a sewing lesson

"I had a WONDERFUL day, Nana!" J was smiling and filled with happiness as we packed up her things so I could take her home. "Today was a great day!" I had to smile from ear-to-ear myself; it was a great day and we’d had a lot of fun together and with our friends. With life as busy as it can be, I don’t make as much time as I’d like to get together with friends, so today was absolutely wonderful because we were able to get together with a wonderful friend and two of her beautiful children.
J is an excellent and creative artist in many different mediums and styles; her fashion drawings are imaginative, yet realistic, fun clothing that I could actually see young girls wearing. For Christmas, I gave J a child’s sewing machine, but try as we might we couldn’t get the machine threaded properly. (My one semester of home ec in 8th grade had yielded one sorry-looking gym bag and a distinctly unattractive apron.) My friend Heather, a gifted seamstress herself, offered to give J and I sewing lessons, so today was the first lesson.
What fun we had! J listened attentively as Heather showed her different types of fabrics and explained what each was and what types of projects could be done with each type. A natural learner, J loved that part! After Heather threaded the machine, she taught J how to make straight stitches, forward and backward. Although she was quiet and concentrating, I could sense J’s internal excitement as she learned something new!  
For her first sewing project, it was decided that J would make a heart pillow. Heather brought out the bin of fabrics she’d brought and J picked out a lovely lavender satin. J made a heart pattern from paper, which was then used to trace onto the fabric. Step by step, Heather showed J how to pin her pattern, cut out the fabric, pin the fabric (wrong sides together) and then how to sew straight lines down the sides and curved lines around the peaks of the heart, maintaining a 5/8" seam.
All during the lesson, Heather’s little ones explored and played and made themselves totally at home; it was wonderful that they felt so comfortable in my home and I had a great time taking breaks from the lesson to play with them, too. C, just 5 years old, taught me about matchbox cars, told me the names of the 19 cars he’d brought with him and then quizzed me to make sure I remembered. L, the baby, babbled and chatted and laughed when I’d pick her up and over my head, her little baby teeth looking so adorable. I just had to pick her up again and again so I could hear her little peals of laughter.
In the end, J had a lovely heart-shaped lavender pillow, stuffed with batting that had been sitting in my utility closet for a couple of years, saved from a project I’d never started. How perfect and provident that I had it on hand for the sewing lesson! She learned how to hand-stitch the opening and, with a bit of hand-stitching from Heather to clean up a couple of "dimples", the pillow was complete and looked terrific! When I took J home, she was happy and excited and showed her handmade pillow to her mom and dad with a lot of joy in the accomplishment and still radiant with the fun she’d had.
Today was a great day in the company of friends, all ages together, learning, growing, sharing. Time spent with others is such a wonderful gift. What a blessing to have had this day together!
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1 Response to a sewing lesson

  1. Lynn says:

    My Katie\’s Nana is a wonderful seamstress.  She made many of my clothes as a child, I remember a gorgeous grey fur coat she made for my Barbie that had all my friends drooling with envy, and when she had time she made the older girl\’s outfits for them when they were small.  Work keeps her from the time to do more than hem a few things here or there now, but mom was thrilled that one of her granddaughters finally had an interest in learning to sew.  Katie asked for a sewing machine for Christmas, and we had the hardest time threading it too  *grin* 
    Katie\’s first project was a handbag, complete with pockets inside (little showoff! Laugh).  Her sisters immediately wanted one too, so she was OFF…and then came the pillows and Nana came in to help Katie finish those nicely.  We all have our own K Design Pillow now, and Nana has a designee for all her mountains of material and patterns and someone to talk seams, stitches and batting with.  It\’s a beautiful thing, and now I can see it from my mom\’s point of view, thanks to you.  Perhaps I will take sewing lessons of my own.
    And yes…I agree, the world would be a much lovelier place if we removed the horrendous amount of violence and what passes for "Teen Show" television from the airwaves.  I grew up watching LHOP with my mom and dad every week, and we still get the Mayberry RFD reruns daily here…that\’s smalltown Kentucky for you.  It\’s the books too, and just about everything pervasive in society dragging our children\’s morals through the mud.  I know if a parent had called when I was a child and told the principal of the school I\’d threatened someone\’s life…on campus or off, I\’d have been hauled into the office and scared within an inch of my life.  But no, now it isn\’t the School\’s Business to care what it\’s young people are acting like, even if it is off-campus.
    You know the really horrible part?  The parents of this child haven\’t even returned my call.  They don\’t WANT to talk or hear about it.  I can\’t even fathom that.
    Love to you, Stream Sister…and thank you for another entry letting me know how deeply entwined our lives are.

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