When I needed to come up with a big project for my youth sewing camp a few weeks ago, I panicked. What would appeal to ten and eleven year-old girls, be fairly straightforward, and fun? Plus, I had included fabric painting in the course description, so I needed to work that in. In the end, I decided on a patchwork scarf made of half painted fabric, and half commercial fabrics. Here's my sample:
After I made mine, I knew I had to simplify it a little more, so I made their patchwork rectangles longer, so that they'd sew 4 rectangles on each side, instead of 5. It'd be a stretch for the kids, but I hoped they'd have fun painting fabric, at least. And they did -- never underestimate how much tweens love glittery paints!
We painted first thing in the morning, and put their fabric on racks outside in the 90+ degree heat. Then I had them cut out their commercial fabrics before they went to lunch. After lunch, the paint was plenty dry, so they cut out the rest of the rectangles. The tricky part was getting them to piece the scarf together correctly. I don't get uptight about crooked seams, but they were sewing stuff together backwards, so there was a lot of seam ripping. Much moaning and "this is stupid" and "I don't like scarves" and so forth. In the end, I think 3 out of six finished, and I was really impressed at how nice the scarves looked. This is probably a better project for more advanced and motivated adult students, because the kids just didn't think they were that cool. But I do love mine!