Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Sewing with Grammy (4 and 5)

I never got around to blogging about sewing lesson number 4 last week!  I find it hard to blog these days, and I truly don't know where the time goes; but I definitely want to try to keep up with this little sewing series.  I want my granddaughters to have these memories of our time together to look back on whenever they feel like it.  So today you get a two-fer.

Last Monday, the twins (10) started out with more sewing machine practice on paper, following straight, curvy, and zig-zagged lines.  The curves and zigs and zags proved to be challenging, but they did remarkably well. 

After they'd demonstrated what masters of straight line sewing they've become, I had the twins practice doing straight lines on fabric by having them hem casings for the elasticized waists on four simple skirts for their American Girl dolls--one each for the seamstresses, and one each for their two younger sisters, 8 and 6. (By the way, if you want to make one of these, all you need is one regular 8 and 1/2 x 11" sheet of computer paper.  Place the shorter side on the fold of the fabric to cut one large rectangle.  Then you just fold down the top to sew a casing for the 10 and 1/2 " long piece of 1/4" elastic, hem the bottom, and sew up one back seam.  Voila!  Easy peasy.) 

Once they'd finished on the machine, I had the younger girls pull the elastic through the casings guided by safety pins, because I wanted them to feel like they have a hand in the creation of these doll fashions.  (Each girl got to pick out the fabric she wanted to use for her garment, but I wanted all of them to feel fully involved in the project.)

Yesterday, I was going to have the twins hem the skirts and sew the back seams so they could take them home and start using them on their dolls; but first, I had a hand-sewing project for all the girls to do together.  And that ended up being so much fun, and taking up so much time, that we never got to the skirts and decided to finish them off when we have our next lesson.

For hand-sewing, felt is always a good idea, in my book; it's so forgiving.  And Christmas-themed crafts are also always a good idea.  I think so, anyway.  So felt Christmas tree-shaped ornaments were the project du jour for my budding seamstresses.

To use as a model, I decorated the front of one of the felt trees I’d cut out before they arrived.  (Mine went home with their little brother, who doesn't like to be left out of things--so I added a car, an airplane, and a football button especially for him.) 

The girls had a great time rummaging through my button box, and they were very creative.  Each ornament was a one-of-a-kind creation.  They sewed backs on the decorated fronts and stuffed them, and then we added loops for hanging them on the tree.

It's hard to put into words just how much this little weekly sewing class means to me.  Back when I was raising these girls' daddy and his brothers, if I had tried to look ahead and picture what life as a Grammy to many grandchildren would be like, I never could have imagined anything even remotely as wonderful as it is.  When these girls are my age, I hope they look back on our times together with fondness.  And I hope they keep sewing!  It's such a useful skill!


  1. Sorry, early readers. Lots of typos went out in the original post!!

  2. Just darling little ornaments that come from such a warm loving life skills lesson. I am so glad you've been able to do this with your granddaughters. Hopefully, when the next batch of gals are a little older you can teach them as well!

  3. You are doing such a great job teaching the girls to sew! Very creative and age-appropriate. It's fun to read about your lessons.