Devon O’Neal Kukis lives in North Virginia. You can find her at cupcakesandlace.com. She has been teaching sewing to children for around 10 years. In our interview Devon reveals her simple trick for preventing lost needles in classes…and the girls all love it.
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I have always had a love for sewing since my grandma taught me at age 8. She has been sewing for about 50 years or more and still does! She’s 89 and a great inspiration!
I went to fashion business school in NYC and during the summers (back home in VA) I would hold sewing summer camps for young girls and Girl Scouts. Then after school, I decided to start the business full time.
We now have a beautiful studio space and offer tons of different classes: after school, birthday parties, Summer camps, and badge workshops for Girl Scouts. I love teaching kids because of their enthusiasm and inspiration…they make me excited to do what I do!
Do you have any tips or tricks that you’ve found helpful in teaching kids to hand sew?
There’s one thing I find super helpful and great with preventing lost needles…I make these little magnets for the kids. We hot glue little circle magnets to a 3 inch by 3 inch piece of glitter craft foam and it’s a personal needle holder for each of them. It reminds them if they get up from their seat or are done with sewing they must stick their needle on the magnet! ;). Helps with safety and they think it’s fun…plus they love the glitter foam.
Have you had any students you can tell me about whom learning to sew really benefited in some way?
I think in general that any child who learns to sew will benefit in growth and development. Sewing opens up a world of skills like problem solving, working independently, working in groups, patience, motor skills etc.
Kids really become inspired and motivated by what they can create. This can help with other areas of their life too. We love it when our students send us pictures or come back with projects they’ve made at home on their own because they were inspired by our classes.
Is there any tool that you find particularly useful to use in your classes?
Always love the seamripper of course! The ones with the big handles (similar to a chunky pen) work the best for kids because they can actually grip them…not those tiny little ones. 🙂