This craft activity can be done when a child has lost a loved one, and can be an alternative Christmas craft activity for young people to remember and honour their special person this Christmas.
If you are new to sewing, doing a trial of this activity with some spare material first may be helpful.
In fact, I think doing a trial first may be a great idea. That way you can make improvements or changes to the design if you want, plus if you make a boo-boo, you can correct it the next time round.
You will need:
A sewing machine
Someone who can help you use the sewing machine if you’re new to sewing
A piece of fabric that once belonged your loved one – either denim from jeans, the back of a shirt
Paper to make a template
Narrow ribbed elastic
You will need to make a template to get the correct size of your seat cover.
Measure to top of your seat, and draw a corresponding shape of this on your paper. You will now have the shape of your seat top on paper.
Now for the sides – measure the side of your seat, add 3cm for a seam allowance, and then add this to your shape drawn of your paper. Draw the sides parallel to your original shape.
Your picture will look similar to a 3D net, except it won’t be make a whole shape as you don’t need the bottom.
For example, for a rectangle chair will look like this:
Now you have your template, cut this out, place and pin it on top of your fabric and cut out.
With right sides together, sew your corner seams.
Measure your elastic so it goes around ¾ of the perimeter of your seat cover, add 2cm as a seam/joining allowance.
Sew the two ends of the elastic together, laying one over the top of the other by 2cm.
Pin your elastic to one seam of your chair cover and stretch and pin it to the other seams in each corner.
As you sew you will need to stretch the elastic, and once done this should gather the bottom of your seat cover together.
Slip the seat cover over your seat.
You should now have a lovely memory of your loved one, who is now with you each day in a practical way.
This activity is designed for older children but younger children could tackle it with adult supervision.
For grief and loss:
Making a memorial for a loved one can be an alternative Christmas craft activity.
The young person can write a biography of their loved one, maybe incorporating where and when they saw them in the clothing they used as fabric for their seat cover.
Write a poem incorporating the item of clothing the fabric comes from.
Explore the importance of memories.
Incorporate activities around 3D shapes
Make nets of other 3D shapes, making them into whole shapes. Perhaps incorporate Christmas papers or different coloured papers and place shapes under or on the Christmas tree.
Identify 3D shapes in the environment, around the house, in the classroom.
For Design and Technology:
Incorporate the safe use of a sewing machine.
Links to the Australian Curriculum:
Years 5/6 Design and Technology
Select appropriate materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques and apply safe procedures to make designed solutions ACTDEP026
Year 7/8 Design and Technology
Analyse ways to produce designed solutions through selecting and combining characteristics and properties of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment (ACTDEK034)
Year 9/10 Health and PE, Personal, Social and Community Health
Analysing the role of family, friends and community in supporting an individual’s identities, and proposing strategies to enhance their own and others’ wellbeing ACPPS089
Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks ACAVAM111