Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Summer Unschooling #1- Sewing

I have signed up for the Summer Unschooling challenge at This Vintage Chica's blog. Even though it is barely spring, let alone summer, I have been trying to work this challenge into our lives already. Today I was writing an article for The Sunny Way while Cheyenne was at school and Bella came up to my bedroom to spend some time with me.

"What's this?" She'd ask, pointing to various parts of the sewing machine. "What does it do?" I decided this was a great learning opportunity.

I found this book at a thrift store about a year ago for $.50. It's a little dated looking, but the patterns are cute and there are lots of quick little patterns in it. Bella is three and a half and doesn't have a long attention span, so I knew we had to make something small.

We settled on this cat stuffed animal. Bella loves cats. First we traced it onto a piece of paper and cut out the pattern.

Next we took a scrap of fabric and pinned the cat pattern to the fabric. I made a mistake here. We should have cut out a larger circle of fabric and embroidered the face before we cut out the cat. I didn't have an embroidery hoop small enough to work on the cat, but the point wasn't perfection, it was just for some fun learning time, so I embroidered the face without the hoop.

Now, really this would have turned out much better if I had hand-sewn the cat, but Bella wasn't interested in hand-sewing. She already knows the basics of that method. She wanted to see how the sewing machine worked. We got the machine threaded and I sewed the right sides together while she watched.

We stuffed it and hand sewed the opening and a piece of the tail that was causing us trouble. I want to try this little kitty again, this time hand-sewing it, but Bella loves her wonky little kitty and she had a really good time learning about the sewing machine.