11 October 2011
made with kids: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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...