11 October 2011

made with kids: embroidery.

kid embroidery.

I keep an inspiration board near my sewing area, but I'm not very good at rotating things through. Two of its long-time occupants are embroidery hoops that Owen has made at different ages. The one you see above (next to my middle school band photo--work those bangs, girl!) was his first attempt, at maybe three years old. When I'm helping the kids make something, I try hard not to overcorrect and to let them lead the way with color choice, technique, etc., and I'm always so fascinated by the results. For example, aqua+black+orange is such a striking combination, but never one I would have come up with myself.

kid embroidery.

This is a later project, after he learned to stay inside the hoop. I really love this one--he cut the felt shape himself, and it reminds me of a little bugcovered leaf, something Eric Carle-esque, maybe.

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kid embroidery.

The pillow project was his idea, and I contributed the idea of an embroidered pocket. I forget who decided he should stitch his name, but I'm so glad that's what happened: there is something so sweet, and funny, to me about kids' early handwriting. I know that before long he will regularize his writing: the letters will even out in size, and that backwards N will flip itself in the proper direction. That's all well and good, but I am glad to have this tangible memory of his less-than-perfect, but nonetheless proud, little boy signature.

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It's so much fun to see him follow a bigger project like this through to the end. He of course needed help with the different steps of making a pillow (pressing, measuring, cutting, stitching, adding fasteners--we used snaps), but not even as much as I expected. He is a longtime maker of "smelly pouches"--lavender sachets--for his friends and family, and what is a pillow but a glorified smelly pouch?

I have to wickedly confess that one of my favorite outcomes of this project was learning that five-year-olds are excellent (supervised) ironers. I am always struggling with how to make time for sewing while the kids are awake, and this has been such a gift--not only does pressing keep him occupied for a good while, but it really proves helpful as I move through different projects. And Elliott, at three, is content to pretend-iron alongside his brother. They're happy, I'm happy, stuff gets done: If you don't already have one, you should get a five (now six!) year old at your house, too.

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If you are participating in kcwc, how is your sewing going? I put in an hour+ yesterday and should have something to show for it soon...

4 comments:

skirtastop said...

this is awesome! i have a needlepoint project that i did when i was 4 that gets a proud place on our christmas tree each year. it's totally wonky, but i love it. early kids art is truly the best. excited to see your KCWC results! i've got two projects sewn, one blogged. quick out of the gate! :)

hungiegungie said...

thanks for stopping by my blog... i am loving this kid's needlepoint idea! such a sweet thing to have- forever! looking forward to checking out your kcwc progress!
-Erin

Little C and Little J said...

Oh my goodness. This is fantastic. Everyone should get a six year old! Ha! Thanks for the great ideas about getting kids involved, I may need to try the embroidery. Do you use a big needle or a regular one. I constantly struggle with that. We aren't quite at ironing stage but I have a friend whose daughter is crazy about spraying on the water. Those pants, by the way, are insanely awesome. I want a pair...hint, hint.

mama-pan | mary frances said...

thanks, all! Melissa, I generally have him use tapestry needles, which are medium sized, medium sharpness. They also make yarn needles which are even bigger and duller. You can use burlap or a similar open weave fabric to make things even easier. I haven't tried with cross stitch fabric but I bet that would also work well. Kristin, I would love to see that Christmas ornament! Hope it merits a blog post this winter :o)

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