A few years ago, Amie Petronis Plumley, a kindergarten teacher at Grace-St. Luke's, started a week-long sewing camp, for which she quickly sought assistance from Andria Lisle. And it was that camp that begat the recently released book Sewing School: 21 Projects Kids Will Love to Make.
Of post-publication reaction, Lisle, a longtime contributor to the Flyer who now works at the Brooks Museum, says, "A lot of my friends said, 'I didn't know you sew.'"
But sew she does. She learned it from her mother, as did Plumley, and they dedicate the book to them. Non-sewer Justin Fox Burks, also a Flyer contributor, provided the photos and dedicates the book to his mother as well.
Sewing School, featuring the camp's students and other recruits, provides a colorful guide to get kids, ages 5 to 13, geared up, skilled up, and sewing through projects (patterns included) that range from an easy-as-pie pillow to a more complicated apron with pockets. The finished projects pictured are those done by the kids, who clearly take pride in their work.
At the camps, Lisle says Plumley uses her teaching background to keep the kids on-task, while she serves as the "goofy aunt who's very indulgent."
"Our one rule is: Sit and sew," Lisle explains. "You don't want to walk around with a needle in your mouth."
"Sewing School" booksigning at Burke's Book Store, Thursday, December 2nd, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Plumley and Lisle will also be selling the books at the Trolley Stop Market's Holiday Artisan Sale, Saturday, December 4th, 3-8 p.m., and at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art's Holiday Artist Market, Sunday, December 5th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.