I am not a gifted sewer. I tend to mis-measure, lose patience and treat thread like duct tape. But, at the same time I LOVE fabrics and homemade things. So, over the years I’ve developed decent hand sewing skills and can even work the sewing machine. Today’s projects are easy-peasy hand sewing for the most unskilled, reluctant or inexperienced. They are all about having fun with fabric and thread.
The biggest challenge is the age and skill differences for Big Girl and Little Girl. We started the morning looking through Big Girl’s hoard of kits and art supplies and decided the time had come to FINALLY sew some owl pillows from a kit she had bought as a museum souvenir over a year ago.
Moments after threading the needle for Big Girl, Little Girl started her temper tantrum: “What can I do? You’re leaving me out!” I was stumped but after googling “4 year old sewing project,” I found the website http://www.sewmamasew.com with tons of great ideas. I decided to have Little Girl try her first sewing project by making a mini-banner.
I cut some strips of fabric and drew lines for triangles. Little Girl did better cutting the felt than the cotton but both worked out ok. I then had her color the triangles and glue sequins and beads. We like it fancy around here!
While Big Girl stitched, stuffed and finished her owls, I threaded embroidery floss on a needle and taught Little Girl how to sew. The first few triangles took some guidance but she quickly took off and completed her banner! We hung it in her room for now. She is besides herself with pride!
As for my project? I decided to try and make mittens with the girls from a shrunken (ie: felted) sweater. For sentimental reasons, I’ve been saving one of my husband’s old wool sweaters even though we washed it in hot and shrunk it beyond repair. I realized some time ago that I could just consider this wool felt and make use of it but I never got farther than that… until today. While the kids were happily sewing and gluing, I stuck the sweater in the wash on extra hot and ran it through the dryer.
Then I asked the kids if they would like matching wool mittens. We traced each other’s hands on printer paper and then they wandered off while I cut the sweater up into mitten shaped pieces.
To do that:
I added about a quarter inch around the traced hand shape to create a seam allowance. I lined the cuffs up along the bottom of the sweater so the mittens would have nice cuffs too. I pinned the pattern to the sweater, being careful to make sure to cut mirror images (one from the inside of the sweater and one from the outside) so they would line up. We decided to “fancy them up” by adding some flowers for trim. I then placed backs to backs and sewed them up! It took quite a while to sew them as I decided to use a whip stitch to keep them sealed tight.
I am so glad winter is just beginning because it is going to be so fun to wear our matching mittens!
We’re worn out around here. Going to have some delicious Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie for dinner and then maybe dig that Nintendo out again for another round of Mario Cart.