Thursday, 23 October 2008

Learning to Sew

Ever since Joshua saw that we'd been given a kiddy sewing kit (second hand from a family at church whose girls are now quite grown up), he's been asking to "learn to sew". Actually he did have a "sewing kit" complete with plastic needle and plastic mesh mat a while back but the needle somehow got lost and that was the end of that.

This morning Jeff checked out the new kit and, seeing that it only had one plastic needle, pulled out his G*rber blade and cut up a few pen lids and made two more quite competent needles. So replete with a needle each (Sam used the crochet hook that came with the set), the kids each set to sewing with wool and some hand-made sewing shapes. These were cardboard shapes Jeff had cut out and hole punched for them. My husband is clever and handy in ways I appreciate very much. This is the final result:Can you guess who made each of these specimens? (Sam's somehow become incorporated into the work of another child as two cardboard shapes were sewn together.)

You might think that the neatest was Josh (well, he is the eldest, after all) and so on down the ages... scroll down to see whether you were right!

Anna did the pink one. She worked out how to sew a straight line all by herself and then I showed her how to retrace her steps and fill in the gaps. Abigail did a quite creditable attempt. Joshua... well, Jeff's comment was that Joshua wasn't interested in being neat and orderly, just creative!

I find this photo revealing for other reasons as well. You'll notice Joshua is smiling handsomely: he's finally learnt how to smile in a relaxed manner for photos. Abigail is still using a forced photo face. Anna, well, she wouldn't put down her book for anything, not even a chance to be photographed. She is following in my footsteps with her obsession for books, I fear. Even reads books in the dark in bed at night, just like me as a child.

And just in case you're wondering, Sam doesn't have some weird rash all over his face. He went a little wild with an ink stamp that the girls got in a take-home party bag on the weekend. He's actually covered with little red fairies or winged horses or something. Quite smudged, by this time. And the thumb sucking is still happening. One day we'll sort that out. Part of me (the lazy part) is hoping my mum will take care of it when Grandma and Grandad visit for Christmas.


Mrs. Edwards said...

(I'm really hassling you with comments today!)

Your Sam is really growing up! I found myself nodding in understanding at much of your post. Just last night my Toby was "reading" in the dark, although that is probably more rebellion at bedtime than a sign that he is a book-lover, but I'll hope for the best! (Toby doesn't suck his thumb, but he has a little bear blanket that he sucks and chews on. It seems so icky to stuff fabric in one's mouth. As an aside, my boys are the ones that have comfort blankets and bears. My girls never latched onto something like that. Does it mean anything?)

We've also gone through the forced smile stage. I guess that is universal, although it isn't mentioned by Piaget and the rest (that I've seen). :) What a relief when they do learn to give us the smile we love when we haul out the camera.

And, yes, I did guess the sewing cards wrong. Anna's didn't surprise me, but Abigail's and Joshua's did.

Prue said...

I think it is great that boys are interested in sewing. I wish more were. My sister and I are passionate about passing on embroidery techniques to the younger generation, otherwise the skills will be lost.

My almost 5 year old son is very interested in how things work and loves to stand beside my sewing machine while I sew (and drives me up the wall!) fiddling with things on it. He discovered the other day his 7 year old cousin has a sewing machine and he declared last night at dinner that when he is 7 he will have a sewing machine. I reckon he'll just want to fiddle with it and pull it apart though!

Sharon said...


I don't even have a sewing machine and I'm over 30! I keep hoping someone will just give me one, plus provide babysitting for me while I go off some where to do classes. I never practised what I learnt in school and from my mum, so despite having once made a pair of pants for myself which were quite lovely (in my own opinion, if no-one else's) I never got any further. I saw the photos of your daughter's blouses on your blog and was in awe of your skill.

I would like my kids, of both sexes, to have the basics of some of these homemaking skills like sewing and cooking. It's one of those times where you see your own lack and hope your children won't fail in that area as well.

~ Sharon

Prue said...

I saw kids sewing machines in a Spotlight catalogue the other day for under $50! But knowing how to use it is another thing of course. I've had my sewing machine since I was sixteen - I took to Textiles and Design at school with great gusto. I'll bet you've got skills in things I am hopeless at!