Monday, 27 February 2017

Young enthusiasm

Last year, we bought our oldest granddaughter a small sewing machine for her birthday and what a pleasure it continues to be, both for her and for me. She is only 6 (almost 7, as she reminds me) and so far the projects have been very simple - small bags and a line of Christmas bunting that ended up in her school classroom. She came to stay again last week for another installment during school half-term.

These visits always begin with a stop off in Cirencester on the way to our house so she can choose new fabric. She greatly enjoys this part of the process as the shop has a good selection of the brightly coloured quality cottons she likes and which seem to work well on her machine.


I believe most strongly that children beginning a hobby (which with luck may last a life-time) should be given appropriate good quality equipment as well as being taught the necessary skills in small bites. Good scissors were bought at Christmas and the particular skills I'd planned to share this time were pinning on a pattern and cutting it out carefully. I'd hoped we might progress to pinning and perhaps tacking together but the latter didn't happen at all - except by me (far too boring - I do agree) and much help was needed pinning pieces together. Those skills will be saved for another visit.

However, there was a great deal more practice with sewing in a straight line, helped by a line ruled / drawn with an air dissolving pen. She pursued this goal with great enthusiasm and concentration and by the end of her stay was stitching independently over short seams. I was sent away to make a cup of tea!

All this resulted in a brightly coloured cushion for her bedroom, a pyramid doorstop filled with lentils, which seemed to be a particular favourite, and a pencil roll to be given as a gift.


I've learnt to be ready to step in to help when she shows frustration and to stop for regular breaks. A tin of biscuits and other diversions are kept handy!

Sharing skills with her and seeing her delight is a wonderful and unexpected pleasure. I feel very, very lucky.


6 comments:

  1. I learned so many needlework & sewing skills at a young age and mostly on my own. I'd commandeer a scrap of fabric, needle and floss and try a little embroidery and also tried making clothes for my Barbie doll. My mother never felt she was any good at these things and while I don't have memories of her teaching or supervising me, she must have or I must have watched her in action. Her sister who came to stay with us often was very talented though and I remember her showing me how to knit. At any rate this is shared to confirm the importance of nurturing young children's interest with good supplies and guidance and then letting them work along on their own. What proud accomplishments for this round of sewing!

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    1. Like you, as a child I loved making in any form - stitching, knitting and simple weaving. My mother was always busy with tapestry or knitting and for me it seemed like the most natural thing to do. I'm now finding it a huge pleasure to pass my enthusiasm on to my granddaughter - she and the whole process is a delight - and there are three younger ones growing up too! Who knows what they will enjoy?

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  2. You are a fabulous !!! grandmother. ... so important to get that self confidence from someone loving and encouraging.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. It is all a huge pleasure, helped greatly by her enthusiasm.

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  3. It is lovely to see your grandaughter showing enthusiasm for sewing - well done you for encouraging her. xx

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Lin. Her parents are extremely good at encouraging her and providing so many opportunities so she's used to trying new things. This craze for making is only one of many interests. She's a lucky girl!

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