Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

Last spring Rebecca participated in a local contest sponsored by a reuse sewing shop to create something out of recycled materials. The creation had to include denim. What started as a creative endeavor grew into an opportunity for many new authentic experiences.

The Original Design Project

The original project, called Denim Plus, required participants to refashion old denim into something new. Rebecca took the challenge head on and came up with a dress which was nearly entirely made from reused or recycled materials.

  • Eco-Fashion Design Project – This is the story behind the making of the dress. There are layers upon layers of tulle in a skirt attached to a denim bodice. Cyndi Lauper would have paid for this garment!
  • Eco-Fashion Runway Show – The story of how the designer got to be a model in the fashion show which featured the finished pieces from the Denim Plus contest along with the results of the contest. The show featured how to have a nominal number of clothing items in your closet to pair and wear over and over. The emphasis was on less is better and letting go of “throw away” fashion we’ve all become accustomed to.

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based LearningThe Invitation to a Curated Exhibit

At the end of the runway show, the director of the show told us that a local gallery curator was interested in having her dress for an upcoming show last summer. We worked with the curator to prepare the curated display of Rebecca’s dress.

  • The show was called, The Common Thread: To Sew or Not to Sew, and was a collection of garments and fabrics which highlight change in the fashion industry.
  • Rebecca’s dress was chosen to represent the reuse and refashion of many materials into one garment.
  • The show was all about change in the fashion world, moving from one-at-a-time garments made with scissors, needles and thread, to unlimited quantities produced by industries that cut with laser beams and held together with seamless seams.
  • The question for us is: do they have anything in common?
  • Rebecca brought the dress in and helped to set up her exhibit.
  • Her dress was in a great spot between the adult & children’s sections of the library within the gallery and had great traffic potential!
  • The documentation she provided for the fashion contest was included in the exhibit.
  • She was the youngest exhibitor, chosen to be among well known local designers and Cornell Fiber Science & Apparel Design students.

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

 

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

 

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

Going More In Depth with Project Based Learning

Lots of homeschoolers talk about project based learning, but what does it really mean? To me, it means involving our students in authentic learning experiences that go beyond traditional schooling activities. Part of this is moving past the superficial parts of learning a topic or skill and going to the next layer and the next so that a student uncovers new meaning and applies new knowledge in a meaningful way. What does that look like?

  • Share Work with Others- Find ways for your student to engage others with his or her work. It could be as simple as showing off for neighbors and friends to setting up a community gathering.
  • Help Your Student to Set Goals- The project belongs to the student. The best ones have the student in the driver’s seat on the leading edge of where to go next.
  • Make Plans- Have your student make plans to reach his or her goals.
  • Compile Resources- Can your student identify what he or she will need to meet these goals?
  • Make Decisions- Along the way there will be decisions to make. Help your student to get past any bumps in the road while leaving them to be the one in charge on the project.
  • Take Time to Discuss the Work- Find out how it’s going. Check in on progress. If something seems stalled remind your student of his goals.
  • Make Time for Project Work- This is essential to being successful. Often as our children get older, we think their time is better spent doing more traditional academic work. Fight the urge to regard project time as less important! Large amount of uninterrupted time for doing project work is necessary for going deeper into projects.

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

High School Credit with Project Based Learning

As our homeschooled students approach high school many of us who have always done unit studies & other, more relaxed forms of learning begin to think it’s time to “get serious” about academic work and we believe that “nose to the grindstone” is more appropriate. How can a student obtain high school credit for project based learning? I think this topic deserves a whole post, but here are a few thoughts for now.

  • Determine the Course- Based on your student’s area of interest.
  • Discuss Goals- Meet with your student and talk about the skills & concepts they would like to cover during the class.
  • Remember Skills & Concepts- Which will be necessary to learn in order to achieve the goal. Make a list of the areas your student will need to cover.
  • Consider Resources- What resources do you have available to begin working toward the goals the student has set for himself?
  • Start Making Plans- Where does the student want to start?
  • Time- Once again, large quantities of time to explore are best for moving toward an authentic & independent learning experience.
  • Record Keeping- Students will want to keep track of goals met and different avenues traveled based on decisions made. Remember that a 1 credit high school course is roughly three hours of work per week.

Blog, She Wrote: Sewing & Design Project Based Learning

Lessons Learned with the Eco-Fashion Project

In the end, what lessons did Rebecca learn doing the Eco-Fashion Project? The dress took her about 8 weeks from just a thought in her head all the way to the finished dress (considering she did work on other school work during this time). The process was invaluable.

  • Design Work- Especially design for the human form rather than a doll
  • Construction- Sewing new fabrics together like denim with tulle. She had to push through some obstacles to complete her vision.
  • Sharing- Through the contest judging, the fashion show, and the curated exhibit. Sharing also happened in mentoring moments when she needed to discuss her work along the way.
  • New Experiences- Like fashion show culture & being an artist featured in an exhibit
  • Preparing Work for Exhibition- It’s not always about what you like or who you make the garment for. There are other factors and criteria. This was true for both the contest and exhibit.
  • Exhibition- When the time came for the opening night of the gallery, she was on hand to talk with visitors and answer questions about her work.

One of the things Rebecca enjoyed the most about the curated exhibit at the library was the chance to talk with others about her work. They were interested in hearing about her design and the process. She spoke with an art reviewer (see review here) from the local paper for about 20 minutes and she loved every minute of talking with another artist and learning about his work.

As a homeschool teacher, this project took a lot of her time but it was worth every moment to see her solve problems on her own and come up with a design that was whimsical and met all the requirements. Rebecca loved the chance to have her work displayed alongside well known local designers and Cornell Fiber Science & Apparel Design students. Would she do it again? Absolutely! This project experience was a win in every way!

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100 Sewing & Handicraft Projects for Homeschoolers

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Sewing & Handicraft Projects for Homeschoolers

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

Welcome to 100 Sewing & Handicraft Projects for Homeschoolers! You’ll find ideas and resources for doing beginner to intermediate and advanced sewing and craft projects. There are specific projects linked as well as general resources from Blog, She Wrote at the end.

Crochet Projects

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Sewing & Handicraft Projects for Homeschoolers

I keep a lot of ideas for crochet projects on hand for my daughter who loves to crochet. Enjoy a few below.

Knitting Projects

This is a set of project using both traditional needles and loom knitting.

Sewing Skills

These are links to tutorials on how to make your sewing skills better.

Sewing Camp Projects

Blog, She Wrote: 100 Sewing & Handicraft Projects for Homeschoolers

These are projects I chose to save for working with tween and teen girls during our sewing camp times. Feel free to use these just for fun!

 

Textile Crafts

Blog, She Wrote: Adventures in SewingThis category contains yarn and other fabric crafts which are not necessarily sewing, crocheting, or knitting.

Nature Inspired Handicrafts

We love natural crafts at our house. Items made with natural materials always bring a smile to my face.

Holiday Projects

Whether you are looking for holiday items for Christmas, Easter or anything in between. You’ll find all sorts of manners of projects here.

Resources for Projects from Blog, She Wrote

Blog, She Wrote: The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Sewing in Your HomeschoolThe links below are meant to be helpful sources for getting started in sewing and handicrafts with your students. Give your kids time and materials and see what comes out of it!

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Sewing in Your Homeschool- A page full of all the posts, links, and resources you need to get started with sewing at home. Whether or not you sew! There’s even a section on how to incorporate sewing into your homeschool.

Sewing Adventure Box- An activity box and materials for the sewing enthusiast in your life. You’ll find more project resources here and websites that serve has wonderful idea places.

Adventures with Yarn- A great list with project fun of all the things you can do with yarn. This is especially nice for beginners and does not cost a lot!

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas- I wrote a chapter in this book on getting started with sewing and how to mentor a beginner so they thrive.

sew collage 2

Yarn Fun Pinterest Board- This is one of my most popular boards and I add to it regularly. Many of the ideas for this list came from here.

Owl Pinterest Board- All things owls here. I adore owls and by the numbers of projects out there- so do others!

Historical Fashion Pinterest Board- This is the place where I set aside ideas for my daughter’s fashion history work.

Blog, She Wrote: Gifts for Kids Who Love to SewI hope you will find this post to be a great reference tool in the future. Pin it and come back to the ideas you like! Happy sewing & crafting!

The iHN is hosting a giant 100 Things Link Up. Visit other posts to see what other bloggers are sharing. Also visit 100 Books You Should Read before You Turn 20 & 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages both here at Blog, She Wrote.

iHN: 100 Things

 

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The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas: Transitioning from Teacher to Mentor in Your Homeschool

Blog, She Wrote: Transitioning from Teacher to Mentor in Your Homeschool & The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas

This post contains an affiliate link. Thanks for your support!

Welcome to the start of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Blog Tour where we’re going to be stopping in on the authors of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. 55 homeschool moms contributed 103 chapters of homeschool awesome. My contributions were a chapter on mentoring, one on geography, and the last on teaching sewing. Read on to find out why I wrote these chapters and a glimpse at their content.

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas Blog Tour

Everyday in the month of October, we’ll meet a new author of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. You’ll find out why they contributed their chapter or chapters to the book and why they feel passionate about that particular topic.

How it works:

  • Visit each author on the blog tour and participate in the giveaway they may be hosting. You can see the giveaways in red in this post. Tomorrow’s giveaway is listed below at Harrington Harmonies.
  • Enter the giveaway for The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas & iHomeschool Studio Bundle below.
  • Purchase the bundle! Don’t worry. If you win the giveaway, you’ll get your money back. Buy now while you can!
  • October 2 – Stephanie Harrington from Harrington Harmonies. Author of the chapters Everything You Need to Know About Gardening and You CAN Teach Art. Stephanie will be giving away a Teaching Art Basketful of Goodies.
  • Click the calendar to see the other authors on the tour and to see their giveaways.

Big Book Blog Tour CalendarTransitioning from Teacher to Mentor in Your Homeschool

When you are homeschooling young children, much of your time is spent in direct instruction with your students whether it be basic skills in reading, math, or writing. As your children get older, your teaching role begins to transition to more of a mentoring role. This chapter discusses the details involved in being a mentor.

  • Why does your role as a teacher change as your students get older?
  • The benefits of a strong mentoring relationship with your older student
  • How to transition from direct instruction to being a mentor who consults
  • What does mentoring look like for mom in a homeschool?
  • What role does your student take on as they grow and how does that affect your homeschool?
  • Tips on how to be a good mentor to your student.

Taking ownership of their learning is very important for students as they approach high school. This chapter is full of concrete advice on how to foster this growth for you and your student.

Teaching Sewing in Your Homeschool

Regular readers know that our high school freshman is an aspiring fashion & costume designer. She leads the way on her learning and gains new skills all the time. How did we get to this point? If you have a student interested in learning to sew, what is the next step?

  • What if mom doesn’t sew? Many moms today never learned to sew and aren’t sure where to turn if their children want to learn. I offer ideas and resources for families.
  • Finding resources- There are many ways to start and you’ll find ideas and resources which will help you begin.
  • Materials- What are the essentials? What about machines? Other supplies? What do you really need and what can you wait on?
  • Advice on allowing time for students to learn
  • How to go from small projects to longer projects- building sewing endurance
  • The Learning Curve- How to add skills so that eventually your student can design and draft patterns if that is a goal.

Teaching Geography with Geography Quests

Here at Blog, She Wrote, I offer Geography Quests which allow families to explore the world together. They are offered according to season, headlines, and the calendar. You’ll find topics of all kinds. In this chapter, I explain some details and advice regarding the Geography Quest such as:

  • What is a Geography Quest?
  • Why did I choose this format for them?
  • How to engage your students with a Geography Quest
  • How to implement the Geography Quest
  • Benefits of studying Geography with a Geography Quest

Geography Quests are a regular feature on my blog. Find out how to use them with confidence in your homeschool.

Chance to win the Bundle with The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas & the iHomeschool Studio

We are giving away 10 bundles as part of the blog tour! Don’t let the giveaway deter you from purchasing the bundle right away though. If you win a bundle, we’ll get your money back. It’s a win/win!

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Purchase The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas & iHomeschool Studio Bundle

For a limited time you can buy The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas with iHomeschool Studio for $15. That’s less than half price! The sale will run from October 1, 2014- November 10, 2014.

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas contains 103 chapters, 560+ pages, from 55 authors. The digital ebook comes in three formats for Kindle and other mobile devices. The iHomeschool Studio files come in the mp3 format and can be played on any device which plays mp3s.

I love The Big Book and Studio because it’s helpful to moms on a practical level. There is something for every age and stage of homeschooling inside both inspirational and practical. These resources reach out to where you are as a homeschool mom- veteran or beginner.

buyitnowbundle-promo

Studio and Big Book Bundle

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