by Miss Shelly Designs
Wow, I had such a great response from my Instagram post yesterday after I told you all how I was going to be teaching the children at my son’s school how to sew!
I think learning to sew is a really valuable life skill, so the fact that I can play a small part in helping others to do just that is wonderful. Lots of my friends and family can’t so much as thread a needle, and I’m always getting asked to take up trousers hems and stitch on buttons! Just for the record I hate taking up trousers or any other clothing adjustments – but sewing is something I learned to do from a young age and it all started with cross stitching. My mum used to buy me little kits and I loved creating mini embroidered pictures. Soon I progressed and started making all sorts of things.
When my little boy’s teacher asked me to teach the children in his class some sewing skills I racked my brains trying to think of an easy way to do this. Ben is only in reception so I knew sharp needles were definitely off the cards, so the children wouldn’t be able to sew through material. Instead I came up with the idea of pre-punching some holes into card. Card has a firm texture so wouldn’t go floppy as they stitched and annoy them, and as Valentine’s Day is only next week I thought a cross stitch heart activity would be perfect.
I came up with the design and my amazing friend drilled the holes using a machine she had at her work, meaning we could make the holes in the card. My lovely mum then carefully folded all the cards ready for the lesson, and I bought some chunky wool for the children to use, as anything too thin would just pull straight through the holes. I also ordered some plastic needles from Amazon (you can buy them here) Or your local haberdashery shop should also sell them.
Lot’s of people have messaged me asking if I sell the cards, as they’d love to teach their little ones how to sew. I don’t, but instead thought I’d pen a quick blog to show you just how easy the Valentine’s cards are to make. You can then copy my design and make your own! The instructions and template are at the bottom of this blog.
To create the cards you will need the following:
A4 Card Thick/chunky wool
Plastic needles with a big eye
A hole punch or sharp pencil.
I’ve made some instructions which you can print off and there is also a template. Just punch or stick a needle through the holes and then place it over your card, mark with a pencil and then punch all the holes. I have a hole punch with a long reach but if you don’t have this then just use the pencil and punch through the card. Take about a metre of the wool and make a really big knot. It needs to be big enough so it won’t pull through the hole as you are stitching. Using the needle, thread the wool through the first hole and go diagonally across to the hole underneath and stitch through the top of the card. Miss the next hole along the top and go straight to the next one. Stitch through the hole from the underside of the card and again go diagonally across and stitch through the top of the card – you will now have two slanted stitches like in my first picture. Next from the underside of the card come through the 4th hole at the top and stitch across to create a cross – do the same on the other side. Now come through the first hole on the second line and stitch through the top diagonally to the hole underneath. Repeat this process all the way across this line like in picture two. Once you reach the end come back the other way to form the crosses. On the 3rd row come through the underside of the card at hole number two and stitch diagonally across to the hole underneath. Repeat this process until you have three slant stitches on the row. Then once you reach the end come back the other way to form the crosses. On the forth row you just need one cross stitch, so from the underside of the card come through hole two and stitch diagonally to the hole underneath and then stitch the other way to form the final cross. On the inside of your card make a knot to stop the stitches coming undone. And that’s it! You now have a lovely cross stitch Valentine’s Day card.
Lots of the children freestyled and created their own pattern. As long as they grasp that they need to come through one hole and go to the next and create a stitch – any stitch – then you’re winning. Some children also mixed up the colours or created a simpler version of the card with just eight cross stitches, like in the image below.
So hopefully you can go ahead and create your own Valentine’s Day card with your children, it may be something nice to do with them over half term too. Alternatively if you are looking for card not made by a five year old then I have a lovely range on my website!