Sunday, 9 November 2014

Montessori fabric matching job

I was a bit worried when I saw the email subject line 'Term job' from Little Imp's teacher earlier this term. Was I about to be asked to make another 36 fiddly little drawstring bags?
I'm happy to make more bags down the track, but this term there are just too many Christmas crafts that are needing finishing (or starting for that matter!).

The request was not for bags thank goodness, but instead to renew the classroom 'fabric matching job'.

This is a 'sensorial' job completed by the younger children, essentially there are 2 piles of different types of fabrics and they need to use their sense of touch alone to match the fabrics with their eyes masked.

I managed to get a pile of assorted fabrics from a craftsy work colleague to add to some I had at home & this is what eventuated - a lovely pile of varied textures.

A quick 'how to':
The finished size of my fabric squares is roughly 4 1/2".
I started with rectangles of most fabrics 5" x 10".

Fold in half, right sides together and pin together if needed.

Then straight stitch around all four edges (even where the fold crease is) with a good 1/4" allowance & making sure to leave a opening (approx 1") to turn right side out. Once stitched, trim fabric from around the corners & then turn right side out. Poke out the corners & finger press the seams before pressing with an iron to flatten (make sure the fabric can withstand the ironing temperature you choose!)

Then top stitch all the way around with matching thread to finish each square.

Some of the fabric types required a bit of a variation from the above method.

For the fur I decided to make the fabric square single sided, so I just cut 2 squares each 4 1/4" and then backed these with a slightly smaller piece of felt,sewn around the borders twice. This worked well to stop the fur stretching and moulting & will also hopefully mean they last a bit longer with all the handling of little fingers.

The hessian I had was a very large weave, so quite tricky to work with without it unravelling. I used a zigzag stitch to edge the hessian before then folding in half, straight stitching/turning inside out etc.
To reinforce the edges & the overall square I went around the edges twice with a zigzag instead of straight stitch, and also did the same in the middle as seen below.

The square sequined fabric worked best by cutting to the finished size & then straight stitching twice around the edges with wrong sides together (i.e. no turning right side out at the end).

Here is Little Imp testing the final product before we drop off to school this week (the lowered hat is our make-shift blindfold!).

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