Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little Red

Our wee girl just turned 7, which is amazing because it was only 5 minutes ago she was just a little baby. Handwringing over aging aside, we offered her the choice of a dolls house or a sewing machine as a present. She chose the sewing machine, which I was very happy about, because I remember having a lot of fun with my sewing machine when I was little, and it was not the same as using my Mum's. We bought her a little wee machine that's light enough for her to set up herself, but with all the necessary functions (straight, zig-zag, and reverse stitches). Here it is: The Elna Mini.

As her first project, we decided we'd make something for her hallowe'en outfit: a hooded cape made of stretch lamee velvet, lined with seersucker, with tricky bits like gathering along the neckline, ribbon closures at the front, etc. (Kwik Sew 3723) Perhaps a little ambitious for a first project, but with the very significant advantage that it was something she actually wanted to make.
 


Actually, I have to say, I'm a big fan of the run-before-you-can-walk learning strategy. There's nothing like doing something you're really interested in to make you learn the skills as and when required. She did lots of the pinning of pattern pieces onto the fabric, some of the cutting out, pinned some of the pieces together, sewed along the straight seams, and mastered the reversing at the end of each seam. I did the rest. In a time-honoured tradition, she learned some new swear words as I caught my fingers on the pins. Essential to have a good range of expletives for sewing, you know it as well as I do. We finished the cape in an afternoon, and she wore it out trick-or-treating as Little Red Riding Hood.

At each house she said "I MADE MY CAPE" and she got A LOT of chocolate. Awesome. 
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18 comments:

  1. Just BEAUTIFUL; daughter, cape and sewing machine. I remember my first sewing machine well . And my second, which I got when I was 15. I still have it and occassionally squeeze in time to use it! Diane

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    1. Thank you! I'm amazed you can find the time to do anyting on a sewing machine with three little boys- go you!

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  2. That is adorable! I didn't get my own machine til I was 18--your daughter is so lucky! and it looks like such a cute machine!!

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    1. Yes it's a good wee machine- it doesn't go too fast so you can't make all those mistakes from roaring down the seams like a demon (which is what I did for my first 10 years of sewing I'm sure).

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  3. Beautiful... I also like the overstretching of the abilities... you don't know if you don't have a go. Still it's a great achievement for your little one! Nice machine.

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    1. Yes she was so proud, and I was really impressed with her stickability!

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  4. Oh boy, this makes me ridiculously excited to have a daughter. I hope, hope, hope Mollie is keen on sewing. This is so very awesome (as is the cape, and the teensy sewing machine!)

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    1. It's true, it's lovely having a daughter, especically when they're into what you're into. There are some things I can never help her with (sport, dancing, to name a couple) but sewing is something I really get.

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  5. Great costume Sylvie!! So jealous of that fabulous new sewing machine!

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    1. Thanks Rosie, she will love showing it to you next time we see you. Hope you had a great birthday btw, and have a fannnnntastic trip!

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  6. I always knew that chocolate was the appropriate response to "I made it". I am thrilled to have actual evidence of this association from your post. Now I can get stuck into the Lindt with a clear conscience.
    Your daughter's cape is a tremendous 1st project, and an excellent advertisement for jumping in at the deep end. She looks terrific.The sewing machine is a great present.

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    1. Chocolate is an appropriate response for so many things in my opinion...

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  7. What a brilliant machine. I have no idea where to begin teaching sewing, but a cape is so much cooler that the pillow cases that I had to make at manual training.

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    1. I know what you mean, I felt like we should start on something very basic where she could do everything start to finish but I haven't found the right project (i.e. one she's interested in). In the end I figured we'd make something she really wanted and she'd do what she could and I'd help with the rest. Maybe next we'll do the pot holder or the pillowcase...

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  8. So cute! Love ambition on a project - as you say, it's the best way to realise your limits and potential very quickly. Congratulations on the cape!

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    1. Thank you so much, I'll pass on the congratulations to the small caped one.

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  9. so sweet! very talented lil one! I got my very first sewing machine only a few months ago - here's my post where i'm bragging about my little machine that I bought from Ikea ;)

    http://lovenotesrestylestudio.com/2012/09/09/swap-meet-at-flemington-markets/

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  10. it's beautiful. clever sylvie! i am very impressed. can't wait to see you all soon...

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