Monday, February 27, 2012

Sewing with Grandma

Homeschooled children are very resourceful. They are full of Ideas. Big Ideas. Beezy had been wanting to learn to sew for quite some time. Last week she found a turquoise, glitter dot fabric remnant left over from a belly dance costume piece and decided she wanted to make a dress for her Rapunzel doll. I told her that if she really wanted to learn to sew, someone who knows how to sew should teach her! So I called my grandmother, whose skills are of a master seamstress level.

When I was a belly dance student in Columbus, we made patterns for a practice skirt with newspaper. Since Grandma suggested practicing with an old piece of fabric first, but I couldn't find any rags that would work, I gave her the newspaper idea. This was my only contribution. Well, I also brought her other Barbie dresses for ideas, and Beezy chose a general style from those.

Grandma decided to do the skirt and top parts of the dress separately, so she traced the bottom part of the gown on newspaper and cut the pattern. The original dress was all one piece with a single seam, so that was how she designed the new skirt. She cut the glitter dot fabric around the pattern, turned it inside out, and pinned it in place. Since I had no pins, she used needles. Then she basted it. I would never have thought to do this! I probably would not have thought to pin it either. This is why I hired a professional!

The needle was threaded, doubled, and the ends were knotted together. I then had the pleasure of watching my grandma patiently teach Beezy to sew! "Little stitches, little stitches," she repeated. She did not insist on perfection but guided her grandaughter to reasonably good results. Beatrix's look of pride and joy when she finished was priceless! Grandma decided she needed to take the doll and fabric home to figure out how to design the top part. She said that she hadn't made doll clothes in many years, and it is not an easy thing to do. So how awesome is that! On another day she will bring it back over for Beezy to finish.

A day or two later Beezy fixed a big hole in one of her stuffed animals. (She had been asking me to do it for months!) All I had to do was thread the needle, knot the ends, and place a pin to hold it together, and she managed very well to take care of that problem herself! This is the beauty of homeschooling. Teachers are everywhere; you don't have to do it alone. And most importantly, my daughter has another beautiful memory with her great-grandma to treasure forever.

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