more tour stops + free pattern + a giveaway!

First up today I’m zipper over to Ohio to visit my friend Ellen Gormley. Ellen is a talented crochet designer who I’ve been working with for years – she has a new crochet book out and she writes a great blog, Go Crochet. Ellen and I have been talking a lot of sewing lately, though, because it turns out that this summer, Ellen’s project with her ten-year-old daughter was for them both to learn to sew. So they bought a sewing machine and started stitching away. For Ellen’s stop on my blog tour, she reviewed Sewing in a Straight Line from the perspective of herself and her daughter — and to test out the book, they made a project from it! The photos above are ten-year-old “Chickee” cutting, sewing and modeling the Easy Breezy Blouse from my book. HOW AWESOME IS THAT??

I really can’t explain how happy it makes me to see Chickee successfully sewing this blouse! I love to see a young girl learning to sew, and I LOVE that she was ambitious enough to make her own garment. And out of chiffon, no less, which can be really tricky to sew. AND with French seams! This girl is amazing. I also love that Chickee proved that the garments in my book can be made in children’s sizes – because the instructions are all written so that you make the garments to your own body measurements, which means they can be made for any size person.

Well I could go on and on gushing about this, so I’ll stop for now and just say GOOD JOB to Chickee, and keep up the great sewing! Be sure to visit Ellen’s blog to read all about their process of making this top. Thanks Ellen and Chickee for being part of my blog tour!

Next up, I’m winging over to San Francisco by way of Portland, Oregon for a visit with Diane from CraftZine. Diane is sharing a free downloadable pattern from my book – the 15-Minute Shams! That’s right, you can make these sweet little shams in just minutes each, and the pattern is free for the taking over at CraftZine. So head over there to get your copy. Thanks, Diane, for being part of my blog tour!

Finally, it’s giveaway time! Today I’m sharing another great Simplicity product — the Simplicity Deluxe Sidewinder!

Don’t you just hate it when you’re sewing along, all nice and neat, feeling so pleased with yourself because your project is turning out so well…. when all of a sudden you realize that you’re not sewing anything at all because your bobbin ran out way back when, and all you’re doing is poking holes in your fabric with your needle? And then cursing ensues? I hate that too. Well, the Simplicity Deluxe Sidewinder takes (some of) the pain out of bobbins running out, because it allows you to rewind your bobbins separately from your machine, so you don’t have to stop, unthread, and rethread your sewing machine. It’s also great for pre-winding bobbins, and is especially great for winding specialty threads because it allows you to control the tension and speed as you wind. All in all, the Sidewinder is a great little tool! And I’ve got one to give away! (Retail value $99.)

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post and tell me if YOU’VE ever taught a child to sew. (It’s okay if you haven’t – there are no wrong answers!) A winner will be chosen by random number generator. Thank you for playing! THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED; SEE CURRENT POSTS FOR CURRENT GIVEAWAYS.

Thank you Simplicity for sponsoring this giveaway!

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  • Maile

    I am still teaching myself to sew! My five year old daughter likes to come up with projects for me, like doll clothes and bedding. And I have been working with her on some of the very basics.

  •!/simply_mini Diana D.

    The only child I’ve taught to sew is myself >.< ! haha but I do want to teach my niece how to sew :)

  • Pat

    I haven’t taught a child to sew. My son had no interest in sewing anything other than loose buttons or a ripped seam!

  • Jenna Maine

    I haven’t yet but am hoping that my daughter will want to learn when she is older.

  • Amy

    I haven’t taught any kids to sew as I’m still learning myself! I did, however, ATTEMPT to teach my mom to crochet. She told me I was VERY patient. However, her completed item we ended up calling “free form” as it didn’t resemble the scarf she was attempting to make…

  • emily

    I’d love a sidewinder!! I’ve never taught a child to sew, but my mama taught me, and I hope to teach my 4 yr old soon. (I need more patience and she needs more maturity. lol)

  • Jenny

    Ok, I admit it, I have three kids and I haven’t taught them how to sew on the machine yet. We’ve worked on some hand sewing and some crochet chain stuff, and I did teach my oldest daughter how to knit a few years ago and she proudly states it is one of her hobbies. But I’ve been avoiding the machine sewing because 1)I’m afraid we’ll sew their fingers or something and 2)I’m afraid we’ll wreck my machine. I’m working up to it!

  • Heather De Vore

    I have not taught my children to sew yet but it sure was a great feeling when the light bulb came on and my daughter finally understood what I was saying and she could braid. Next up, teaching both of my children to crochet.


  • Annie

    I have never taught anyone to sew… but my mom (at 81) is teaching ME (at 49) to sew. We’re having a blast!! I’ve talked her into teaching me how to crochet next… it’s good times with my mom… I love her so much.

  • Michelle @ If Toys Could Talk

    I haven’t taught any children to sew, but I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to learn. I plan to teach her if she shows an interest in it.

  • lorraine

    what a useful giveaway!! ive never taught a child to sew

  • Amanda

    I have taught friends to sew! Which is always fun – especially if you start them out on something completely do-able (usually pillows!) it’s so exciting to see how happy they are and proud of their creation :) My son is almost two and I’m really looking forward to teaching him to do a little hand stitching in a couple of years and to use the machine one day. There’s no reason men shouldn’t sew too!

  • Jerri

    I have sewn all my life and my daughter took a summer school sewing class in about 1st grade. I plan on teaching my great nieces to sew. Who knows, maybe I will even teach my older sister how to finally thread a needle.

  • Shannon

    I have not taught a child to sew. At 26, *I* still feel like a child sometimes! Haha.

  • Deborah in Atlanta

    I had my 6-year old granddaughter with me for 4th of July week and thought we were going to have a blast with me teaching her how to sew. Seems at this point in her life, all she’s interested in doing is picking out the fabrics for her projects. So she picked out the fabrics, and I sewed them. Sadly, she wasn’t even interested in watching me sew them. But I’m hoping the desire will be there sometime in the future. It would give the two of us a bond. Nobody else in my family has an interesting in quilting (not my mom, nor my twin 34-year old daughters). What a s hame!

  • Barbarah

    Since I’ve only been sewing for a little while, I’m still learning myself. Maybe by the time my daughter is old enough to thread a needle…

  • Joanne S

    I am getting ready to starte teaching my daughter to sew on the same machine my mom taught me on. This would come in very handy!

  • Mia

    No, I haven’t taught a child to sew. But I showed my boyfriend how to sew a button on once!

  • Laura Martin

    I’m trying t teach my son (now 7) how to sew right now. I bought him a simple starter machine for Christmas and we’ve done a few small projects on it. He’s still really intimidated by it though and gets frustrated easy but with everything it’s all about practice.

  • http://yarnjulepsontheveranda nancy

    I’ve never taught a child to sew but have had my own tell me what to sew for them:) This is a really fantastic product and YES, the sewing without thread has happened to me A LOT!!

  • Sandy

    I am teaching my granddaughter to sew and we are both enjoying it! Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Lindsay

    Nope, but I learned to sew on a machine meant for a child. Does that count? :)

  • Carol Garcia

    My mom taught me some stuff. She taught my how to repair clothing that ripped and how to make stuff on the sewing machine as well. So excited about the giveaway.

  • Bekah

    This is awesome!! My mom taught me to sew when I was about 11, and I did teach a young girl that I used to baby sit how to sew when I was in high school (have also gotten to teach my mom a few tricks I’ve picked up along the way, too!). Would LOVE to win a sidewinder!

  • Tracey

    WOW! This is awesome! I have not taught a child to sew, but would love the opportunity to teach my two nieces (aged 12 and 9). Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!!!

  • Margo

    No, I have never taught a child to sew. I barely know myself. I have however run out of bobbin thread and this SideWinder would have come in handy.

  • Jennifer Hayden

    I have not ever taught anyone else to sew…except me. Although, when my daughter is interested I’ll let her stich some for me when I’m working on a project.

  • Alli

    I haven’t taught any children to sew, but I’m looking forward to doing so when my kids are older! :) Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Tam

    Taught my great niece at the age of 6. She is now able to design barbie clothes & purses without a pattern. She’s 9 & has a natural instinct. Possible futur Project Runway contestant lol Its exciting watching her create & get excited by fabric & her ideas. Did I mention she sews better than me? :)

  • Kitten With A Whiplash

    I’ve never had any children around to teach to sew, which is really better for the little darlin’s; they should learn to do it correctly. I’d love to win this because my sewing machine is no longer able to wind bobbins, so I end up winding them by hand. Very slow. very frustrating and very much inhibiting me from starting new sewing projects. I tried rigging someting up with an old cassette tape player, but it didn’t work. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Vidya

    I’m teaching myself to sew by following the different sewing blogs and books and the inspiration behind this is my daughter. I started sewing when I was pregnant with her. And I hope one day I’ll be able to sew along with her :)

  • Michele

    I haven’t taught a child to sew yet, but my 2 year old daughter loves to watch me sew and I hope that she wants to learn when she is a bit older. :)

  • Cynthia

    I was taught to sew by my greatgrandma on an old treadle machine, and later by my two grandmas
    on electric machines..I taught my nephew to sew during his visit to me when he was 8. He just made a simple
    little quilted wallhanging, but was very proud of it. I have a 30 yr old machine, so could use a sidewinder.

  • Kell

    My 8 year old daughter is starting to show an interest in sewing, she loves to draw her own designs and then try and put them together (the putting together still needs some practise :)). She has her own machine, a very simple, almost toy machine for practicing on. I have just bought a new machine so will be giving her my old brother to work on, she is very excited :)

  • Jody

    I haven’t taught a child to sew yet, but my 5 year old daughter is very interested!

  • Jennyroo

    My oldest is 5 years old… he loves machinery and gadgets and is showing early interest in the sewing machine. I can’t wait to teach him more!

  • Alicia Gajda

    I haven’t taught any children to sew yet, but I am due this next week and am expecting our first child. I am looking forward to teaching my little one how to sew and all the amazing things that you can make yourself :)

  • Charlie Alejandro

    I have been on both ends my sister taught me how to start sewing when I was four years old and later on in life I taught my daughter. As a result of that she actually made her own prom dress. I love creating gowns thats my favorite but everyday wear is fun as well!

  • Meesh

    I tried to teach myself when I was a kid… I choose to believe that counts.

  • Judy

    I HAD to learn to sew in Grade 9, but never continued (my mother was a seamstress so why should I???) and since she is no longer with us, I didn’t want to until recently when I took up quilting……..Now I really wish I’d listened as a kid, but I’m glad I had the basics anyway…..and I’m teaching my granddaughter the basics as well.

  • Laura

    I haven’t taught anyone to sew … yet. But I would if they showed an interest!



  • Amy R

    I’ve taught my own children and a few others to sew.

  • Carol

    I taught both my daughter and son to sew at very young ages…both were preschoolers! :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Mel

    Yes! My daughter. I’m in the process right now of coaching her while she’s making a top for herself. Very fun! Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Mary

    No, I haven’t, but my mother taught me when I was a child. She was so sweet and patient, and I am forever grateful to her!

  • kelli

    I haven’t taught any kids to sew yet, but my 3 are really interested. When we visited Grandma this summer they all wanted to “drive” the sewing machine and make clothes for their stuffed toys!

  • Allison C

    I haven’t taught any kids how to sew, but would if the opportunity arises.

  • Linda

    I’ve taught my daughter to sew. I have also begun to teach my granddaughter. I don’t see her often enough to do a real good job, but she is getting a taste of it.

  • Karen

    I just bought my 2-year-old daughter a lacing game, and she pretents she is sewing. It is really cute! I am looking forward to the time when I can share my love of sewing with her.

  • Kelly

    Never taught a child to sew. Waiting for my 3 year old granddaughter to have an interest!! Maybe my youngest daughter will show some interest too……one can only hope LOLOL. Thanks again for another great give away.

  • Lee

    i have taught my daughter and nieces to sew and they love it and so do i! thanks and congrats on the book. I have been loving the book tour.

  • Ruth D

    My grandmother taught me and I taught one of my daughters who works in fashion design now.
    The other one isn’t as interested but she’s 19 so there’s plenty of time… :)

  • Mandy

    Well my daughter is only two and I am still learning myself so no…I can’t say that I have ever taught a child..but I hope to one day!! :)

  • Kelly.R

    I taught myself when I was a child! Does that count? ha.

  • robin

    I’ve recently taught my 13 year old daughter a few basics. :)

  • Amy

    I haven’t taught any children to sew yet, but I have two little girls I look forward to teaching. I wore my eldest while sewing diapers when she was a newborn, the sound of the machine put her right to sleep every time. Now she’s nearly two and she loves to play with thread spools and sometimes sit on my lap while sewing.

  • Sommer

    If my husband counts as a child, and if sewing on a button counts as sewing, then yes:)

  • Rae

    I haven’t taught a child to sew yet…I’m still learning!

  • Jen

    My boys are fascinated with sewing. I should get my oldest sewing some quilt blocks or something!

  • stephanie tipton

    I’ve taught some of my students in my k/1st classroom. They make adorable tiny pillows. This year we’re making finger puppets!

  • Donna S.

    Yes, yes I have! My 6 & 8 year old granddaughters! I would love this, thanks for the chance!!

  • Linda

    Yes, in conjunction with their Home Economics class, all three of my children (two boys and a girl) had to sew, and I helped them with that. Yes, I hate it when I have to stop sewing, unthread the machine, wind the bobbin, and then re-thread. Ugh!

  • Andrea

    I’m teaching myself to sew for the first time at age 36 . . . I feel like a kid, but with the inhibitions. It’s been a great lesson for patience and to let go of judgment! I’m loving it!

  • Allie C

    My four sons learned basic sewing from me long ago, and now I have granddaughters to teach! I started them with making simple doll clothes and they watched me when they were much younger. I would talk to them about each step I was doing and let them help pick fabrics. I taught them hand sewing first and then machine sewing. Our first machine project was a very simple, kind of triangular shaped, halter top with ribbon ties around the neck and back, no pattern needed. The second oldest asked for, and received, her first sewing machine at Christmas last year (when she was 12 years old). I hope I have given them some skills they will use all their lives, while instilling a real love of sewing. My boys still bring me the serious repairs, LOL, and I could put the sidewinder to very good use! I started machine sewing when I was a young girl and still love to sew! I would just love to win it!

  • Debra

    I haven’t had the opportunity but am planning some sewing outings with my friend’s girld when the weather turns crappy!

  • MarciaW

    I haven’t taught a child to sew – yet – we are waiting until the oldest grandniece develops more coordination (she is a lefty) and we can find a simple child’s sewing machine. Perhaps this year, as she starts first grade, will be the year. The most we’ve done is let her cut some fabric with scissors and move quilt blocks around on the floor. I could have used that sidewinder today when ran out of bobbin thread while in the middle of sewing.

  • Amber

    I have never taught a child to sew but I hope to teach my daughter one day. She’s almost 2 so it’s going to be a while. LOL

  • Julia

    I haven’t taught a child to sew, but I have taught them how to knit! I am still mastering the basics of sewing myself, so I am not up to the task of teaching anyone yet! :)

  • Meredith

    I haven’t had any children in my life yet that are old enough to teach, but I am looking forward to that day!

  • Michelle

    Just came across your site!!! Starting in September I will be teaching my best friends daughter how to sew…I am also teaching my daughter to crochet…she is a little young yet for the sewing machine…But we are having a great time and that is what matters!!!

  • Jessica

    I’ve never taught a child to sew, but I’m planning on teaching my sons and daughter when they get old enough.

  • Torrey

    My son is only two but I hope he’ll take some interest in sewing. I look forward to teaching him!

  • Courtney kiszewski

    I just learned how to sew myself, but I have taught a child how to knit.

  • Ebeliz Rodriguez

    I haven’t had the opportunity to teach a child to sew, but I am teaching a friend of mine. We’re calling it Sewing Sundays. We started out (by her choice) to make a blouse, that in my opinion shouldn’t have been tackled by a beginner, but she did great as far as I’m concerned. Then we made (in about 4 hours start to finish) a bag from the Simplicity pattern 2396. She was thrilled. Our next Sewing Sunday is going to be spent cutting up pattern pieces for a dress.

  • Destin

    You pretty much said what i could not effectively communicate. +1

    My site:
    taux rachat credit

  • Lindsay

    I made the Easy Breezy Blouse! So proud! Thank you for making it sound so doable:

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