Sew cute ornaments created by CMS students

Published 11:08 am Friday, December 8, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Clanton Middle School eighth-grade students are learning practical skills through a Christmas ornament project.

Family and Consumer Science teacher Aimee Gilliland said she was looking for new project this year to teach her hand sewing unit and thought felt gingerbread ornaments would be a good fit. A friend who teaches in another county had suggested Christmas ornaments because she had done the project with her class.

In preparation for the project, students spent a few days practicing threading the needle, sewing on buttons and practicing a blanket stitch.

Gilliland created a kit for each student, including a pattern, felt, stuffing and accent pieces.

Students cut out two gingerbread man shapes from the felt, then began sewing. The gingerbread men were later stuffed, and the sewing was finished.

“They are putting the blanket stitch around the edge of their gingerbread man,” Gilliland said.

The gingerbread man’s eyes are black buttons, and white rickrack represented icing.

“I have learned a lot myself,” Gilliland said. “I learned about the blanket stitch because I had never used that before.”

She and the students all learned “how to do a quadruple threat on your needle.” Gilliland said this kind of threading gives the thickness and appearance of embroidery floss without the difficulty of separating the embroidery floss strings.

Some students plan to display their finished project on their Christmas tree at home, while others will be giving them away as gifts.

For many students, like Cole Thenor, this was their first experience sewing. Thenor said it was challenging to keep the “stitches even and looking good.”

Learning how to sew a button on was a highlight of the project. Thenor said he has buttons pop off his shirt a lot while playing baseball, “so it will be nice just to know how” to sew them back on.

“I have always wanted to learn how to sew,” student Gracen Powell said.

She was excited to be getting the chance.

“It’s really fun,” Powell said.

She said she especially enjoyed learning the blanket stitch. She said tying off the thread at the end of the stitch so that the stitches do not come out was the most difficult part.

Student Justin Mims said working with the thread could be difficult because “sometimes it gets in a knot, and it gets frustrating, but once you can get it done you feel a sense of accomplishment.”