Oh My- Last week we had a special WINTER themed workshop for our students. We made FUR everything! Don't worry vegans- no animals were harmed with our special faux-furs.. Fur hoods, mittens, and pillows.. (the Rice-Crispy Treats were Fur Free)
The kids were given the choice of many different styles and furs to make rockstar combinations for the best furry hoods I have ever seen.. No REALLY! Have a look for yourselves..
We had all sorts of combinations of ears, mittens, linings, fleeces and furs. We used Simplicity Pattern 1514, but had to modify the length of the arms so the mittens would reach everyones hands. This was an easy change, just adding length based off of the sample. In the end, everyone's hood matched their personality and were SO super cute on.
That day we also made a special winter snack-Rice Crispy Treats!! The girls created all sorts of shapes - They made me a big A and G for Alexa and George. Some had mountains and others made doughnut shapes filled with chocolate chips! The photo below is from another blog, but you can imagine that these kid-hand-crafted treats looked this beautiful. ;)
At the end of camp as we were finishing up the hoods, the kids started making paper snowflakes and furry throw pillows with the scraps of fur and fleece! I'm sure you have noticed the beautiful Faux-Fur pillows in all the stores now like Neiman Marcus ($125), Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, Ikea, Nordstrom, they are très chic.
Warning: I don't suggest making a furry hood at home because working with fur is like working in a hair salon, you end up with a mess of loose fur everywhere. I didn't take a photo of the pile of fur at the end of the day, but you can imagine it was like grooming 5 dogs. I would say it was well worth it for the warm fuzzy hoods we can all wear through this cold winter, especially this past weekend while playing in #blizzardJonas!
You've started sewing and you are now thinking "What sewing machine should I get?"
Not knowing where this craft will take you makes it hard to decide as a beginner what kind of machine to buy. Machines have a variety of functions, costs and abilities.
You do not want to get the cheapest machine out there. The super cute toy machines are great for about 5 minutes, but in my experience, after the first or second time, they end up breaking.
Think about how it is built. What parts do they come with? You don't want to grow out of your machine too fast, but you also don't want to over buy with a ton of features and embroidery functions that you will never use. If you plan on using embroidering and quilting these can be great (Think - Bernina, Pfaff, Janome)!
At Brooklyn Sewcial we use the Brother CS6000i, it is relatively inexpensive, smallish (great for NYC/BKLYN), has a wide variety of stitch options (including 1 step button hole) but most of all it has safety features for kids that I find SO SO helpful while teaching. You can set a speed limit to go fast or slow, and the machine will not sew with the presser foot up! This saves us from so many silly mistakes, and makes sewing much more enjoyable for everyone.
A few key things to think about:
-Top loading bobbins are easier to thread than front loading
-LCD screens usually have more options, but are harder to fix if they break
-Machines with metal parts last longer, but are heavier and more expensive
-For younger students look for something with extra speed control, and safety features.
-Make sure your machine comes with the basics: a seam ripper, extra bobbins, extra needles, mini-screw driver,
Really think about what you want your machine to do. How much you feel comfortable spending. Feel free to ask us about your sewing questions, we are happy to help with your machine hunt!!
The link above is for the Brother CS6000i, the machine we use in class. I love it because it is VERY user friendly, has speed settings for the heavy footed sewers, has MANY stitch options, several button hole options, durable, and did I mention easy to use! It is also really reasonably priced on Amazon.com. If anything goes wrong you can contact Brother or Amazon and they are very quick to replace parts or the whole machine!