Saturday, June 14, 2008

Math and Sewing

I am a high school math teacher and I love all of the mathematics that is woven into sewing and designing your own patterns. One of my latest sewing creations is a set of fabric blocks. The pattern for a block is simply a mathematical "net" for a 3-dimensional figure. A net is a 2-dimensional representation of a 3-dimensional figure that can be assembled to create the 3-dimensional figure. For a block, which is a cube, there are six sides, so six squares make up the block as shown below.

When sewing, I start by sewing all adjacent sides together. Then, I sew the two sides, and the front and back to the bottom. Finally, I sew the top to each side. For the last edge, I sew only a little ways in from each corner and stop. Next, I turn the block right sides out. At this point, it is time to stuff the block. Finally, sew the opening on the last edge.

Here is a picture of a Jumbo Block that I made for the nursery. Since it is larger, I top stitched each edge to help keep its shape. It is great to double as a pillow for mom or dad after a long night! If you are interested in purchasing this block or one like it, visit my Etsy Shop.

1 comment:

ElegantSnobbery said...

LOL, no wonder I'm so terrible when it comes to designing and measuring. I was horrible at HS math!!! I wish you could have been there to help me out. I'm sure relating math to sewing and pattern making would have helped me out a little!! I just love those blocks. I'll have to make some for my girls. Even though they are getting older, I love the idea of soft stacking toys, as they tend to start throwing things at each other after a few moments of play.