Friday, 9 October 2015

Isabelle Sews

Over the last 2 weeks it’s been the school holidays here in New Zealand. This time they’ve flown past because we’ve been quite busy. The kid’s firstly had three nights away with my Mum and Step-Dad (and we had 3 kid free days!)… And then they returned for a couple of days and then we all headed down to visit Andrew’s parents for the first half of this week.

Before we’d laid down our holiday plans, and possibly in anticipation of more down time at home and occasional restless/ bored children; I planned a few activities to do with the kids. I haven’t needed to draw upon many of these ideas because we’ve been quite busy, but I did manage to carve a couple of hours last Saturday to do one of them. I helped Isabelle sew a simple skirt.

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Isabelle was very excited about the whole idea and couldn’t wait to get started. She said she wanted something colourful, so jointly we decided that this little scrap beautiful floral fabric from Miss Matatabi order fit the bill. (Isabelle was quite excited that the fabric came all the way from Japan… or “Pa-jan” as she put it!)

I wanted to loosely follow the Oliver & S Lazy Day's Skirt Tutorial, which I’ve committed to memory having made so many myself when a beginner sewer. I choose a simple skirt like this as Isabelle’s first project because of just that, it’s so simple – perfect for a beginner. Essentially you just need a rectangle of fabric that runs selvage to selvage, you sew a simple elastic waist and finish the hem with a ribbon in a really easy way that gives a nice neat finish. Although our piece of fabric ran selvage to selvage I was concerned that I didn’t quite have enough length and that the skirt would be a little short, or that she’d grow out of it too quickly. To counteract this I departed from the tutorial slightly adding a bias binding waist (and thus avoided losing any length by folding over the fabric to make an elastic casing.) This part I did myself, being a little more fiddly; but Isabelle did the rest with my machine on her little table so her foot could reach the pedal and my hands there helping guide the fabric through the machine and straighten up if necessary.

She loved the process and the result and has hardly taken the skirt off since!

While we were away in Otaki at the in-laws this week, my Mother-in-law, while I slept in helped both Noah and Isabelle sew soft toy fish. I’ll have to share a photo of these and other moments from the school holidays here soon.

Have you taught your kids to sew? What other sewing projects are fun for kids to try?

Jenny x

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