teaching the next generation to sew

July 3, 2009

07 sewing

Last night I started a new task – teaching the next generation how to sew.

My sisters and I were always the youngest in the circle of cousins when we were kids.  Since becoming adults the tables have turned a little bit as that’s when my mom’s youngest brother started his own family.  I don’t get to see our little cousins near as much as I would like but I’ve been able to spend a few days with them before starting my Waldorf intensive.  My three days here have flown by with a trip to the cottage (where I learned about black flies first hand) and an afternoon at the park.  We added one more thing to the list of activities when we started on a sewing project last night.

After learning that I’d made some of the items I’d brought with me the girls (the oldest of this set of cousins) started expressing interest in making their own things.  Tonight we narrowed down the selections to a placemat roll for school, a pencil case and a pillowcase.  We found examples of each item that we liked, brought up mom’s tracing paper and large rulers and started making replicas of the pieces we wanted to copy.  We learned about seam allowances and how to measure so that you know how much fabric to buy.

In the morning we took a trip to the fabric store.  We were able to find a nice but yet not overwhelming, selection of fabric.  We found a great set of coordinating fat quarters for the placemat (there are enough for two) and the two fabrics for the pillowcase looked great together and beside what was chosen for the pencil case.  The girls chose their fabrics relatively quickly and in no time we were off to get started with the sewing.

07 sewing 2

The first projects on the list were the placemat and the pillowcase.  After testing their ability to control the “gas” pedal and sew the fabric in the right places, the real sewing began.  The main projects were different but I could easily go from coaching one on how to pin their piece in preparation for sewing just before giving some one-on-one coaching on the sewing machine.  When the prepared pieces were sewn I’d switch the threads and usually it would be just at the time when the other sister needed the sewing machine.  It worked so well and unkie was there to help with the ironing in between too.  I wish I’d remembered to snag a photo of that action!

In less than two hours each girl had their first sewing projects complete.  Later on we made a pencil case and a headband for each girl plus one for their other cousin.  It was a sweet way to spend my day here and I’m so impressed that they did everything themselves except for threading the machine and sewing in the zipper.  What an amazing start!

07 sewing finished



  1. Cool! That really is a great way to spend the day. Do you have many more days with family before you start your course?

  2. Good work L!

  3. I think that it is so great to do what you are doing:) I wish someone would have taught me to sew when I was younger:)

  4. […] since I liked what my cousins made for back to school (in JULY!) so much, I had to follow suit and make my own pencil (sewing) case.  […]

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