Intermediate, 6th Grade, 7th Grade
Learning Context/ Introduction
This experience helps students acquire the skills needed to maintain their clothing. The student will learn simple hand sewing techniques to repair clothing using various stitches and techniques for sewing a button to fabric. The students will be making a fabric collage using knowledge gained about proper use of hand stitches and application of buttons.
This topic will help to develop the student’s ability to utilize simple sewing skills as a personal resource, for the present and the future.
Linda Traynor, New York State Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Educators
Claudia Foti, Pittsford Central School District
Planning - the teacher will need to spend one to two hours preparing samples to share with the students. The teacher will also need to prepare a handout, which shows the requirements for the stitches desired and the technique accepted for sewing on a button.
Implementation – One 40-minute class period will be needed for demonstration and for the students to view sample collages and to collect their supplies. One 40-minute class period will be needed to work on the collages. The students will finish their projects as homework.
Assessment - The students will spend part of one period sharing their creations with the class. The collages will be mounted on poster board and displayed in the hallway.
The only modifications needed would be those required by special needs students with IEP’s. I have taught this lesson to a group of students ranging from gifted to severely limited. The limited students had the one-on-one help of their paraprofessional
The teacher will demonstrate several hand-sewing stitches and how to properly secure a button. The teacher will also provide students with handouts showing a variety of stitching techniques. There will be examples of completed collages available to stimulate ideas.
The students will design a fabric collage. The specific size will depend on the availability of resources. The students will complete this collage using materials provided by the teacher. The collage will include at least one button, two newly learned hand stitches, ribbon and/or trim.
- Hand sewing needles
- Assorted thread
- Assorted buttons
- Assorted laces and trims
- Assorted scraps of fabric
- 6"-8" squares of felt or other stiff fabric for each student
- Teacher prepared handout of stitches and instruction for sewing on a button.
Note: I asked staff and parents for donations of unwanted buttons, trims, etc. It was truly amazing how many donations I received.
The student's finished collage will be evidence of meeting the minimum learning standard. Grading will be based on whether the collage includes the minimum number of hand stitches, at least one button, and ribbon or trim. Creativity, neatness, whether safety practices were followed and timely completion also will be considered.
Mending or simple clothing repair can seem rather mundane. My hope is to have this simple activity become an enjoyable, creative way to acquire the skills. This activity could also be done in conjunction with the art program.
The use of graph paper to plan the project or even the use of computers to design the collages could be included if time and equipment exists. Students are using higher level thinking skills (synthesis) in order to create a product. Another idea to enhance this experience could be to create a traveling fashion trunk show with examples of where these stitches and button applications have been used to repair clothing or remodel a garment.
Students love this activity and gain satisfaction from creating something that can be given as a gift.