Hashbrown’s Modelling Debut

My dog is spoiled. However, from her perspective she probably thinks that I neglect her. I go to work all day and take classes or do planning at night – it really cuts into the amount of pets she gets and the length of her walks. So this week’s learning project task is dedicated to her. I decided to make her a collar bandana.

Here she is super bored of her humans being on the computer all day. Big side eye.

I found a super easy tutorial on YouTube that had an accompanying blog post. The original instructions were for a sewing machine, but I just used a running hand stitch instead.

I really enjoyed this tutorial because it had both a video and a blog. Sometimes it was easier to read the information in the blog (cutting the fabric) and other times it was easier to watch the steps (sewing in the corners).

I think my final result turned out well and I have a very stylish and happy pup now.

This semester I made felt owls, scrunchies, a mask, and now a bandana. Which one was your favourite?


Mask Making

set of medical protective face masks

This week I decided to make a homemade cloth mask. I have to wear a mask everyday and I have lots of them because I try to match them to my outfit. Disposable masks are the most comfortable to wear, but I hate the amount of waste and litter they are creating. However, regardless of what type of mask people wear, I am just happy people do wear them as we try to navigate this pandemic we are all in.

I went back to my favourite blog Sew Crafty for my instructions. I needed two layers of fabric, elastic, needle, thread, and pins. I had all of those items from when I made my scrunchies.

I cut the fabric to the specified dimensions and placed them right sides together.

Two layers of fabric – Blue outside, polka dot inside
Lining up the fabric

Then you sew the two pieces together using a running stitch. Next, you turn it inside out and fold the ends in to make a casing.

Side casings sewn

After you sew the casings to the main part of the fabric, you thread the elastic through and tie them off.

After the elastic is threaded through
Final Result

I was happy with the final product, I think it is cute and the elastics fit well on my ears. However, I have 0% confidence that this mask will prevent the spread of COVID – 19.

Until I can perfect my sewing technique, I enjoy wearing masks from a local maker Me + You Handmades (they also make cute scrunchies).

Thanks for reading again and please wear a mask!


Scrunching for Time

Black analog alarm clock at 7 01

Last week I made scrunchie for the first time. The blog that I got my instructions from said that you should be able to make a scrunchie in 15 minutes! I took waaaaay longer to make a scrunchie on my first try – an hour and 14 minutes to be exact! So this week I set out a goal to make another scrunchie, but to beat my previous time.

I also wanted to create a timelapse video to document my process, so I solicited Twitter for some suggestions.

I was going to use iMovie because I am familiar with the tool, however you could only speed up the video 2X, so I ended up using both WeVideo and iMovie. I sped up the video 8X on WeVideo then imported it into iMovie and sped up the fast version another 2X. Lastly, I added a title and some fun music.

In the end, I was able to cut my time in about half, as this scrunchie only took me 37 minutes!

High Speed Scrunchie Making!

Next week I am going to try and make a cute bow for my dog’s collar, since I neglected her all day today to work on school work and marking.


Scrunchie Sunday

Woman in sweater with handmade scrunchie

This sewing Sunday is dedicated to hand sewing a scrunchie. Scrunchies were in style when I was in elementary school and now they are making a full comeback. You know you are old when you start to see fashions come back in style.

Last week I practiced my backstitching, which is one of the two stiches required to make a scrunchie, in preparation of today’s project.

I found my sewing pattern and steps from the Sew Crafty Me blog. Before starting, I collected my supplies from my friend Heidi and Walmart. I picked out a cute grey and white polka dot cotton fabric from Walmart and borrowed the rotary cutter, cutting square and mat from my friend.

Scrunchie Supplies: Fabric, elastic, scissors, needle, thread, pins, rotary cutter, cutting square and mat.

The blog says that you can hand sew a scrunchie in 15 minutes . . . how long do you think it will take me?

I started my scrunchie at 10:21 AM. The first step was to cut the fabric into a long rectangle. Then you fold it with the right sides together and start backstitching.

Scrunchie Process: Backstitching the fabric into a tube.

After the you have backstitched the right sides together into a tube, you use a safety pin to help you turn the fabric right side out. The next step is to use a safety pin again to thread a piece of elastic through the tube and tie it into a knot.

Scrunchie Process: Fabric turned right side out and has elastic threaded through it.

Last step is to use the ladder stich to sew the ends of the tube together. I should have reviewed the ladder stich one more time before I did it, but I ended up just doing it from memory.

Scrunchie Process: Final Product.

I finished the scrunchie at 11:35 AM.

Making the scrunchie took me waaaaaaaay longer than 15 minutes! The longest part was completing the backstitching by hand. I think if I used a sewing machine, the backstitching would be reduced significantly and I would get closer to the 15 minute mark. One reason why I think it took a long time is that I was trying to make the line of stiches very consistent and straight. I had a really long thread because I didn’t want to have to re thread so I had to go slower so the thread wouldn’t knot upon itself.

Overall, I think the scrunchie turned out well and has been holding up with use. Next week I want to try and make another scrunchie and see if I can reduce my time.

Do you think I would be able to reduce my time?

Next time I want to try and use a time-lapse video to record my process that includes a running timer in the video. Did anyone use that type of video creator already? Any tips?


Those Who Can’t Do, Teach . . .

Brown and green owl patch

As a grade 7 homeroom teacher this year, I am required to teach Practical and Applied Arts (PAA) during the school year. Our school timetables PAA as a week of modules for students to explore. This provides some continuity and opportunity for students to do some cool projects. As a teacher, I get to choose my own PAA module and like a fool, I chose sewing. I thought it would be a great way to really test my developing sewing skills.

“Those that can’t do, teach, and those that can’t teach, teach gym”

– Jack Black as Dewey Finn in School of Rock

This means, that I will be teaching grade 7, 8 and 9 students how to sew for four days straight. I had five hours to teach each class and had a new class the following day. I chose to do the felt owl project as my lesson.

Preparing For the Lesson

In preparation for my lesson, I had to set up my materials. In the age of COVID, I created mini sewing kits for each student with some pins and needles attached to a piece of scrap felt, and a button. I also went to Michaels and grabbed all the different colours of felt, some colourful buttons, and a rainbow of thread.

I also created a Google Slides presentation to guide the lesson. My Google Slides presentation can be found on my Wakelet as well as the other resources I used for creating my lesson.

Teaching Tip: Kids are more creative when they have more options. I was so impressed with their creative colour combinations!

I also purchased some needle threaders, needles, thimbles and extra fabric scissors. Additionally, I photocopied a bunch of owl patterns.


Knowing that I would have a variety of levels within my class, I knew that I had to have an alternative project so all students could experience success. I purchased two kits from Amazon (This One and This One) as an additional option. These kits came with pre-cut felt shapes, with pre-punched holes, and an option of a plastic needle. In each class I taught, I had a student who required this adaptation. The students were able to experience success doing a project that aligned with their peers.

Student’s Adapted Sewing Projects

Teaching Tip: Make sure you think of all your learners when creating your lessons.

The Lesson

The lesson was the length of one school day, 5 hours, so I had to structure the day so students remain engaged and were able to complete their project by the end of the day.

I structured the day as below:

  • Attendance and Introduction
  • Sewing Safety
  • Cutting out Pattern
  • Sewing Buttons
  • Break and Snack
  • Running Stitch
  • Clean Up
  • Lunch
  • Blanket Stitch
  • Break
  • Owl Creation
  • Clean Up and Dismissal


After four days of teaching students to sew, as a beginner myself, I learned a lot of things! First, students are really bad a threading needles and tying knots! I should have purchased 10X more needle threaders because they break soooo easily. I ended up tying and threading lots for my students. Secondly, teaching students to sew requires more than one adult. Some days I had an Educational Assistant to support the students and those days went way smoother. The students were fantastic and I was blown away each day with their creativity and skill. A few students worked really quickly so they even created a second owl or a creation of their own. Lastly, teaching students how to sew really challenged me to know my sewing technique. I watched and re-watched the videos multiple times so I could feel confident when teaching the students.

I know our learning projects were not supposed to directly relate to our teaching careers, but if you had to teach you learning project to students how do think it would go?