and includes patterns.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I sent this book to my granddaughter because she is crazy about sewing.  When I saw it in the library, I saw that 6 year olds were in the camp and being successful.  It is written with excellent instuctions  and the best safety training.  I love the fact that they show the work of the children, so that a child can see how it looks and that not being perfect at their age is OK.  These authors know what they are doing and have provided a wonderful book to use as a guideline, or as I used it, to send to get her started.  
queequegs More than 1 year ago
My daughter who is in 1st grade loved this book so much. I highly recommend it. Not too hard or too easy, and it comes with patterns ready to cut out and try right away. It helps if you also have an adult ready to help with a sewing machine, but there are a lot of patterns that work with hand-sewing as well. I would suggest buying about a yard of fabric, some felt, thread, and a small sewing kit to give along with the book. They will be excited to get started right away once they start reading!