When my daughters were much younger, these were my three favorite things to do before school started:
|Getting ready for school included some
wonderful time at the sewing machine
|Left: My older daughter spent hours picking
out those three coordinating ribbons.
Right: For fourth grade, my younger daughter
re-created the fifties with a poodle skirt.
The saddle shoes were the finishing touch.
1. Going to the local drugstore to pick out school supplies and choose new lunch boxes.
2. Getting in our last summer visits to the community pool.
3. Heading to our local fabric store for first-day-of-school sewing projects.
Each daughter chose her own pattern and sewing fabric. Then we’d spend the next few weeks cutting, pinning, and stitching together. I saved all the “First Day of School” pictures, which not only document how much they had grown each year, but also how their sewing skills and style choices changed. In junior high, buying brand-name jeans replaced trips to the fabric store, and new traditions took root.
But during those earlier years, August was a wonderful month to work with little fingers that were learning new skills. We had the time, very few other scheduled activities, and were able to take garment construction in small steps–with lots of breaks. Bit by bit, dresses, skirts, and blouses came together. In the early years, it was tandem sewing–with a young one on my lap gently holding the fabric as the feed dogs pulled it through. Then, year by year, more and more of the process left my hands and I became the coordinator and advisor.
My younger daughter still sews extensively. My older daughter probably has not sewn since she was in junior high, but when I visited her recently, she was considering making a tablecloth “from scratch.” (Little does she know that tablecloths lead to pillows which lead to simple skirts…)
Maybe this August, you will not only sew for your children, but will also pass on the skill of sewing. Work a step at a time, take a lot of breaks, and enjoy the process. I promise that you will also treasure the memories.
For some fun back-to-school projects, check out the pattern sale in the Sew Daily Shop.
P.S. Do you have any back-to-school sewing memories? We’d love to hear them. Let us know on the Sew Daily blog.