This year, I somehow became the head room parent for my first grader’s class. Trust me, it’s sounds much more exciting than it is; my duties are mostly limited to party planning. So, for the class’s holiday party instead of asking for money, I asked the students to help me pull together a special gift for their beloved teacher; a scarf featuring pieces of their artwork.
Each student was sent home with a little brown paper bag containing a small square of silk that had been stabilized on freezer paper, either a purple or a silver—her favorite colors—fabric pen, and a sheet of instructions that asked the students to draw a small design for their teacher. I had planned on cutting the designs into stars as her class theme is “The Home of the Stars” and sewing them onto another fringed silk scarf that I had dyed purple, but I couldn’t bring myself to cut away any part of those little drawings. They were just too sweet. The silk had to be stabilized because it was just too flimsy for first graders to draw on without it bunching and moving around and making a huge mess. At home I usually tape it down but I didn’t want to make more work for the parents. I called the folks over at Dharma Trading Co to ask for recommendations for both the stabilizer and the nicest pens, and they were the ones who told me ironing the silk to the plastic side of freezer paper was probably the easiest (and cheapest) solution! You gotta love a company that is willing to tell you to use something you can buy at the grocery store over something much more expensive on their site!
As I mentioned, I wanted to stitch the art onto a hand dyed silk scarf, but in the end, that scarf was entirely too small. Luckily I found a beautiful organic cotton jersey scarf while I was out shopping one day that was the perfect size.
In the end I didn’t end up stitching them on the scarf at all. I have to admit I started to panic just a little bit when I went to remove the freezer paper backing and the silk started to fray! EEK! Luckily, an emergency trip to JoAnn’s and a quick talk with one of the ladies led me to another stabilizing product, Wonder Under, an iron-on fabric stabilizer that would not only prevent the silk from fraying, but also attach it to the jersey! Emergency resolved! And since I was running low on time I didn’t end up using any embroidery at all but relied on the Wonder Under to attach each design to the scarf. It would have been nice to have a blanket or whip stitch around the edge of the drawings, but, well, I always think I have more time time than I actually do.
I did add a few silver stars drawn on with one or two of the silver fabric markers sent back by the parents, and I think it tied it all together rather nicely to the class theme. Those drawings were so very sweet, and it was very obvious how much they cared for their teacher. I know that the hero worship of their teachers is something that won’t last forever, so I really relished the opportunity to commemorate their adoration with something a little more personal than a gift certificate.
The kids were so proud, and what was even sweeter was how excited they became to tell her all about their drawings when she went around to each child during the party to thank them individually.
I can’t wait to do one for myself with my four little ones!