Advanced Sewing

At AACH we have a sewing curriculum which spans the three years a child is in the program.

There is something for everyone.

This child is in her third year and can now thread her own needles, tie knots and also knows the difference between a whipstitch and a straight stitch.  She has participated in many sewing projects over the years.

Here she is decorating a plain t-shirt.


Use the template to trace onto fabric.


Place on the t-shirt and use pins to secure then place a hoop over the area to sew.


Choose color, thread needle (we use embroidery floss) and tie a knot.




Weaving on a Circular Loom

weaving 1

Last week some of the children attempted weaving on a circular loom.

They took the prepared loom and a long piece of yarn and were required to go over and under.

It took a lot of patience and fine motor skills!

weaving 2

They worked very hard and created these masterpieces!

We will continue with circular weaving as well as paper weaving.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Last week we studied the country of Ireland.  We learned about where Ireland is in Europe, Irish music, shamrocks, Irish dancing, potatoes and many more things.


We used our sewing skills to make shamrocks!



We had green smoothies with crackers for snack.


We cut and ate potatoes for food prep work.


Today we made crowns for St. Patrick’s day.


One of our students takes Irish dancing classes.  Here she is demonstrating:

Irish Dancing

Thank you!


A study of Italy- pasta, flags and Opera!

Throughout the year, we study all of the continents.  We try to give the children a general feeling for different cultures via food, artifacts, money, visitors, songs, art etc..  For the past few weeks, we have been studying Europe.  We focused on Italy last week and had a great time.  In our food prep area, children were able to have pasta and used a tiny grater for parmesan cheese.



We also sewed our own Italian flags.  This required pre-cut felt and a straight stitch!



Some children chose to color the Italian flag on paper.



The highlight of our week was listening to Marlene Inman-Reilly!  We asked Marlene to perform a few short pieces for the children to expose them to the sound of Opera.  She told us about the origins of Opera and explained that we would not understand the words but to listen to see if songs were happy or sad.  She told us a little story before performing each piece so the children could listen and pick up clues about the stories.  When performing, Marlene is so expressive that the children were engrossed listening and watching.


Click on the audio links below to hear what the children heard:

Bel Piacere from Handel’s opera Agripinna

Lasciatemi Morire from L’Arianna by Monteverdi

O Mio Babbino Caro from Giani Schicci by Puccini

Marlene will sing with the Michigan Opera Theater to perform A View From the Bridge in April and Turandot in May.

Click here for tickets and more information:




Sewing a tissue holder


Liked most other people this winter, we have had many a runny nose!  Although we have tissues available in the classroom, we decided to sew tissue holders.  The children who are able to use a whip stitch were able to complete this with little assistance.  First, a button is sewn on.  Then, whip stitch up the sides.


A string is tied to the holes on the side and a tissue packet is inserted.


The child practices how to use a button to close the flap.


You can see many children wearing their tissue holders in school.


It is so nice to have your own tissues to carry around!

Sewing Your Own Stuffed Animal

Many of the children have been working hard to learn various sewing stitches.

We have learned the straight stitch and the whipstitch.  We also learned how to sew on buttons.

Put all of these skills together and you can sew your own stuffed animal!


Step one (after a teacher has cut out all of the shapes): sew wings on with a straight stitch.


Step two:  sew on button eyes and a beak.


Step three:  sew ear to ear with a whipstitch.


Step four:  stuff! (Use a lot to make the stuffed animal cozy!)


Step five:  Using a whipstitch, sew the top closed.


Step six:  hug and love!






Sewing neckwarmers!

neckwarmers 4

Our sewing practice has paid off!  The children have been sewing so much this year.  First, they practiced with a running stitch.  We sewed on vinyl and cardstock.  We then practiced sewing a whipstitch on vinyl and then with small felt tubes.  The children that are ready and have been practicing began to sew neckwarmers last Friday!  They are happy to have them to keep their necks warm!

neckwarmers 1

Sewing helps with the development of fine motor skills!  It is also a very important practical life skill to have.

neckwarmers 2

neckwarmers 5

The children were very happy and proud of their neckwarmers!



The Whip Stitch

Part of the sewing curriculum at AACH involves learning the whip stitch.  We use this stitch to sew items like neck warmers over the course of the year.  First we give a lesson on sewing a whip stitch on vinyl.  Teaching on vinyl allows the child to understand how their hands are supposed to move and to feel the movements involved in  making the stitch.



The child is also able to see how the stitch should look once completed.


After the child has had some practice on vinyl, they can move on to sewing on felt which requires a sharper needle.  This task is more challenging as there are no pre-cut holes to follow.  We will continue to practice this skill and then move on to sewing those neck warmers, we will need them very soon!



Sewing a Pillow


Sewing work continues! Several children asked to sew again and we came up with pillow sewing. First the pattern is drawn on the pillow. The pins are added to hold the material in place. As the child sews past the pin, it is taken out and placed in the pin cushion.


Once most of the pillow is sewn up, it is turned inside out and stuffing is added.


The child sews along the outside edge and a pillow is made!

This activity requires strong fine motor skills, concentration and patience!

Sewing a Gator


Sewing continues! The children have decided to make neck warmers or “gators.” It is wonderful watching a group of children sewing gators and chatting away!
Here she chooses the material and the embroidery floss.


VERY CAREFULLY, we use the stick pins to secure the material.


Use a “whip stitch” to sew the side. This is tougher than it looks!


Finished product!