Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Junior Sewists

I was watching my grandkids all day Saturday, and we were looking for something to do to pass the time. I decided to break out the sewing machine and fabrics and start to teach my granddaughter to sew. I have been planning a day like this for over a year. She has always taken an interest in my sewing since she was about 4. (Now going on 7) We had tried several toy sewing machines, but they only led to frustration because they would stop working very quickly after we would start. So I decided to bite the bullet and purchase an inexpensive adult sewing machine (Janome, my favorite brand) and teach her to use it safely. We had never gotten a chance to work with it. I tried the machine out a couple of weeks ago for the first go round with it, taking it to a costuming gig to use to modify costumes. It worked fine for that. But before that test run, I found out that Janome makes several models of machines geared for young girls, with the "Hello Kitty" logo on them. I decided this was the thing that would be the motivator for her, and I purchased the machine. Well, when I got it, I found out it was exactly the same machine as the one I had purchased a year ago, except it was painted blue and cost $30 more! Same features and functions. So I broke out the "Hello Kitty" machine Saturday and we were off! She loved it, she learned quickly, and was competently sewing short seams without any problems. I found a cheap $2 charm pack, I decided I could give this up for some practice, and we started to put together a quilt for her teddy bear. That went together quickly and she wanted more to do. Her brother suggested a pillow for bear, so we found fabric for that, plus some left over batting for the stuffing. (He had the right idea, when he told us we could put cotton balls into it to stuff it.) Meantime, he was playing video games. We took a couple of breaks for lunch, a park session, and a terrible hail storm, after which we collected large 2" hailstones like Easter Eggs after the storm passed. Then, her brother decided that he wanted to take a crack at sewing something. Well, wasn't I prepared for that! I had a perfect companion for her sewing machine, my plain Jane model that I had purchased that was exactly the same as Hello Kitty. He caught on quickly also, although his sister kept proclaiming that she was better at it than he. They were both hard at work making seams, sewing together squares, sewing layers upon layers of fabric together. Hello Kitty is a trooper, because at one time, I think she sewed 12 layers of fabric together and the machine managed to take on the task. I am proud of them for their interest, and how quickly they picked up the skills needed to sew simple things. He wanted to make his little 6 patch quilt bigger and make it into a 9 patch. There is a special design for quilts called disappearing 9 patch, we'll try that if he wants to do it, and it will make an interesting patchwork quilt.
After making the quilt for bear and the pillow, she sewed this little shirred top dress. It has one seam at the back. I sewed the ties, but she sewed them on. She looks so cute in it!

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