The summer days are long enough without facing the task of entertaining a 12 and 14 year old when it is raining. Since I have been working on a quilt for my husband as an anniversary gift, the kids were naturally curious about what I was doing. To my delight my sweet friend Andria Lisle and her co-author Amie Petronis Plumley released a follow-up to their first book (Sewing School) not long ago and I knew a review project would be just the thing to keep the kids occupied on a rainy day.


Now, if you know me, you know I am the meanest stepmother on the planet. I expect the kids to do daily chores and read for an hour each day in the summer. Sometimes I even make them WRITE! Usually my reminders for the learning part of the day are met with grumbles and discussions. Any educational pursuit that doesn’t elicit a negative response is awesome, and since the kids think Andria is so cool, they didn’t even complain about trying projects from her books!


We were graciously provided a copy of each book. If you aren’t familiar with them, Sewing School came out of a sewing class for kids that Andria and Amie taught in Memphis, TN. Kids were taught hand sewing skills and completed a number of projects utilizing their skills. In Sewing School 2, machine sewing is explored. In combination with the hand sewing skills, kids are prepared with a solid foundation for future projects on their own.

Since Michael has not used a sewing machine before and Emily has some machine time under her belt, Michael chose a project from Sewing School and Emily picked a project from Sewing School 2. Amazingly we only had one meltdown out of frustration (needle threading can be a bear!) Having read both books, I was confident that the kids could manage on their own for the most part. Not only are the instructions easy to follow, the corresponding photos are spot on! I loved that kids are photographed demonstrating each project. Somehow I think that seeing other kids completing each step builds confidence. While Michael became frustrated with certain aspects of getting started, Emily simply slowly but surely worked her way through her own questions and before I realized it, she was just about finished!  Once Michael got settled in and focused, he was able to utilize the tips and other helping points of the book to finish with no further issues. The dictionary was a great reference for both kids, but especially for Michael who was able to double check that he really did know what the terms meant. For me, it was valuable to be able to refer the kids to the index or dictionary while still working on my own project. (For parents with younger children, more supervision will be necessary)

Michael chose to save a special t-shirt by turning it into a pillow. (Sewing School, p. 120)

He loves his STAX shirt!



Emily chose to make a zipper pouch. She raided my scraps and chose a gorgeous

Kate Spain print from the Cuzco line. (Sewing School 2, p. 91)

IMG_3330  IMG_3329

Can you believe I got REAL smiles out of a 12 and 14 year old?

Great work Andria and Amie!





Find more info at the Sewing School blog


If you want to alleviate some summer boredom and teach your kids a new skill, you can find Sewing School 2 at booksellers and online at Amazon

 For other projects, check out all the stops on the Sewing School 2 blog tour:

July 7 – Our Busy Homeschool

July 8 – scrumdilly-do!

July 9 – Crafty Moms Share

July 10 – Jane of All Trades

July 11 – Windy Lou

July 12 – Adventures of a DIY Mom

July 13 – Improv Diary

July 16 – He Sewed She Sewed

July 17 – Teach Beside Me

July 18 – All Things with Purpose

July 19 – The Crafty Crow

July 20 – Family Style School

July 21 – Such Designs

July 22 – Red Bird Crafts

July 23 The Long Thread

July 25 – mayamade

Enter to win Sewing School AND Sewing School 2
One U.S. winner will receive a copy of BOTH Sewing School books

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Disclosure: I was provided copies of Sewing School and Sewing School 2 for review. I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions and elicited genuine teenager smiles are my own/property of WindyLou.