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No Sewing Machine, No Pattern, No Problem

We’ve just returned home after spending a week with our daughter, her husband and our two grandchildren who are now seven and four. The grandchildren love to work on art projects of various sorts and are quite imaginative. Usually when I visit, I have a sewing project that I am working on and they always ask if they can have some pieces to sew too. A couple of diamonds sewn together becomes a butterfly, a few squares become a blanket for a stuffed animal, etc.

Cutting Fabric
Cutting fabric
Polly making fabric trimmed binoculars
Making fabric trimmed binoculars
Sewing a butterfly
Sewing a butterfly

I often take them a small gift of various art supplies, scraps of fabric, and other fun craft items. This time, I decided to take half yard pieces of some of my Safari fabrics that they could turn into whatever they liked.  I thought they would enjoy the animals on these fabrics and the bright colors.

Collars and clothes
Collars and clothes

Well, they LOVED the fabrics but, right off the bat, my grandson said “Will you make me a skateboard shirt?” My granddaughter pounced on that idea and said “Will you make me a skateboard dress?”

My heart fell a little because my daughter doesn’t have a sewing machine, I had no patterns and I thought there wouldn’t be enough of any one fabric to make these garments. I told them I wasn’t sure the pieces would be big enough. They said that that was okay because I’m always sewing different fabrics together and they wanted “patchwork” clothes. They immediately picked out the fabrics that they wanted in their new clothes.

A work in progress
A work in progress

So I set aside the amounts of fabric I thought I would need, drew some sketches to show them, and measured. They told me exactly where they wanted each of the fabrics and, while I cut and sewed pieces together for their garments, they cut pieces and created a myriad of projects for their stuffed animals, dolls and their dog. My grandson even created a new garment for me, taking pieces of the fabric and taping them together to form a shirt.

Making a shirt for Grandma
Making a shirt for Grandma
A scarf for Lucy
A scarf for Lucy

I have to admit my thoughts journeyed back to seventh grade where all the girls in the sewing class made gathered skirts with a waistband all by hand. By that time in my life I had been making clothes for several years on my mother’s treadle sewing machine, and longed for the sewing machine for those long seams. While I love hand piecing my quilts, for garments a sewing machine definitely comes in handy.

Finished Skateboard GarmentsAt any rate, the children had a ball. I loved watching them with their creative little minds and I wondered when they would be old enough to have their own sewing machine. Hmmm…grandma has a gift in mind.

7 thoughts on “No Sewing Machine, No Pattern, No Problem

  1. You always find a way. You are so resourceful and supportive! Love seeing your adorable grandchildren and grand dog ! This blog entry reads just like a children’s story. “Once upon a time there was a special grandmother and her grandchildren. One day they decided to create magic clothes with beautiful fabric, scissors and a needle and thread.”

  2. The outfits are wonderful…so cute on your adorable grandchildren….

  3. OH how funny! My grand kids did the same . They come over and with super enthusiasm, they pick fabrics from my box no matter that they have been destined to a project already. They ask for doll quilts and pillows , they choose the fabrics , sometimes from a project Ive already begun, and come over to me with those sweet faces ! When dad comes to get them , they dont want to leave , they go hide in the closets in hopes dad wont notice them…LOL !! I gave them Singer sewing machines for Christmas , they are the toy ones , it was a disaster … Not yet ready. 8 and 4 yrs old.

  4. What lucky grands! I have lots of fun sewing with my grand daughter (age 5) who loves to use the sewing machine. She practices following the lines on notebook paper and then I draw a line on the fabric for her to follow. So far only straight seams but lots of fun for both of us. Thank you so much for sharing these photos of creativity unleashed.

  5. Lovely children, lovely grandma, lovely story!

  6. Awww! I loved reading this post. They are totally adorable in their new Safari outfits! What a wonderful grandma you are.

  7. The best part of getting “older” are grandchildren. My life, still quilting, made possible with friends threading batches of needles. I am making small ones for 6 great grands, and yes, a baby quilt or two for youngest GD, married a year this month there in Va. Keep your fingers crossed. Your grandchildren look to be as beautiful and creative as mine. Lucky us! FR

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