My oldest had her first sleepover party for her birthday this year.
This is what she considers a ‘big girl’ party. Pizza, a few movies, painting nails and staying up past midnight.
The fact that this is HER first sleepover it also means it is MY first sleepover with a bunch of girls in my house. To keep them from driving me bonkers and to give them something constructive to do, we did a sleepover related craft. I pulled from my years of sewing experience and decided to introduce the group to the sewing machine!
The craft was to be a pillow case that each girl was able to decorate with ribbons.
I did a bit of prep ahead of time so that it made life a bit easier for all of us once I had 5 girls vying for my attention.
I bought 1 yard of flannel fabric for each pillow case.
Because that is what the birthday girl wanted!
She wanted ‘soft’ fabric. So flannel it was. Any 100% cotton will do. I would stay away from anything that was a knit or has a silky feel to it. If your group is more advanced go for it! But I knew this group was inexperienced on the sewing machine so cotton was going to be our fabric of choice.
Be aware that my fabric shrunk several inches in pre-washing. So my yard was more like 34 inches. Not a big deal…just something to be aware of.
After I had cut each pillowcase yard I folded over the cut edge approximately 5/8″ and sewed it down.
If you don’t want to measure and pin down 5/8″ just fold over approximately enough fabric to go under the pressure foot.(as pictured)
This is not rocket science.
It is just sewing.
On the opposite cut edge do the 5/8″ fold over seam again.
Additionally, fold it over one more time to encase the raw edge.
The edge on the left is folded over once. (Don’t worry about the raw edge….we will get to that)
The edge on the right is folded over twice.(This will be the bottom part of the pillow case)
Next you are going to make the opening fold for the pillow case.
Using the edge that has been folded just once, turn it in 3 inches towards the inside and pin it down.
Run the outside of the presser foot along the edge of the 3″ fold.
If you are feeling fancy run the opposite edge under the pressure foot again.
This will give it a more finished look.
Skipping this step is not a big deal.
On the left is what will be the closed portion, or bottom of your pillow case.
On the right is what will be the opening of the pillow case. (The part that will be decorated with ribbons.)
This is where my prep for the pillow cases for the party stopped.
I have a collection of ribbons so I let the birthday girl pull out her favorites and what she thought her friends would like to decorate each case. There was a variety of widths for the girls to choose from. These are grosgrain ribbons.
Each girl was able to pin on the ribbons to the opening section of the pillow case.
It was great to see the individuality of each girl come out in her creativity.
This was a great fine motor skill to practice. If you have never pinned something to fabric before, it can be a challenge. When you are under ten years old it can be frustrating.
Even for adults it can be a challenge. But each girl took her time and thought through how she wanted her pillow case to look in the end.
Even the little sister got involved and made a pillow case.
Once the ribbons were pinned on they took the pillowcase blank to the sewing machine.
With me over their shoulder they started to sew, most of them for the first time!
Slow and steady, they ran each edge of the ribbon under the edge of the pressure foot.
It was interesting to see how the patterns changed form 4 or 5 rows to one or two when they saw how much work was involved in sewing!
Once all the ribbons are sewed on, fold right sides together and stitch closed.
Make a ninety degree turn at the bottom.
Sew the bottom of the pillow case shut. This is the edge that you double folded in the prep section.
Some where in the middle of pinning on ribbons someone had the idea of signing each pillow case. Sort of a documentation of who was at the party.
So we found some permanent parkers and everyone sighed each others case.
Here are the finished products!
Each one is different and as unique as the girl who made them.
I am a big fan of having fun at parties but also making them memorable.
Finding that one little thing that sets THIS birthday apart from the others.
This year the girls got the chance to experience sewing on a sewing machine and making something they can use over and over again, remembering the fun they had at the birthday party. Hopefully it sparked a light in one of the girls that it IS possible to sew and the sewing machine is not a scary device.
Other fun activities we have done at past birthday parties are:
and my favorite: