My son has always loved to sit on my lap and sew. At age 2 he was clipping threads, hand sewing, and making buttonholes in his shirts using the fully automatic buttonhole feature on my machine. Now at age (almost) 4, he declares, “I LOOOOVE to sew!”
This is probably because he spends his days with me sewing while his daddy is an upholsterer who sews at work. He sees no gender line with sewing and I’ve managed thus far to shield him from peers that make him think otherwise. That makes for a happy, happy mama who spent her grad school years studying the Anti-Bias Curriculum and works tirelessly to ensure that my children don’t see pink princesses for girls and super hero action figures for boys.
My friend and neighbor whom I have coaxed into the world of sewing gave the little guy his very own fabrics for Christmas. A yard each of rocket ships and monsters quilting cottons. Having been gifted such fabulous fabrics of his very own, he stewed on it a while to decide what to make. After some very lofty ambitions, I suggested we make a pillowcase so that he could reasonably tackle a full project of his own. Thankfully, he took my suggestion.
We set my White Quilter’s Star machine down on the little kids’ table and propped up the foot pedal on a cardboard box so he could reach it. I turned the machine speed down to “turtle” and over the course of a week, one seam at a time, he stitched his very own rocket ship pillowcase, complete with French seams, all by himself. I supervised but did not touch the machine or fabric (except to press, of course).
He hasn’t decided on his project for the monster fabric yet but today he was busy with some scrap muslin that I gave him. He carefully cut out a doll blanket, a rectangle that he declared to be a parking space for two little cars, and a couple strips of fabric that he stitched together to be a “walking path” for he and his friends, seen here:
Keen observers will note that he is wearing a new super hero t-shirt, made by mama, just like the last one but with the cape cut on-grain this time. I used a more stable blue cotton jersey from Jo-Ann’s and remnants of the burgundy rayon knit from my cowl top.
I ended up squeezing out a bonus project (thanks for giving it the perfect term, Tasia). I love a bonus project almost as much as I love remaking a pattern! The bonus was just a plain blue long sleeve t-shirt for the boy that I didn’t even bother to photograph.
I went on a nutty cutting spree on Sunday and cut out a whopping 8 projects and then cut another one on Monday before starting to sew. I’ve gotten my sew-jo back! Woo-hoo! Thanks to all that cutting, both projects went quickly and swiftly except for when I stitched up the shoulders of the super shirt and forgot to put the cape in between the layers. Doh! I just trimmed the cape seam allowance off and re-serged the shoulder seams with the cape in place. That ended up making the neck a little tight going over his head but fine for wearing.
I’m we’re headed back to the sewing room for more stitching!
And how about you? Are any of you out there crazy enough to give a 3-year-old free reign with fabric and a sewing machine?