Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sewing School: pandas and a pig

sewing pandas
I gave Sewing School to my daughter for her 6th birthday. We had fun looking through it initially, but it's been collecting dust for months. "I don't like to sew," she said the few times I brought it up. CRINGE. I kept my reaction to myself... hoping she'd come around, because it's such a fabulous book. In fact, it's one of  the best introductions to sewing for children I've seen. I was certain that she'd take to it, but I waited quietly. Tuesday night after dinner she picked it up. I held my breath. "Will you read this with me, Mama?"  My casual "Let's" had a giddiness just beneath the surface. She realized instantly that her reading skills had improved immensely since the last time she'd opened it up. Being able to read the step by step instructions really excited her, but the speech bubbles filled with quotes from real young sewers sealed the deal. This page, in particular, got her itching to hold a needle and thread.
stuffies 3
As an avid stuffed animal collector, the idea of designing and making her own stuffie was inspiring.
stuffies 1
We had all the materials needed, and she proceeded to read aloud each step before doing it.
stuffies 2
Bedtime was nearing, but she was so enthusiastic. And we all know that feeling of not being able to stop. I let her keep going. Proudly using the whipstitch for the first time, she completed her mama and baby panda and climbed into bed with them. A little later than usual... but happy as could be.
mama and baby panda
And what were her final words before falling asleep? "Can I sew another tomorrow"
pig 1
Well, that snow day provided just the right backdrop for her next stuffie... she's calling him Pigalicious... and he's covered in mud.
sewing
pig stitching
Sewing School- if you've got children, definitely check out this fine resource for beginning sewing. It makes a lovely birthday gift... I'm certain my daughter would agree. Pin It

29 comments:

  1. Can you come over here and be Mum to my Tsunamis for a little while, Maya? They would think it was SUCH a treat to have you. I wouldn't even be jealous 'cos I would so pick you myself!!! x

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  2. what a great way to start sewing! Love the animals she made!

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  3. What a fun project! I can see how that got her excited about making something...and there's not just sewing, but designing and drawing, too. Very cool.

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  4. Love this- good for her and you! So glad you let her finish:). Maya, can you tell me what markers you used? My daughter's going to have a field day with those (hopefully not on the upholstery). The color is so vibrant.

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  5. I am sharing a little project inspired by this book on my blog too. It is such a wonderful book full of great projects for little sewers!

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  6. I love her art work.
    Thanks for sharing your opinion on the book I had seen it in the store but wasn't sure it was worth the purchase. I think my kids would love it.

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  7. This looks great. My almost seven-year-old always wants to do sewing project, but it's hard to find any that are truly beginning projects that still produce fun results. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  8. Good save, Mom!! Oh I wish I would have had this book ten years ago - just the idea of stuffing their own creations is gold!

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  9. Maxabella- I'd love a trip to Austrailia!

    Leslie- you're right. Lots more than just sewing. Since drawing is her favorite means of expression, it makes sense that this would be extra appealing to her.

    Anne- We used basic crayola fabric markers. The set didn't come with pink and she was very set on her pig. We tried a bic permanent marker ( I set a test scrap of it with an iron and then ran it under water)and it seemed to be a good improvisation.
    The book calls for an outline in markers and to fill in with fabric crayons. It was my daughter's call to keep it all markers.

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  10. Fantastic! My oldest is turning 5 on Sunday...and I've been eyeing this for awhile, especially as she's been asking for a handwork basket of her own :)

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  11. oh that's so cute! and so sweet. I love your restraint to control your emotions and keep cool.
    Can't wait till Lucy is ready for this sort of thing!

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  12. What a wonderful, simple, fun way to introduce sewing to a child! And your daughter's drawings are marvelous! I'm in love with Pigalicious!

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  13. Looks like a marvelous book for introducing sewing in a fun way! And the photo of your gorgeous cat curled up with your little one while she's sewing just made me sigh... so sweet (or should I say, sew sweet?).

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  14. So much fun and happiness for you and your child together! Love it!

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  15. How fun! I am hoping my son wants to learn soon. Maybe this summer!

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  16. This is both of my seven year old's favorite project from this book too. We used sherpa fleece for the back to make them extra cuddly. My daughter also stayed up late to finish a Ladybug for her teacher's birthday :)

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  17. Love this! I just introduced my girls to sewing this week. Everyday they when they get home from school they ask if they can sew. I HAVE to go get this book. Thanks.

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  18. Thanks for the book idea. My 3 year old has just taken an interest in my sewing, and I've been looking for fun ways to introduce her.

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  19. The only thing better than kids' illustrations, is they names they give their characters. Pigalicious is no exception. Those little stuffies are adorable!

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  20. Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this but I iron freezer paper to the back of my muslin/cotton before I give it to my girls to draw and color on. The stiffness keeps it put as they pull against it with their markers/pens...... We made pillows this way last summer. They each decorated two white fabric squares (thrifted white sheet cut into 10x10inch squares)and then sewed them together. They stuffed them and then I actually sew a binding on the outside. They sue them everyday on their bed. Great book!

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  21. Those are some super sweet stuffies! And what a great craft resource - thanks for the tip.

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  22. What a fabulous book. I have found some things in it to use with my 6th grade class.

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  23. The minute we saw this my girls set to work - my four year old has made a stegasaurus and dimetradon (we're a little dino crazy here) and my three year old made a shooting star picture. Both were able to do the sewing almost all on their own (I put dots along the edge where the needle should go in for my 3 yo). We just ordered the book. Thanks so much for sharing the idea!!

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  24. Oh, I am just giddy right now seeing all the cute little stuffies your daughter stitched up! She totally gets it!

    As a teacher, I am also loving how it helped to strengthen and reinforce her early reading skills.

    Thanks for the wonderful review. Your thoughts and ideas on the book means a lot. I can't wait to see what she makes next!
    Sewing School Rules! Amie

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  25. Amie emailed me a link to your post last night - oh my goodness! So glad your daughter decided to pick up the book again. Her stuffies are so cute! As Amie mentioned above, your review means so much to us. We've both followed your blog for years, and about 3 years ago, I ordered one of your burlap baskets... I love how this little community works!

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  26. Yay, Amie and Andria!! So happy you both stopped by. My daughter will be beside herself when she knows the authors of her new favorite book stopped by to see her work! Andria, I love knowing that you have one of my buckets. Made my whole day!

    Pigalicious update- done and cuter than ever now that she's stuffed to pink puffy perfection!

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