Super Costumes, Super Fun

Halloween costumes kids can make themselves (with just a little help from you)

(page 6 of 6)


Dynamic Duo

The friends behind Sewing School

Amie Plumley and Andria Lisle are in stitches. The two are laughing about how their sewing venture led them from the classroom to the bookstore. As friends, they are close, so close that they often finish each other’s sentences. Amie, the mom of two and a kindergarten teacher at Grace St. Luke’s, initially recruited Andria to help assist with her summer sewing camp. Andria works as a journalist at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, but she grew up loving to sew.

As they brainstormed on sewing projects, they began to develop their own patterns and style and soon realized there weren’t any books that had their funky, kid-centric approach. “I thought, ‘We can teach a class of 20 kids to sew, but what about the rest of the world?’” Amie says, flashing a playful grin.

Amie understands how kids learn and what they can manage at specific ages; Andria is the wordsmith, ensuring their prose is both precise and consistent. Together, they make a dynamic duo.

“It’s not magic,” notes Andria. “It’s having a practical idea and working it.”

The resulting books offer doable sewing projects (by hand and machine) that allow kids to use their imaginations to produce stuffed friends, Valentine bags, pillows, and more. Finding success often comes down to having the right tools so beginners don’t get frustrated. “For most kids, sewing is another art form. Boys like to sew to make things that are useful.” Amie’s son makes pouches he can wear on his belt. “Many people think kids want everything digital,” she says, “But kids like making something out of their head.”

Now, other schools are asking how they can create their own club. It’s easy, say these two: just pick up the book and get sewing. — Jane Schneider


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