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Skirting the Issue: Parts 2 and 3!

August 2, 2012

Back when I started this I had every intention of posting these separately – pretty much the way Anika and I did them (cutting one week; sewing the next). Because of the aforementioned serger issues and other problems I totally didn’t manage to post the pictures earlier, so guess what? Two for one week – you get the cutting and the sewing!

So first, a few weeks ago we tackled cutting. I used a sharpie and helped her to trace her skirt pieces and then we set about cutting.

We ended up blasting through about four pairs of scissors trying to figure out what would work for her. My good sewing scissors are awesome – they go through fabric like butter. I wanted Anika using sharp scissors (I’m firmly of the mind that I’d rather teach her to use good sharp scissors properly than see her get frustrated with scissors that are too dull). Unfortunately we discovered pretty quickly that they are simply too big for her hands.

We tried some smaller scissors (not sharp enough), some other sewing scissors (still too big), and finally she was able to make things go with an older pair of sewing scissors that are a little bit lighter.

It wasn’t ideal – she couldn’t open them very far, but girl was determined to do it herself….and she did!!

So, the next week (after a morning at dance camp, in case you are wondering about the attire), we tackled sewing.

First I showed her how to pin together the pieces she wanted to sew.

It’s funny, I was kind of hovering and worrying about making sure she “did it right” and didn’t drop pins or hurt herself (you know, being a paranoid mom) – but then Sam cried and I ran upstairs to check on him. I came downstairs and she had flawlessly pinned all of the other seams. Chalk up another point at which I am blown away by exactly how much she is capable of.

Finally it was time to sew.

Rather than asking her to try to keep track of a seam allowance line, I used some painters tape to mark where I wanted her to align the fabric. It worked really well! (Pro tip though – do use painters tape or something else that’s pretty low-tack because you do NOT want sticky gunk left behind on your sewing machine).

I started off talking to her about when to “push down the switch” to backstitch, or to “press your foot down” to sew, or to “flip the lever” to bring down the presser foot. Gradually as we went though I switched to the proper terms – I could tell her “Okay, stitch forward a few stitches, and then backstitch” and she’d know exactly what to do. She had a GREAT touch on the pedal – didn’t have any problems racing the machine or anything like that. She did a really amazing job – I was really shocked that I didn’t have to intervene at all really. The only thing she struggled with a little bit was maintaining the right pressure on the fabric – enough to guide it, but not so much that she held it down. That’s a practice thing though – she’ll get it!!

Overall I’d say this project was a raging success – the skirts were simple enough that they weren’t overwhelming, but simple enough that she could totally handle it. She didn’t get frustrated; she didn’t get overwhelmed. She did a great job and I’m really impressed at how she handled it and learned.

Awesome! AND, we had three skirts to mail off to the foster organization, which is so great. She kept talking about the nine-year old girl who was going to get her skirt – I think that she thought we could just FIND a nine-year old and hand it over, but we’ve gone over the foster message a LOT and I think she gets it now, and is really delighted about the whole thing.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2012 6:31 am

    Christy! This is fantastic! My daughter is days away from being 10 and can easily make the twirl skirt and even an LBB dress now! She just needs help with the neckline/waistband due to the stretching part! Have fun with your daughter!!!

    • August 3, 2012 8:31 am

      That’s awesome Heather!! I was totally concerned that she wasn’t going to be ready for the challenge….but she did a great job! And yes to the waistband pieces – Ani definitely needed help with those. Do you have any recommendations about scissors for smaller hands?

  2. August 3, 2012 7:55 am

    Good girl, Ani! I’ll bet Mommy knew you could do it, and so did I..!

  3. August 3, 2012 8:06 am

    Our kids are much more capable than we give them credit for, aren’t they? Glad that Anika’s first sewing experience went so well AND benefited a worthy cause.:)

    • August 3, 2012 8:32 am

      I know – isn’t it funny Cindy? You’d *think* I’d remember that by now :).

  4. Kim permalink
    August 4, 2012 2:10 pm

    I am so proud of that kid! She seriously never seizes to amaze me! Also, I am LOVING the pattern for the 5 year old! =)

  5. Hubby permalink
    August 7, 2012 2:52 pm

    Well done Anika! I’m really impressed with what you can do. It makes me excited to see you create things =)

    Love you! (dad)

  6. August 10, 2012 8:02 am

    How awesome! I’m so proud of her and I’ve only been on this blog for 1 minute haha! My little guy has always been into sewing, always wanting to help. When he was 2 he would sit on my lap and press the reverse lever when I asked him to, but now he likes to empty the catcher on my serger and blow all the dust away. I’d love to buy him a machine when he gets older {he always pretends to sew dresses for himself, LOL} but I think my husband would have issues, unfortunately. Oh well, lucky Vince has a little sister I can ‘buy it for’ 😉

    It’s so great to see little kids crafting and doing things on their own!

  7. August 28, 2012 8:16 am

    Wow, am I ever behind in my Pintucks… ANYWAY. Anika, you are amazing. I know you told me about making skirts for kids last weekend, and I thought it was so cool – now that I’ve seen what you can do, it’s even COOLER!! Yay!

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