Monday, February 9, 2015

Sewing Projects

Hey there! I hope your year is off to a great start. We're . . . um . . . still settling in. Mmmkay? We were sick most of January (some of us are actually still on round 2 or 3 of this freaking cold), so we got off to a slow start. I figure if we spent the month getting back into some minimal routines we're at least off to a good start in the right direction.

With not much else going on, I thought I'd update you on some project work. My oldest (11) started hand sewing a few years ago. She started with big tapestry needles, embroidery floss, and felt, and I'm really impressed with the progress she's made. More importantly, I'm impressed with her enthusiasm and creativity and her ability to jump in fearlessly with a new idea. It's especially great to see that from a kid who at time struggles with anxiety. Sometimes, the biggest benefits of a project have absolutely nothing to do with the product or even the project itself.

It all started with simple stuffies from drawings.



Then she moved on to create a whole Pok√©mon menagerie . . .


. . .  and a really cool dragon with lots of pieces. 

There are more dragons now.
Of course.


Recently, she's been inspired by video games. Another interest I sometimes wish she focused less on, but they're inspiration for crafts, stories, and other creations. This creature is (I think) something from StarCraft.


The cool thing about it is that the little "babies" on its back are removable. I don't even know how she made those tiny little pocket holes. This is also one of the first projects in which she used the glue gun without any help. The glue gun makes it easier and faster (she's all about SPEED) to apply tiny eyes and details.

I love how these are all her own designs, too. She gets an idea in her head and runs with it. Somehow she knows instinctively how to make and assemble all the individual pieces to achieve a desired outcome. I think this is my family's engineering gene at work. It . . . ahem . . . skipped a generation.

About a year ago, I introduced her to the sewing machine. She was very hesitant with it in the beginning. Seriously, she'd go so slow I had to leave the room while she sewed a straight line, because it drove me nuts and I didn't want her to feel rushed by my impatience. And she was so slow and careful that I really could leave the room without any fear that she would hurt herself. Her first machine projects were pillowcases for the dog and cat beds for Christmas gifts. Motivation and purpose for the win!

Sometimes she checks out books from the library for inspiration. When she gets books with patterns, she tends to us the pages more for ideas and techniques than for recreating specific projects. Her favorite book right now is Creature Camp: Make Your Own 18 Softies to Draw, Sew & Stuff. She's actually making the projects in this one, because each teaches a different skill. Then she uses what she learned and applies those new skills to her own creations.

Seriously, my first zipper
didn't look nearly that good!

She has (mostly) free rein over my fabric stash, so while the stuffies are taking over the house, my fabric piles aren't. If she wants specific materials for a special project, she knows she has to plan it out, make a list of fabric types and colors and accessories needed, and figure out how much she needs of each. I love watching her go through the fabric store with her list. Love, love, love.

While we've had books and supplies hanging around here for a loooooong time, she only tried embroidery last month. She completed a fox cross-stitch kit that she received as a gift a long time ago. Foxes and sewing . . . the perfect meeting of two interests! She wants to knit, but so far she finds it frustrating. Hand stitching is just the sort of quiet, purposeful handwork she's been missing.

She's taking a break at the moment, but my sewing area is still covered in her books and supplies, her signal that she'll be back when she's ready. She checked out a new book a few weeks ago, so I'm excited to see what new methods she'll want to experiment with next. It won't be long before she's teaching me how to do things!




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