You know that moment when you know you have done something but at the same time you are pretty sure you never did… Well I just had one of those moments! I was able to accomplish a few goals with one very big project this summer and now that Fall has arrived, it is about time that I share it with you.
This summer I chose to take time to teach my girls to sew a bit more. We had practiced here and there, but we have never sat down to really learn and to complete a project start to finish. I also had the amazing opportunity to work with Jen from One Thimble and write my first article for this great online sewing magazine, “Teaching Kids to Sew”. The timing could not have been more perfect! It was just the pushed that I needed to stay on track with teaching my girls. I was able to record and then share our journey, from the first stitch tot he blue ribbon!
We started by making sewing notebooks. In these we wrote down the parts of a garment, sewing terms we were learning, and sketches of things that the girls wanted to create one day. A glossary of basic sewing terms, as well as a printable worksheet for the ‘Parts of a Dress’ are included in the article.
We picked out patterns that would teach basic skills, but still be challenging enough for each of my girls at the level they currently were at. We used two separate patterns. My youngest daughter made an modified Sophia Skirt from Violette Field Threads. It was the perfect project for her beginner skill level. My other two girls each made Dress No. 19 by E+M Patterns. This dress was a bit of a challenge but it has so many skills that are essential to sewing all wrapped up in a pretty and fun dress! We cut patterns, cut fabric, and stitched all our garments together, slowly, but with purpose and enthusiasm.
One of the best parts of all this, was that my girls were creating these garments to show at our County Fair for our 4-H Club. This was such a great goal for my girls to have and I am so proud of them for achieving it! They are not very out going in public and have little experience in submitting a creation for critique, outside of a school science fair project. This was a big deal for our family! At the fair they had to present their garments to a construction judge, have an interview, model the garment in front of a judge, and then finally in front of Fair guests on a public stage. Let’s just say that there were tears of fear, frustration, and joy for a few days. In the next issue of One Thimble you can read my follow up article about how teaching children to sew teaches them so much more than simply sewing. But you will have to wait till November to read that.
One of the hardest things for me through this process was remembering that they were learning. The stitches would not be perfect, the pintucks a bit wonky, and focus…not always there. Yet as we finished those final steps and my ladies put on their first handmade piece of clothing, the joy in their eyes and the smiles on their faces were worth more than I can express in words. If you want to read my article “Teaching Kids to Sew” you can purchase a copy of One Thimble Issue 8 (click on the link for a Sneak Peek). Not only will you be able to read the entire article and use the printable worksheets I created for you, but you will also have access to 12 PDF Patterns and pages of articles, beautiful and inspiring photos, interviews, and tips & tricks. You will not be disappointed! I hope you take the time to read my article and to teach a child the joy of sewing! I will leave you with a small snippet from the article;
“Teaching a child to sew is not teaching them to finish a garment that is ready to sell in a Boutique. It is teaching them to sew a garment that they can wear and be proud of! Let the seams be bulky, ignore uneven stitches, and allow your child to learn one stitch at a time!…..You want your child to not only learn to sew but develop a love for sewing. This means that it has to be fun for them!…For me, the point of teaching my children to sew is that I am (1) teaching a skill that they can use though out their life and (2) sharing something with them that I love and makes me happy!….Now give them a big squeeze and a kiss, reward yourself with a special treat, and make memories stitched together with love!” -Teaching Kids to Sew by Gemia Carroll for One Thimble Issue 8