“Mom, can we sew another project?”
If you have been sewing along with this series, I hope your child is just as enthusiastic as mine about our next project…
- Lesson One, a fun pillow case, was all about learning new vocabulary, exploring and threading the machine, as well as sewing straight lines and corners with a straight stitch.
- Lesson Two, fabric letters, introduced the zig-zag stitch, reinforced the importance of maintaining an even seam allowance, and provided a first experience with concave and convex curves.
Lesson Three, a sock snake, will introduce working with knit fabric, turning a tube, and attaching buttons and ribbon to create a FUN new toy by upcycling!
Here’s what you need…
Knit Fabric (10-12 pieces of fabric…use socks that are missing a match or have holes, knit scraps, etc. in fun patterns and colors).
Polyester Filling (or fabric scraps) for stuffing
Pins (or clips, wash-away tape, or fabric glue stick)
Optional Embellishments (buttons for eyes, ribbon for tongue, bow for personality, etc.)
Fray Block (optional, but keeps ribbon from fraying)
Lesson Three: Sock Snake
Gather and prepare your socks (or scraps).
Cut sock (or fabric) to create a flat rectangle: remove toe, heal, and/or ankle band and then cut tube so fabric piece lays flat (this makes it easier for the kids to sew).
Layout your fabric pieces, purposefully mixing patterns, solids, and colors, with the stretch going across the width. To help give the snake a natural proportioned look, order your fabric to give a narrower ‘head’ and ‘tail’ as shown in image below:
Sew segments together, WST, pinning/clipping one segment at a time. This will create the length of your snake.
Remind your child:
- the throat plate is a hands-free zone while needle is in motion
- to back stitch at the beginning and end of a seam (this probably isn’t necessary on this step of the project, but it is good practice).
Teach your child:
- knit fabric requires a stretch stitch to keep stitches from breaking, so use a zig-zag (or a preferred stretch stitch on your particular machine)
- to gently stretch the knit fabric to make the narrower piece the same length as the next wider piece (real life application: attaching a neck band to a neckline).
Give your snake some personality! Choose which end will be the head and add eyes, tongue, and even a bow! You can teach your child how to attach a button with the sewing machine or simply have your child hand sew the embellishments on. Tip: if you make a notch in the ribbon, Fray Block keeps the fibers from unraveling.
Fold the the length of the snake RST. To give the snake a more realistic shape you can trim the head with a slight curve and tail at an angle (as shown in image below); then sew from head to tail leaving approximately 2″ unstitched for stuffing.
Turn the tube right-side-out and stuff!
Stitch the stuffing opening/tail closed.
Step 8: PLAY!
I immediately made my son his own snake using fabric scraps from garments I have made him. I knotted the tail rather than stuffing; it looks a little like a rattle snake! I honestly cannot believe how much they have played with their new toys. They love them!
Thanks for sewing along! If your child sews up a snake (or a monster, or a caterpillar, or worm…), we would love to see you share it on the Peek A Boo Patternshop’s FB page!
Latest posts by Melissa Ross (see all)
- Teach Your Child How to Sew: Lesson Three – Sock Snake – March 20, 2017
- Teach Your Child How to Sew: Lesson Two – Fabric Letters – February 5, 2017
- Teach Your Child How to Sew Series: Lesson One – Pillow Case – January 18, 2017