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Monday, 10 March 2014

Makes for Children

Flashback Skinny Tee
Mum came up the weekend before last, and whilst she was here, I sat down and had a spot of over locker tuition from her. 

I have owned The Beast for a couple of years. I have pottered along, sporadically getting it out of its box and praying it didn't need rethreading whilst I was half way through making something, and being limited as to what I knew how to do with it. I decided that, in the safety of mum being nearby to help, it was time. I got the instruction book out, and had a play about and practise. 

And, while I was about it, fished out some impressively old WIPs and finished them. I am not sure if cutting out t shirt pieces (I used Rae's Skinny Flashback) and abandoning them into a box for two years even counts as a WIP, given no sewing had taken place. But still, last weekend was their time to get made. And, for me to discover they were now not only too small for the original recipients, but, almost too small for the next children down the line as well. That explains why I added the band at the bottom of the smaller t shirt. 

Fabric from Kitschy Coo
In the space of an evening, I managed to sew up five t shirts. It makes me wonder why I had left the first (pre cut) three makes unfinished for so long.

I gave in at midnight and went to bed. The next morning, the dining room was still a mess of threads and scraps EVERYWHERE. Like the sewing equivalent of the aftermath of a drunken house party party with lots of gate crashers. The middle girl wasted no time in getting creative with this little smiley face.

I didn't stop at the ready cut t shirts. I took the scissors to a few of my own old tops and made a couple of new things for the girls. I was particularly pleased with this (super early) birthday t shirt for the middle girl. She likes it, too - and it is now neatly folded in her drawer, ready for the big day. Maybe I should have had the self control not to let her see it until then, but I can't resist a spot of instant gratification when it comes to sharing my makes with people. And this way, she gets to feel excited about her birthday every time she opens her drawer to get dressed in the mornings.

Laura's Jolly Giraffe (made on the current course)
I am so enjoying teaching my groups - I have two on the go at the moment, and I get a real buzz from helping people new to sewing overcome their initial fear of using a machine. I like to watch as their confidence goes up as they successfully finished their first simple projects, and then listen in as the conversation amongst the group moves on to talking about what they'd like to make next. One of my current beginners says he wants to be able to sew his own cycling kit. Another one of my beginners didn't wait until the end of the course to get started - her daughter wanted to go to school on World Book Day dressed as Wendy from Peter Pan. She left last week's lesson (her second) telling me this, and today turned up with the outfit to show us. Awesome!

Nicola and the `Wendy' dress she made for her daughter
I say it to them all - there is nothing to worry about with sewing. Just go for it - the worst that happens is you end up unpicking something, and learning from that anyway. (Actually, in my case, the worst that happens is you burn your fabric with the iron, plod on making the project anyway in the vain hope the burn might not be too obvious, make more mistakes, and then the whole sorry project ends up in the bin. But that, dear friends, is another story.)

On a non sewing note, a really nice (and quite cute) development in the littlest big girl over the last week has been she has joined her big sister as an unstoppable force in making stuff with Sellotape. She made her own adjustments to her existing Wellies, so that they were in keeping for her own World Book Day costume of a dinosaur. She added the buttons so that she would be able to tell which way round her boots go on.

Finally, I have some cunning plans and clever tricks in store for the cupboard under the stairs. The process has now started, but here is a picture of how it looked just as I emptied everything out of it.

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