Real World Math

I recently heard students in class talking about not wanting to attend their FCS rotation class for the day as they would be sewing. I hated to hear that but do understand that not all people love to sew just like not all people like sports.

I am one of those that likes to sew and thought I would share a little of the math that was involved in my latest sewing project.  This is also another way that I can show students how I use math in my everyday life. 

I recently made pillow beds for all my nieces and nephews for Christmas. The pattern or instructions for this project are pretty simple and entail that you can read a ruler. I read a blog that said that you could create a pillow bed for under $20. 

So, first stop was Walmart to purchase a twin flat sheet for $4.97 and five pillows for $2.37 each. I then ironed the twin sheet and layed it flat right side down on my dinning room table. Then you take one long side of the sheet and fold it in 19.5 inches. I eyeball this and then adjust using my ruler. You then move on to the other long side of the twin sheet and do the same thing folding in 19.5 inches. This then helps to create what will look like pillow shams, where the fabric over folds each other. From there I went to one end of the long folded sheet and measured in 19 inches and put pins down a line. I did this 4 times. I was then ready to go and sew. 

I sewed aong the line with the pins. This created the space where I would insert the pillows later. There is one final line that needs to be sewn and that it’s the end of the long bed pillow. I found that I pinned the line when I was done with all the other 4 lines. This then closes off the last insert for a pillow. 

When all the sewing is done it’s time to insert the 5 pillows. This can be a little bit of a challenge as the places where you are inserting each pillow is a little tight. Each place is like a little pillow sham. When you have all 5 pillows in you need to fluff the pillow bed and you are done. Your finished pillow bed should look like this. 

In the end the project cost me a total of $16.82 that does not include thread as I always have thread around.

As you can see my nieces and nephews really like the bed pillows. They used them as forts. Then even used them to go to bed each night while at grandma and grandpas. 

  
-Sarah

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About martinsarah

7th grade math teacher in Iowa

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