Since she's been old enough to sit on my knee and ask questions, the Little One has been "helping" me sew. She'd sit on my knee at the machine, be in charge of passing me pins or taking them out as I sew a seam, and of course, like any child, loves rummaging in the button tin. She's been getting a little big for knee-sitting, however, so I figured it was about time to set her off on her own with some things.
For her third birthday earlier this year I put together a sewing kit. I'd been picking bits up for it since before Christmas, when I found this adorable litttle straw basket in a charity shop, adorned with raffia flowers and a butterfly.
Wool on cards (from my oddments bag)
Kids knitting needles
Felt pin cushion
Large pins with easy to grab heart shaped heads
Bodkin and tapestry needles
Button box with an assortment of novelty buttons. Everything from stars to snails!
I also got the idea from another blog some time ago (goodness knows which one) to do some outline pictures to stitch on. I bought an A4 sheet of plastic canvas and cut it into 4, and drew a design on each in marker pen.
Of course, I couldn't just leave it there. Oh no. I wouldn't pass up an opportunity to buy a cutesy little mini sewing machine now, would I?
I picked up this toy Singer from eBay for well under a tenner including postage. It does a lockstitch, unlike a lot of toy machines which only do chain stitch and therefore unravel as soon as you pull it out from the machine. It dates from the mid-1980s as far as I can tell but is still in decent condition and works.
While I was working on a project yesterday afternoon she got the urge to join in, and pulled out her sewing basket. We took delivery of Boyfriend's new tool chest that morning, which meant that she had already claimed the cardboard box. It made a perfect sewing den.
Once I'd finished up my sewing, we sat down to make something together, and came up with this. Her first ever sewing.
D'aawww. She sewed the patchwork top on her machine, hand-winding it with the little wheel. Then she picked out the lace and sewed it on by hand. She got a bit obsessive about the stitches being in the right place. They HAD to go from one pink bit to the next. Finally, she sewed the button on with almost no help, I whizzed it through my machine to add a back, and we stuffed it.
She took it to bed last night and gave it pride of place with Panda's head on it. It must be special if Panda gets it!