The happy accomplishment, with a practical product at the end is enchanting. This was a 4 hour workshop. The idea was to keep him engaged (fun), have a finished workable product, use our heads to engineer the idea, and never spend a second fussing about perfection.
Anthony chose the sturdy upholstery leaf pattern I had in brown and blue. I showed him some short cuts, like deciding the width of the strap, then making a small cut, and continuously folding it over as a guide to a straight cut- avoiding measuring, drawing lines, etc.
He cut and pinned the body of the bag, then sewed it himself. We did not use a pattern. We simply decided what size we wanted and how it would close and what length of strap it should have. He had never used a machine before, so I had him dive right in, starting with the strap. He chose to have a rough edge rather than clean, and to see the stitch, so we went with a zig zag in black thread. At one point, the stitch went off the edge, so learning how to use the seam ripper and move forward became part of the lesson.
I showed him how to burn the frayed edges of the strap to give it an extra seal and add to its rough look. We were safe with a large bowl of water to throw it in if need be. We opened the windows too, because this can get stinky.
I did help him by inserting the zipper. His smile was a testament to the job completed well. If you are interested in a bag workshop for a youngster (age 8 to 12), or a more involved version for age 13+, then contact me. XOXO Yabette