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Kids Can Sew Questions

Q.  How quickly will my child progress through the projects.

 Every student is different and encouraged to move at their own pace, but typically it takes 2 to 5 classes to complete each project. On average, the KCS workbook will take about 2 to 4 sessions to complete all projects. 

Q.  How much fabric/notions are students required to supply?

In any given session you can expect to purchase fabric and notions (elastic, ribbon) for 2 to 4 projects. The order of projects will vary depending on what each class chooses to make, but new students always start with the 2 drawstring bags, one small and one large. From there it depends on skill level and the length of the session. 


Girls fabric requirements: (typically 2 to 3 of the following projects per session) (Boys projects are similar yardages)  A fabric requirment sheet will be sent home and can also be found in the back of the sewing book.  

1st &2nd Project

Sewing Pack/Notions Bag

Takes 4-6 classes to complete:



​Takes 2 - 3 classes to complete

Stuffed Animal Pillow

Takes 2-3 classes to complete

Round Neck Blouse

Takes 3-5 classes to complete

Peasant Blouse OR Nightgown

Takes 3-5 class

Lounge Pants

Takes 3-5 classes to complete​​

Q.  Should I pre-wash my fabrics?
A.  Yes...and no....

Technically, YES, you should wash, dry and IRON your fabrics before bringing them to class. There are many benefits to working with washed/dried/ironed fabrics: Prewashing prevents colors from bleeding and decreases shrinking around 5%. This ensures a better, longer lasting fit. Also, there are a LOT of chemicals in unwashed fabrics that can get transferred onto students' hands and released into the air when ironing. 
     But.... If you don't have time to complete the washing, drying AND IRONING before class it is OK to send it unwashed. I used to require that all fabric be washed and prepped before class, but I noticed a few things: 1) A lot of families were purchasing the day of class so there wasn't sufficient time -or- 2) It was washed but wasn't ironed so we had to spend 1/2 of our class time ironing. For older students that are able to iron their own fabric it isn't as big of a deal, but for younger students that means that I will be ironing it myself which not only means a lot of downtime for the student but also takes away from the other students in class. I don't want sewing class to cause any extra stress, so I let up on the requirements to make life easier for families.  That being said, it IS best to wash, but I promise there is NO judgment if you can't make it happen. Just do the best you can. All I ask is that if you do wash, please iron it thoroughly prior to class. Ideally pressed in half with the selvedge edges lined up. 


Q: Do students need to supply their own thread?

I supply Guttermann white or black or grey thread for all projects. If you would prefer matching thread, feel free to bring in your own. I recommend an all-purpose thread such as Coats & Clark Dual Duty All Purpose Thread. or Gutermann All Purpose.   One 400-yard spool should be enough for any Kids Can Sew project. 

Q:  My child needs to miss a class, do you offer makes up classes?

I do not offer a specific make up class at the end of each session..  I will try my best to fit in a make-up class, but as most classes are usually full it becomes more difficult.  Make up classes are not guaranteed.  

Q:  Can I take a break from lessons at anytime. 

Need to take a session off due to other activities? No problem, join back in anytime! The patterns and workbooks are yours to keep! Note: Priority registration goes to currently enrolled students. If you choose to skip a session, there are no guarantees that your preferred spot will still be available when you are ready to return. 

Q: Do we (Adults/Kids) need to have sewing experience?

No experience required for MOST classes.  If you child is coming for he first time to a sewing one time workshop hey will first be required to attend a 1 1/2 hour getting started lesson.  This will ensure that the student has the confidence to tackle the camp or PD Day project and that the project can be completed in the allotted time. The Let's Get Started class is a 1.5 hr class that teaches new students how to safely operate a sewing machine and introduces them to sewing tools, terms and basic machine operation. Students enrolled in the weekly classes do no need to attend The Let's get started class to enroll in any camp or PD Days.  The Let's Get Started class is scheduled as needed.  

Q: Do you have advice on buying fabric?

Where to shop: Unfortunately there are not a lot of retailers in the Niagara Region. There are only two Fabriclands.  One in Welland behind he Wendy's restaurants off of Niagara Street and one on Welland Avenue in St. Catharines.   There are a few quilts stores, but that is only needed if making a quilt.  When we do our quilt sessions I usually buy all the fabric and supplies for the quilt for you to purchase.   There are a more stores in Hamilton if you travel that way and if you travel into the USA there is Hobby Lobby and Joann's.  I buy most of my fabric online through retailers and wholesale accounts.  You can purchase cotton fabric from me and if your child is making a knit garment then I usually will purchase it and you pay the direct cost. 

    - Fabricland: has a yearly membership card for $15.00 (mention a student), which gives discounts everyday and 50 percent off during their members only sale.  If you child continues to sew it would be worth the purchase. 

   - Kindred Spirits: on Martindale Rd, St. Catharines- offers a great selection of quilting fabric

    - UpYurQuilt: on Ontario Street St Catharines- offers a great selection of quilting fabric

     - Joann Fabrics: USA Great coupons on the app and has distinctive 'collections' that offer different price points and categories. Their fabric is typically separated by "collection" so it's easier to navigate higher vs. lower quality fabrics. 

     - Hobby Lobby: USA Hobby Lobby is considered more of a home decor store than a fabric store. While they do carry fabric and some notions, their selection is smaller and quite a bit less organized than Joann's. But still a great place to shop!


What to buy:  

     - Price Point: When it comes to fabric, it is definitely priced based when it comes to quality. That $5.99/meter fabric may look like a steal, but it might also be harder to work with, shreds easier and might not last past a few washes. This may not matter as much with the Cool Cat Pillow, but you will probably wash/wear the PJ pants more often, so quality will matter in this case.  Also, and this is VERY important, cheaper fabric might not be as wide as a regular priced fabric. We run into trouble quite often with the Simple Skirt pattern where the size large needs every square inch of fabric width. Most of our patterns call for 42" wide fabric. In order to make the fabric appear less expensive, some retailers shrink the width and that ends up causing a variety of sizing issues. I'm certainly not asking you to buy the most expensive fabric! Just be mindful of the quality when you are shopping, and price point is sometimes a good indicator of quality. Feel free to unwind a little of the fabric from the bolt, feel it, hold it up to the light, etc. 

     - Buy what the pattern calls for: Projects for Level 1 only require cotton and optional flannel fabrics. Level 2 calls for cotton, knits and optional lightweight denim. If the project calls for cotton, buy cotton. Do not buy minky, cuddle, fleece, silks, satins, lycra, sequins, velvet, etc. We will NOT be able to use it in class and you can't return it. 

     - What to avoid:

          - Metallic or holographic foil embossed fabrics: Those shiny holographic butterflies are adorable, but they will melt the second the iron touches them.

          - Very dark or overly patterned fabrics, especially when starting out. We do all of our pencil marking on the back side of the fabric. Go ahead and look at the back and determine whether or not it would be hard to see your pencil marks. This will save your new sewist a lot of headaches when trying to mark and follow a sewing line. 

          - Very light colors or fabric with eyelets for wearable projects: Make sure to think about what project the material is for. Once again, unroll a little off the bolt, put your fingers under it, hold it up to the light.... if it's for a skirt, will you able to see undergarments? This mostly applies to wearable projects. 

          - Avoid mixing fabric types: If your project requires more than one fabric (Simple Skirt, Cool Cat Pillow, Peasant Blouse/Nightgown) make sure to buy the same type of fabric for both. As in, don't buy a cotton fabric for the top and flannel for the bottom. They wash, wear and shrink differently over time. 

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