First, a bit of business. I'm on Twitter @MichelleHulse now. Say hi, so i'm not too lonely, ok? And ya'll, If I do something stupid, smack me. I have no idea what I'm doing on there. You crazy kids and your social internets.
Now, back to the sewing cuteness . . .
We're definitely enjoying our summer break, but like I said last week, we are keeping busy. Ella has caught the Sewing Bug. She's a natural creator. Whether using duct tape, paper, legos, fabric, or a collection of random objects, she gets an idea in her head and channels her inner MacGyver. It amazes me what she comes up with. I mean, there are duct tape sandals now, people.
She realized quickly, however, that she needed to learn a few basic sewing skills to do certain projects. I ordered Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make to help guide her through some basic steps and projects. Really, I can't recommend this book enough. It's written for use with kids ages 5+, so I'll soon be starting some of the lessons with Harper. Next year, probably. But since Ella's older, she can almost do the lessons on her own, and I love how the projects build on skill level and emphasize the joy of the process and creating your own something special, and the authors continually remind the kids that it isn't about perfection. If only we'd all had someone whispering that in our ears when we were growing up . . .
So far she has learned how to trace a pattern, sew a whipstitch, and sew up a stuffing hole. I do help her with the beginning and finishing knots. I don't think the book even teaches them how to backstitch, keeping it super simple for the littles. The instructions just show them how to do a basic knot, which is fine for most things (none of this is going through a washing machine), but I did want to help her have something a little more secure for her stuffed friend that I know will be squished, thrown, and loved and would not hold up with such simple securing. Other than that, she is making her own creations. I love it.
Even better? The last two units teach kids how to recycle and repair items, basic mending skills mostly. The last unit is the best . . . it's called "Vet Clinic." It teaches them how to repair their own stuffed animals. I love it!!! So cute, plus, they're learning some valuable self-sufficiency skills.
If you're interested in a list of basic sewing skills to teach your child, you might also want to consider Angie's newest e-book* (on sale through the end of June). It has printable progress sheets and shape sewing patterns along with easy tips to get you started, like teaching them how to sew a button or make felt creations. Her book also has sections on money management, gardening (an article, by little old me!), meal planning, laundry skills, and more. For me, summer is the perfect time to teach many of these valuable skills, and learning one skill each summer can make the rest of the year a little easier once they can help out with these tasks.
Happy Summer to you all!!!
*Disclaimer - I'm an affiliate for the book, since my article is in it, so if you buy a copy through any links on my site, I get a small percentage of the profit to buy more thread. :)