Saturday, July 6, 2013

So, Sew!

     I think my grandmother just wanted to keep me busy, but i remember taking my first lessons in hand stitching when I was about four years old.  There was a kit available that consisted of a plastic mesh with a pattern colored on it, some yarn and a blunt needle.  There was a set of instructions that showed ways to stitch the mesh.  First was a suggestion  to stitch up and down, teaching a simple running stitch.  The yarn could all be taken out and you could stitch it again with a back stitch, then again with other more complicated daisy stitches, herring bone stitches.  I also remember quitting after the whole back stitch effort.  It was too much, my sister was much better at it, I was frustrated.  That was my first memory of hand stitching.  

     My grand mother saw how frustrated I was and took me back to the running stitch.  She cut some rectangles of fabric from scrap material and had me stitch a little pillow cover for my dolls.  Then I was able to make sachets for my mother.  I remember making them for Mother's Day.  I remember that the stitching lessons were not every day, not scheduled for hours on end but were available whenever I asked if I could try it again. 
     I remember after a few beginner projects like the doll's pillows and the sachets, I was given a tin can.  I can't remember if it was a candy can or a Christmas cookie can, but I remember it smelled sweet for a long time.  I was allowed to keep my very own needles, small scissors, embroidery threads, and bits of cloth in it. It was mine.  It was my very own and I loved it.  I never had to pester my sister, mom or grand mother with, "What are you doing?  Can I try?"  I had my own special secret sewing box.  It was magical!  

Image - Kit
Available at Amazon
     I have found a few sewing kits available online for children to start learning to sew.  They are lovely.  They have everything you need to start embroidery including a small embroidery hoop.  

     If you are not up to teaching a hand sewing class with your child or grandchild this summer, you may want to make a nice sewing kit in a jam jar and give it as a Christmas gift.  Then in the winter months when there is no sense in swimming all afternoon you can sit down and just teach by doing.  

To make the pin cushion on the top:  Take the lid off the jam jar, and glue a good sized wad of cotton to the flat lid.  Cut a circle of fabric and lay it over the cotton.  Put a couple of drops of glue on the inside lip of the lid band and screw it down on to the jar.  Let it dry.  

     Fill the jar with threads small scissors, a measuring tape, seam ripper, thimbles, and some pieces of counted cross stitch fabric, pins, some pretty buttons, and regular sewing threads.  As always, add a ribbon and a tag.    
So, you can learn to sew on a button and then teach that skill to a child.  If you are giving this kit to a girl, add some sew on snaps, strips of felt and sequins!
head band
    Felt bracelets

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