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Summer Camp Spotlight: Fashion Camp

This was far and away the most popular camp at Stitch the summer, with a very long waitlist!

While this camp required some prior experience, for many campers this was the first time sewing a garment. Obviously they all did an amazing job!

The first order of business was choosing their fabric. And not just any fabric of course, these girls went all out coordinating their bag exterior, lining, shirt front, shirt back, shorts and short trim. I wish I had a chance to get a single photo of each camper to show off just how well they pulled that off!

After choosing fabric they jumped into their bags. It was just a simple tote with a rope handle but some tackled sewing on leather and others learned to use the buttonholer presser foot for the first time.

The next project was the Frankie Top (a free pattern by Little Pincushion Studio). The kids learned how to take measurements, finish seams with pinking sheers, sew on a facing and sew a curved hem! We did modify the pattern a little by lowering the front hem a couple of inches.

I believe that learning to cut fabric is a super important step in learning to sew, but I took the edge off this project and pre-cut the pieces for them. Some of my campers that are in my after school classes were not too happy that I took away their chance to wield a pair of scissors so I let them at it for the next project!

The last project was a pair of modified City Gym Shorts (a free pattern by Purl Soho). This is one of my all-time favorite patterns to sew-- I own 4 pairs myself! While the shirt pattern worked for everyone without alterations, it wasn't so for the shorts. Every pattern we traced was customized in some way for that camper. (And it gave me a great platform to explain why clothing sizes are nonsense and how a garment fits you is way more important than a number on a tag!). Some girls were between the kids and adult pattern size so we were adding width, another wanted it looser around the hips and tighter around the waist, and still another wanted to play with the length. Everyone was able to get what they wanted!

As much as I love the pattern as it's written on the website, I had to make a couple of more changes to make it appropriate for this crowd. The first was to do away with the bias binding. It's a super fiddly bit that wasn't going to work for these ladies. Instead we did the following:

  • Cut 1.75" strips on the bias (and had the opportunity to discuss grainline).

  • Pressed them in half, wrong sides together.

  • Aligned the raw edges to the raw edges on the right side of the shorts (in the same way you would align the binding the pattern originally calls for). Pinned and sewed.

  • Pressed the seam allowance to the wrong side of the short.

  • Topstitched.

Of course, some campers bypassed that whole bit by sewing on pom pom trim. And once again we were reminded that as fun as pom poms are... they're a real pain to sew on!

It was a whirlwind camp and these girls really worked hard to get their projects done on time. Of course, no Fashion Camp is complete without a little Fashion show!

I think this camp will need to be repeated next year!!

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