Sunday, October 21, 2012

Teaching a child to use a sewing machine

 What could be better than teaching your child your own hobby, especially when she shows an interest in it.  My daughters are currently 5 and 9 years old and definitely have an interest in sewing. Part of this comes from me making them so much clothing and also from them watching me sew several days a week.  My oldest has been sewing by hand for about a year and now it is time to teach her to use a machine. We have been waiting for a desk upon which to put my old sewing machine. Call me selfish, but, at 46 years of age, I have never had as nice a gift as my Janome MD5200, which was my Christmas present last year. I kinda want to keep it to myself, at least until she gets to be better at sewing.  So, for now, she is using my old Singer machine. It is not a great machine but it is definitely good enough for a 9 year old!

 So, how do you teach a child to use a sewing machine? I hemmed and hawed about this for the week that I was sick and decided that she needed to have some basic stitching lessons first and then a basic rectangular project to begin.

First off, I drew geometrical shapes on squares of muslin and had her sew along those lines.   If you click and enlarge, you can see she did pretty well!


 Next up, she hand sewn a rectangle of muslin into a pillow and wanted to make a standard-style pillow case for it.  I did the cutting and ironing and she sewed it up.  
So cute!


Here is the in finished product.

She was very proud of herself!

These are her reading glasses, if you are family.  You may not have seen a pic of her in them yet!  She can wear them for sewing, too. 

Next weekend, new project!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cold care, petting fabric, and a winner!

 For the last week, I have been longing to sew, having plans to sew, even have dresses cut out to sew, but I have been stymied by a bad sinus infection! I have the worst sinuses known to mankind, seriously, and get a bad sinus infection at least once a year. This is an improvement over my college years where I would get them every other month. After a long road of health improvement, including seeing chiropractors, naturopaths, osteopaths, our family doctor, and finally one very very good otolaryngology specialist (ear, nose, throat), I finally have a good routine in place to keep them manageable. Along with a neti pot for sinus rinsing, here is my routine: Gypsy cold care tea, Alka-seltzer plus cold day and night, Flonase sinus spray, Sambucol elderberry, no refined flour or sugar products, no alcohol, probiotics, lots of rest, and Augmentin antibiotic if it gets really bad, like now.  Seriously, I have the worst sinuses in the world!  I could have surgery but as that is only 50% effective, I decided against it. Anyway, this means my kids clothing week challenge sewing is delayed until my head stops feeling like a vice is crushing my brain.

 In the meantime, I got some lovely fabrics from Europe that I have sitting on my sewing work area so I can pet them occasionally! Here they are!  They are so soft and pretty!  I am super lucky to have some wonderful friends who are able to import this stuff to the USA at a reasonable price.  Sewing friends are the nicest people in the world!!

And speaking of sewing friends, the winner of the halloween fabric giveaway is Connie! She just so happens to be a friend. Seriously, randon number generator generated number 3!  So, congrats to Connie and stay tuned for more sewing from me soon!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

KCWC2: The American Mama Store Dresses

This is quickly becoming my favorite pattern: Jocole's Crossover Tunic or Dress. This is such a versatile dress/top/tunic. So, for day #2 of Kids Clothing Week Challenge, I made my youngest daughter this great dress. Because the pattern comes with a doll version, I whipped that one out, too. She was very excited to see them and told her father that these are not from the American Girl Doll store but from the American Mama store! 

This fabric, which is absolutely amazing, is Valori Wells Karavan knit. It is a lovely, and I do mean lovely, cotton interlock with a slight amount of stretch to it.  This is the Kashmir print in Indigo.  I have been sewing with knits for a few years now and, while I am no expert, this is among my all time favorite knit fabric. 

Here is the doll version. This is an 18 inch Madame Alexander doll, but she has the same measurements as an American Girl doll. The pattern was easy to sew for my daughter but the doll dress was a tiny bit complicated. The first go round, the binding was too narrow for her hand to fit through!  Her hand is open wide and it would not fit through. So, I had to start over and made the sleeve a tiny bit longer and wider and did not use binding at all.  I did bind the neckline as one would for a girl.  Very pretty, I think.

Here is my oldest in her tunic I made her a few weeks ago.

Kids Clothing Challenge Week #1 (plus giveaway!)

It's kid's clothes week challenge time.  This year, I am participating. This all starts at the elsiemarley blog, linked above, and happens every year around this time.  The goal is to spend an hour a day for 7 days in a row sewing only for kids. Sewing, not yarn work. 

So, here is my first day's work. I finished up this skirt and applique top for my youngest daughter.

This is the Monkeysbug Festive skirt pattern, but I made it with elastic in the casings instead of ribbon.  That was a bit of a challenge to do but I think it turned out cute. This is Riley Blake trick or treat fabric that I was gifted a year ago.  The trim fabric is Black Mini Dot fabric.  All from Treasure Bay on Etsy. 

This top is a Picture of a Great Tee from Hanna Andersson. They don't make these anymore but occasionally I find them on Ebay. This was bought new off Ebay a year ago. Lucky me! These tops are thick and soft and wonderful.  The applique pattern is from the Riley Blake website. They have a cute skirt and applique tutorial you can download. This was my first ever attempt at an applique using my Janome MC5200D.  I had several stitches to choose from but liked #65 best.

Yes, if you made it this far in the reading, you have a chance to win the set of Halloween fat quarters shown below!  Just leave a comment here AND post on the HDH group page that you left a comment AND be sure to be a follower of this blog.  I will choose one winner this weekend, at the end of the Kids Clothing Week Challenge.


 Watch for more KCWC posts every day this week and more giveaways!!