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One-on-One activities and tips


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Sewing Box Visits

Note: This page (listed in the left-hand column of the monthly index page as "Making Sense/One-to-One") alternates between sensory stimulation activities and one-to-one activities. Look for "Making Sense" next month.

Here is an idea that is "tailor-made" for your one-to-one visits.

Fill the large sewing box/basket with such things as:

  • Spools of thread (different colors)
  • Needles and needle threader
  • Pin cushion
  • Thimble
  • Bobbin
  • Buttons (variety of sizes and shapes)
  • Snaps and hooks and eyes
  • Zipper
  • Tape measure
  • Hem gauge
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Patterns
  • Scrap pieces of fabrics
  • Darning needs and darning yarn
  • Darning egg or tennis ball
  • Socks with holes in them
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears
  • Picture of a vintage sewing machine

One-to-one visit tip

  • If you don't know anything about sewing, ask another staff member or a volunteer to make the room visits for you.
  • During the visit, offer to sew on loose or missing buttons, mend a hem, or fix a small tear. Ask the person to select the thread color and color and size of the buttons.
  • Sort buttons and/or colors of thread.
  • Discuss sewing and mending and how sewing machines have changed over the years. Ask if anyone remembers the old-fashioned treadle machines and how they worked.
  • Discuss what kinds of fabrics are best for certain fashions. For example, would a piece of wool make a good suit or a good blouse? Is silk an easy fabric to care for?
  • Demonstrate how to darn a sock.
  • Identify the different objects in the sewing basket and what they are used for.

Note: If the person is unresponsive (comatose, in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease, etc.), gently rub different pieces of fabric over their arm and look for a reaction. Place the pin cushion or darning egg in their hand and squeeze gently.