Sewing Projects with my “Little Sister” (or How I Volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Taught a Child To Craft)

Sewing is often a solitary task, so being able to share the hobby with someone can be incredibly fun. I started volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast last year and have recently had my “little” join me for some sewing projects. We’ve stuck to small crafts mostly and next week we are having a Mend it Monday: Little Edition to repair clothes and add our own embellishments.

If you haven’t heard of Big Brothers Big Sisters, here’s the short version: they pair kids and teens with an adult volunteer to create one-on-one mentoring relationships. My “little sister” is under 10 and we meet up for about three hours every week. Aside from going to concerts and movies, we have also been making time for crafts and she is getting into it!

This week we  made little pillows for our cats stuffed with both fluff and catnip. Her cats were interested, but mine is unfortunately not the type to fall head over heels for catnip. As for sewing, this is what we went over:

  • Adding seam allowances
  • Clipping corners before turning it right-side out
  • Cutting the fabric
  • Drawing your own pillow pattern
  • Sewing in a straight line
  • Hitting the reverse button to reinforce the end of a stitch
  • Pinning fabric together

She did pretty well and it makes for a great Big Brothers Big Sisters craft project. I like small projects with kids because it holds their attention and they have something to show for it at the end. Starting with clothes can be a tough choice, as a shirt or skirt can take a LONG time if you aren’t used to sewing at all (I should know — my first project was a pair of drawstring pants).

But the DIY catnip pillows were pretty simple and I let her use scrap fabric (finally, a reason to keep it!):

Two catnip pillows for two lucky cats

Two catnip pillows for two lucky cats

This is a simple kids sewing project that is great for kids who love their cats!

She also embroidered a pillow a couple weeks ago:

Pink pillow with dove embroidery

Embroidery pattern from "Sublime Stitching"

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5 thoughts on “Sewing Projects with my “Little Sister” (or How I Volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Taught a Child To Craft)

  1. Penny says:

    I’ve always been a little sad that you never got to know Grandma Lee. Our family tradition is having the girls spend time in the summer at gramma’s house, and she taught me so much. I shouldn’t be surprised that you’ve found a way to carry on the tradition whilst simultaneously turning it on it’s head. :)

  2. lindsaylep says:

    I am new to wordpress & am loving so much about it … like how I could search for certain types of posts. I loved yours. And, I actually made little catnip toys last weekend. My parents’ cat plays with his toys constantly. My sister’s elderly cat just lays on top of his. :) Great post, great idea, & very cool that you volunteer your time with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

  3. Vanessa says:

    Allison! Can I just say you rock and that this idea is adorable! :)

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