Monday, December 14, 2009

Nativity directions 2... the Manger

This kit consists of 5 pieces; 1 large rectangle, 2 long rectangles, and two short rectangles. the base piece for this project is the large rectangle. All other pieces will be sewn to this piece.

First, take one of the long rectangle pieces, and line it up to the coordinating side of the large rectangle piece. You will know that it is coordinating, because it is the same length. Place the long rectangle piece on top of the base piece, and start overcasting it on. Be sure that you are sewing it on straight and in perfect alignment with the base piece.

Sew the 2nd long piece on to the opposite side using the same stitch. Notice that you are only sewing the piece along 1 side (the long side) of the base piece. after sewing both pieces on, it will seem as though you have sewn a hinged double door.

Open you sewn piece so that it lies flat. you must open it up so that you can begin to sew the short pieces on. Line one of your short pieces up with the upper portion of the base piece. Lay it on top of your base piece sew it on using the overcast stitch. When finished, sew the 2nd short piece on to the lower portion.

After you have sewn all 5 pieces together. Open the overcast hinges so that it look like the picture above. After "flexing" the hinges, bend each of the 4 "flaps" upward... so that you have created a box.

Pinch each corner of the box together so that you are holding 1 long piece and 1 short piece. Begin sewing in overcast at the portion closest to the base. Do the same at each 4 corners, so that you have, indeed, sewn a box.

Notice how I have pinched the corners together in the above picture. I have started sewing at the portion closest to the base. The needle should pass through 1 long and 1 short piece securely.

Notice how both of the corners in this picture are tightly sewn together. Be sure to use small, even stitches to ensure that your stitches do not slip.

When all four corners are sewn you should have a box such as above.
Turn the box inside out for a cradle-like effect. this will also hide any knots our bulky stitches that you might have.
And there you have it.... a finished manger.
please stay tuned for our Jesus and Joseph projects :)

Nativity Dolls Instruction 1.... Mary

The majority of the girls have started this project and have been able to progress half way through it. However, I will start directions at the beginning for the benefit of parents. The Mary doll kit consisted of 7 felt pieces. The pieces we will begin with are the the basic front pieces. The girls started off by using an overcast stitch to stitch the veil and bodice parts together. The were asked to follow the "V" shape in both pieces in order to ensure alignment.

After sewing the front base pieces together, we will move on to the two flesh pieces of the project. These are the face and hands of our doll. the girls were asked to embroider the eyes and mouth onto the face using satin stitch for the eyes, and backstitch for the mouth.

The face and hands are then sewn onto the front base piece (which we began with). The girls were asked to use the slit stitch. Some of the other girls opted for the backstitch, which they are more familiar with. Whatever the case, the stitches should be small and even.

The piece pictured above, is the top portion of Mary's veil. this piece is to be fitted atop Mary's head. Please be sure to sew the face on so that this piece does not cover her eyes.

The top portion of the veil is to be tacked on only at the corners to ensure that it does not move from its place . The veil will be more properly sewn, when we sew the front and back pieces together. Please note that this piece is in alignment with the top of the base piece. It does not hang over the edge in any way.

This is a picture of the two pieces which make up the back base piece and the halo.

The halo is to be sewn onto the back base piece using the back stitch. I would suggest only sewing the lower portion of the circle. It is not necessary to sew any more than that.

The front and the back pieces are to completely aligned in order to sew both pieces together. You should start stitching the pieces at the bottom. Work your way around the edge of the doll using the backstitch. Make each stitch nice and even. Smaller stitches work better, as they are more secure. Be sure to go through both the front and the back portion with every stitch. I would leave a fairly generous amount of space between the stitch and the edge of the piece, so that none of your stitches slip. Once around the doll, do NOT finish off. Instead, leave a 2 finger gap between your starting stitch and your ending stitch.

The gap between the stitches is the hole which we will use to fill your doll with stuffing. Please bring your doll back to our next meeting so that we can fill her, and finish off the sewing. Your doll should, look something like this.... with your own creative twist of course! :)

Please look for project 2... the Manger

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And sew it Begins: Lesson 1

What a wonderful meeting we had today!!

It was so nice to get our first sewing lesson under our belt. For a vast majority of our Pickwicks, this lesson was more of a refresher on our basic stitches. It was, however, very important to make sure that all girls are starting off on equal footing. Today's exercise will make next meeting's scheduled sewing project much easier.

Today, the girls went home with Styrofoam plates. Each plate was divided into 3 sections. The first section was completed at the meeting. the girls were asked to outline the tree in "running stitch".

In the second section the girls were asked to outline the flower in backstitch. This stitch is very important, as it is the closest stitch that we have to the stitch made by our sewing machines.

The third section is to be completed prior to the next meeting. The girls were asked to outline the star in backstitch. At the next meeting we will teach the girls how to "whip" it. If you are at a loss when it comes to these stitches, or need a little reminder please click on the Needle n' thread link on the sidebar... they have a wonderful video library of stitches listed by name :)

We were able to get a great deal completed today. It was a lovely afternoon, and I was thrilled to have so much voluntary discussion while studying our virtue of the month (friendliness).

Next meeting, we will be making great use of our new stitches as we sew our own pin cushions.
Please be sure to keep me up to date with any at home projects or reflections that you might have. We will post it for all to see.

The Pickwicking we will go

Lesson 1
The Virtue of Friendliness
“The friendship that can cease has never been real.”
-St. Jerome.
In Last weeks reading we learned of the value of friendship. True friendship is a gift, for it teaches us to open our hearts to others. It teaches us to rely upon each other, care for each other and to be loyal to one another. In doing so, we demonstrate our love.
The friendship we practice here on Earth amongst our brothers and sisters, is the very friendship we must cultivate in our relationship with Jesus. We must rely on Him, care for Him, be loyal to Him, and show our love for Him in all ways. Just as we confide in our friends, we must also confide in Jesus. Just as we wish to remain close to our friends, we should also feel moved to be near to Jesus.
For His is a friendship more dear than any other. He will listen to your confessions, and He will not judge you. He will hear of your pains, and He will comfort you. He will discover your needs, and He will provide for you. He is the perfect friend.
So we must strive to emulate this friendship with others. We must try to remember to be forgiving and non-judgmental. We must strive for a deeper understanding. We must always remember to keep our friend's confidence. If we remember all of these things, we will succeed in making our relationships flourish. We will not loose our love for our friends, For we will have become a servant of absolute Love.
As St. Jerome said "a friendship that can cease, has never been real"
We can never have truly loved someone, unless we have able to receive them whole heartedly, just as Jesus has received us.
Patron Saint of Friendship: St. John the Apostle

A Prayer for True Friendship
Jesus, loving companion of Your children,You have extended Your friendship to all.You opened Your arms without discrimination,Offering Your warmth to those seeking comfort.Endow me with the virtue of such a friendship,To know, love and trust all on an equal basis;To share my patronizing without favorism,And to be pleasant towards the destitute.Fashion my heart to reflect Your qualities,Those befitting of a cordial association.Jesus, You showed me the way to true friendship:Blessed is Your amazing and warm Person