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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amateurs

It's been a textile-rich week here in the Mama's Magic household. BB continues to be excited about learning how to sew. She made a pillow for Grandma C when they were visiting, and then decided that she wanted to make a pillow with buttons as a thank you gift for her preschool teacher. (Today was her last day in the 3-4 year old room -- she moves up to the 4-5 year old room in July!) So off to Michael's we went, in search of more felt and pretty buttons.
BB chose red felt and a package of cute flower buttons. She's really getting the hang of working with a needle and thread -- great fine motor skills practice! Here she is explaining how she does it:

video

She's definitely having an easier time of it with a fairly blunt metal needle -- the plastic needle just kept bending. It's so cute to see her wee fingers working with the fabric!Here's the finished pillow in her lap! She decided that she wanted to have all the stitches show all the way around the edge. (She's holding flowers she made for her teacher from more flower buttons and pipe cleaners... I mean, chenille stems. Im showing my age -- they don't call them pipe cleaners anymore!)

BB's teacher was very touched by the gift and quite impressed at BB's sewing skills. She's not yet ready to do it all on her own -- I thread her needles, tie the knots, and finish off each thread when it gets too short -- but she's doing all the stitching by herself! Now she's saying she wants to make a blanket.

BJ had a friend over for a playdate on Tuesday, and BB's pillow was sitting on the table, waiting to be gift wrapped. When BJ's friend learned that BB had made it, he was amazed: "Your sister sewed that? And she's only four years old? At our school, we learn how to sew in the second grade!" (And they do -- there's an entire project in the second grade that involves the kids making their own stuffed animals. Adorable.)

BJ's friend went on to inform me that his sister, who just finished second grade, is really good at sewing. "She's a professional," he told me, his voice full of pride. "She can make a tooth fairy pillow out of felt!"

By that definition, it won't be long before BB leaves behind her amateur status!

I've been feeling a bit like an amateur myself, lately -- in a good way. After making BJ's costume for the play many months ago, with a lot of help from my mom, I got the urge to try my hand at making something for myself. Even though my mom wasn't around!

I visited one of my favorite local fabric stores, asked their advice about what might be an easy project for a beginner, and came home with a pattern for Amy Butler's Barcelona skirt, a supposedly simple A-line design. When I got it home, I realized it involved not only a lining but also a zipper! I have zipper anxiety when it comes to sewing, so the fabric and pattern had been sitting on my sewing table ever since.

This past week, I finally got brave enough to just give it a go. And it was a lot easier than I'd thought it would be! I ended up having to put two darts in the back because it was sized too large around the hips and waist, but it worked out pretty well, though I say it myself:

Next I'm going to give the layered skirt and apron versions a try! I'm definitely not in the professional leagues for these sewing skills, but it's fun to think of myself as an amateur. Refreshing, in fact. It allowed me to give myself permission to make mistakes, to fail -- permission to make the attempt and not really worry about the results. And the results are quite passable (and comfy, too!) with a deep sense of satisfaction, looking at the skirt and knowing I made it!

3 comments:

cath c said...

i really need to take some pages from your parenting book. yay to you both for excellent skills!

giki said...

Good for BB! And good for you! Love the colors of your skirt!
Such talent.
L&M you.

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

thanks, mom and Cathy! we're both pretty proud of the results :-)