My four-year-old has shown an interest in learning to sew. She doesn't have a lot of patience for hand-sewing (sounds like her mama!), though we've tried stitching on burlap and on plastic canvas in star shapes, sewing buttons, and working with felt. We've used lots of types of pink and sparkly yarns and threads, and a lavender needle. But acorns don't fall far from trees, and the girl is convinced that the real sewing is done on a sewing machine.
We started machine lessons a few months ago. She sits on my lap, watches as I thread the machine and bobbin. She raises and lowers the presser foot, helps guide fabric, and pushes stitch-changing buttons. We talk about every step of the process. Our first project was entirely her idea -- a scarf for her dolls with fabrics she chose from the scrap bin. Next, at her urging, we made a panda doll by sewing around a panda illustration on some cute Japanese fabric, adding a back, and stuffing with cotton balls. She loves that thing! Unfortunately, so does the cat, and the poor panda now has a gash in its soft little head (did somebody lace our cotton balls with catnip?). Our latest project is a gift for her little brother, who will turn two on Christmas Day. This one was my idea, but it's been a team effort every step of the way.
(Please don't tell the little guy about this. We want him to be surprised, okay?)
We started with a DIY i-spy kit from Pattern Play on Etsy. We could easily have done without the kit, but I didn't want to bother with shopping for all the tiny trinkets, and I love the fabric list of treasures to find. Big Sister chose the fabrics from fleece scraps sent to me by another sewing mama, and she chose the thread. She helped with all the stitching. Here's what she made (note the spool -- love that!):
We initially left space at the bottom for a personalized label, but Big Sister decided that she didn't want it on there after all.
We're very excited to wrap this up and give it to Little Brother. But how will we wait more than a month?! I know, we'll just have to get started on our next gift project. Stay tuned for that...