Last year, I didn’t do as much sewing as previous years (I never even made myself a dress last year, altered, yes, but nothing from scratch), but I’m rectifying that this year. And this year, I’m focusing on getting the girls to sew more. The two older ones know how to do some basic things, but this is the year for them to get a little fancy, and start making and altering their own clothes. So guess who was up today? Glow! And this is her first time sewing!
She’s not a fan of regular jeans (I think she finds them confining), there’s only one pair she has that she likes, so it was time to make her more pants. I used my shorts pattern in my book as the base, but widened the leg a bit (and made it longer because it’s pants). I had Glow study a pair of pants I made before, and I had her identify the shape, then draw it out. Her drawing totally nailed the shape! Next, I cut out the pieces from a large denim dress we picked up at the thrift store. Then, I showed her how the front and back pant pieces are similar, but slightly different. She had to identify how they were different. When I look at clothes, I see shapes, so I want to train my girls to be able to identify shapes and patterns in clothing too. If you can recognize the shapes, making clothes becomes a simple task of connecting shapes and lines together. Anyway, once all the “shapes” (fabric pieces) were cut out, it was time to “connect” (sew) them together. Breaking sewing down into shapes and connecting lines really helped her understand what it was we were doing.
Now, came the time to connect the pieces together. I had her look at some pants she had and tell me what lines needed to connect. First, she said the top lines, but then I showed her if we closed it, she wouldn’t be able to put it on. I saw the “aha!” light come on and she understood what I was talking about. She knew we had 4 shapes to connect and we started with the middle of the front and back shapes, so we played connect the lines.
I had the machine set at the slowest speed, placed the fabric together, pinned along the edge, showed her the lines and how the edges of the fabric need to follow the lines, hand placement, and how to step on the presser foot. Then, she was off (with me right next to her guiding her). She was really good at guiding the fabric, and keeping her hands away from the needle, but still keeping the fabric in place. She sewed all the side and middle seams. Then, I came in to do the top casing with the elastic (she pulled the elastic through) and hem the length. She probably could have sewn the top and bottom if I had folded and pressed it, but we were running out of time (and she really wanted to wear them to go do errands), so I just did it, but she was the one pressing the presser foot. Lastly, she cut off all the excess thread and I ironed it! She was very excited about her first sewing project and proudly wore her pants the rest of the day. I have a feeling she’ll be wearing it every day for a week.
We still have plenty fabric leftover from the dress, so maybe we will make a top, and she can have a Canadian tuxedo. Though, one of the girls are probably wanting to claim the leftover for themselves.