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“Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love To Make” – A Craft Book Review

Sewing School Book Review

Sewing School Book Review

Have you read “Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love To Make” (affiliate link) by Andria Lisle & Amie Plumley? I first heard about this book listening to co-author Amie Plumley on Abby’s While She Naps podcast (listen yourself here) and thought it would make a great present. Imagine my delight to see it on my 9 year old nieces’ Christmas wish list! I bundled it with some fabric fat quarters, embroidery thread, needles, and a little mouse pincushion made from one of the book’s patterns.

Stuffed Animal Mouse Pincushion

I like doing at least one project from each book I review and I chose the ‘Quiet Mouse’. How cute is it! I made it into a pincushion to hold the little needles but it would be equally cute as a magnet or a softie. I found the directions/pattern to be very simple and easy to follow, and had no issues beyond being reminded that my hand sewing could use more practice.

 Edit: There is now a third book in this series that I reviewed here, Sewing School: Quilts!

Book: “Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love To Make”* by Andria Lisle & Amie Plumley

Publisher: Storey Publishing

Focus: A great “how to sew” starter for kids with guides for parents who don’t need to know how to sew themselves. Beginner sewing skill lessons, clear pictures, and lots of project ideas that would lay a great foundation for sewing.

Book Content Overview:

{Welcome to Sewing School} How To Use This Book — In Your Sewing Kit — Finding Out About Fabric — Sewing School Rules — Ready, Set, Thread — Get Your Stitch On — Patterns Down Pat — Button Up — Bring Your Project To Life — Stuff It! — Making Casings — Pop Quiz

{Hug} So Soft Pillow — Stuffies — Your Little Friend — Take-It-With-You Blanket

{Hold It!} Hold-My-Stuff Bag — Wonder Wallet – Draw-It-Up Tote — Just-Right Pouch — Get-to-Work Apron

{Give} Cute Coasters –Quiet Mouse — Eye-See-You Case — Too-Hot Holder

{Wear} Sweet Dreams Mask — Hat Attack! — Superhero Cuff — My Doll’s Very Own Skirt — My Very Own Apron

{Recycle & Repair} Save-My-T-Shirt Pillow — Scrappy Art Pin — Felt Patch — Iron-On Patch — Where Oh Where Is My Button? — My Hem Is Falling! — Repair That Rip — Close Those Holes

{Vet Clinic} Holey Moley! — Have You Seen My Leg? — I Can’t See!

Sewing School Dictionary, Resource Guide, & Index


  • I love the quotes from kids (presumably, kids who actually used the book or went through the authors’ sewing classes) sprinkled throughout, they’re so cute.
  • The range of projects is great, with lots of room for creativity and embellishment.
  • I learned about needle threaders*! I think I’ve seen these before and never bothered to figure out what it was. Using it with kids is brilliant, but I bet I’ll need one before too long too; my hands shake from essential tremors.
  • I like that they included a few boys in the pictures. I wish they’d resisted the boy sewing = superhero correlation but appreciate that they showed boys in other projects too!
  • I love that they focus on using upcycled materials, which is one of my favorite ways to sew.
  • Including stuffed toy repair is genius! I would’ve totally tried to charge my friends and make it a business when I was younger.

Things I’d Add:

  •  I personally prefer to use alligator hair clips* instead of pins, and I think they’d be really handy with younger sewists.
  • I think it would be really useful to have a magnetic wand* around when sewing with kids. I have a bad habit of sticking my needle into whatever is nearby and losing it, so I use my magnetic wand frequently.
  • There are so many fun ways to patch and repair clothes. I like that they included fixing buttons & hems, but I tend to think of kids clothes being ruined because of stains and holes so I wish they’d included more about fixing those two problems.
  • I’d include a mention of pinking shears*, the easiest way to keep woven fabric edges from unraveling.


  • They don’t talk about knit fabric at all. I think this is a big oversight, especially because it’s mentioned in several places to use old clothes as fabric (which I fully endorse!). Trying to reuse super stretchy leggings or drapey tunic fabric would lead to frustration as it wiggled around.
  • I also wish they’d mentioned fabric store remnants – they’re a great way for kids to choose fabric and are almost always cheaper than the same amount bought as yardage.
  • The projects are geared towards hand sewing (and there is now a second edition out, more suited for sewing machines, that you can find here*) but they do mention that all patterns have a seam allowance of 1/4 inch “or the width of your presser foot”. I understand what that means, obviously, but a parent without sewing savvy would probably benefit from a quick diagram to explain what exactly that means/looks like.


Here is a shot of the project pages to give you an idea of what those look like!

Sewing School Book Review

Sewing School Book Review


I’m reviewing one book a month this year, check out my other sewing/craft book reviews on this page!

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Friday 19th of June 2015

Thank you for sharing the link to this review. This book looks perfect. My daughter would love the quiet mouse.


Thursday 4th of December 2014

Excellent timing! One of my friends has a daughter who is about 10 and desperate to learn to sew. We'll be starting in January with my machine and this looks like a good option for "homework" type things that don't need to be as supervised!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 5th of December 2014



Wednesday 3rd of December 2014

My 7 yr. old has this book and uses it all the time. She has made several little pouches (for ipods, etc) and over a dozen of those little mice. I've worked hard to teach her to follow directions and stitch neatly, and she is able to do most of the projects on her own. There are some projects we've skipped because she can do better now...for example, the drawstring pouch has raw edges, but she can use the machine and make a bag with a nicer finish. But I don't always have time to help with the machine and the book projects are mostly hand sewn and can be done without much supervision. It's definitely a good starter book for elementary aged girls. Another one she really enjoyed was "Embroidery for Little Miss Crafty".

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 3rd of December 2014

Ahhh that's so fun, thanks for sharing the firsthand parent review! That Embroidery book looks adorable, I will bookmark it for maybe next Christmas :)


Wednesday 3rd of December 2014

I love the additions that you mentioned. Very good and honest review. A magnetic wand is something I may need to add to my accessory must haves. I do have a magnetic pin cushion but that is not helpful if one drops or you misplace a needle or pin on the table.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 3rd of December 2014

Thanks! And I use my wand all the time; I don't use pins that often but for some reason whenever I do, I drop one somewhere.


Wednesday 3rd of December 2014

Thank you! I have a niece many states away asking me to teach her to sew. Totally getting this for her this Christmas.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 3rd of December 2014

Yay! Yes, this is the same boat. My Mom & I sew but are both states away from the twin nieces. I love that they have it set up for parents who don't need to know how to sew.

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