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Friday, June 22, 2007

Sewing Class Project - Midriff Sun Top And Purse

Sewing Class Project

Hi Sewing Friends:

It's always so much fun to see the faces of my students when they complete a sewing project in class. Their sense of accomplishment and pride makes teaching so worth while.

In many of my beginner sewing classes, I often will have a mixture of adults and kids. This combination often works out very well. The adults and kids help each other and it seems very very natural.

Recently, in such a class, I had a 10 year old girl who came in not knowing how to thread her sewing machine or fill her bobbin. An adult in the class who was familiar with the girl's brand of sewing machine helped to teach the girl how to do that while I prepared other things for the class. We were off to a good start.

The class made a simple midriff sun top using a preshirred cotton fabric. They learned how to measure, cut and prepare the fabric, how to sew a straight seam and finish it, how to sew a narrow hem and make narrow straps besides lots of pressing and other sewing tips.
In the end, they completed the midriff sun top and were very pleased with their accomplishment and what they had learned that they could apply to other sewing projects.
They were so enthusiastic that they didn't want to take a lunch break or even get a drink of water. Wow!

The 10 year old girl had some of the shirred fabric left over. I suggested she make a purse to match her top. By simply folding the shirred part of the fabric in half and stitching the bottom and sides and adding a strap (wider than the shoulder straps), Madie had her original "one of a kind" design purse to go with her top. A small strip of Velcro will help keep it closed. There were lots of smiles all around.

These gals are coming back for more instructions very soon and I can't wait to see how they progress.

See Madie's Midriff Sun Top

See Madie's Original Shirred Purse

There was a bit of narrow strap left over from the top that Madie is going to tie onto her pink flip flops to make her shoes match her new outfit.

There is a lot of unshirred fabric also left over from this project. Madie plans to make a pair of pull-on shorts. You may want a skirt or you can use it as a ruffle that you add to your jeans skirt to make a coordinated outfit. So cute!

The preshirred fabric is sold by the preshirred inch. Usually, the shirring is 2 to 1. However, it is a good idea to measure the unshirred part before it is cut to make sure you have enough fabric to go around your hips plus about 4 inches.

This fabric is great for all ages to sew quick and easy sun dresses, skirts, beach cover-ups, etc..

This is a fun sewing project. Try it!

It just makes sense!

To Your Sewing Success,

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been looking for this pre-shirred fabric. Can you direct me to a source for it? Local fabric stores in the New Jersey area haven't had it for years.



11:23 PM  
Blogger Marian said...


The pre-shirred fabric may be a seasonal thing, but it has been available at Jo-Ann's, Hancock and Wal-mart.

However, you can make your own shirred fabric quite easily using elastic thread in the bobbin.

Here is a very good tutorial for you to see how it is done step by step.

Go to:

The pre-shirred fabric is shirred on the lengthwise grain so the stores can sell it by the inch. The quality of the fabric is not always the greatest and you have limited choice of designs.

If you do it yourself, you can use a better quality of fabric, whatever print you want and do the shirring on the crosswise grain to get a nicer finished look than what the pre-shirred fabric has to offer.

Try it!

It just makes sense!

To Your Sewing Success,

12:59 PM  
Blogger monique said...


6:54 PM  

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