family crafting

3 Reasons to Sew Together

I recently sewed a fairy with my niece. And I learned three reasons why it is worth the time and effort to engage children in crafting gifts (even for themselves!)

1. They make their own choices.

Their ideas of color and design may be very different from what we would choose for them. Sewing together gives them a chance to explore their own ideas. My niece got to build visualization skills as she tested one swatch of color with another. And her selections were not what I expected at all. And they were lovely!

2. They see the value of a handcrafted gift.

By engaging in the craft, they see all the effort and decisions that go into handcrafting a gift. From exploring my many supplies to undoing mistakes, she got to see the behind-the-scenes magic that makes a handcrafted gift so special. Unwrapping a gift is easy compared to creating a gift from bits of wire and felt. Yet, the process is so rewarding!

3. They treasure their creation.

Between the felt and sequins, magic happens. I shared with my niece that no matter how many fairies I create, they all end up different. Even if I try, I cannot make two that look exactly the same. She saw this for herself as she put her fairy together. She couldn't believe that she could create magic, too. "I know just where she belongs in my room," she said, "On my special nightstand." Creating something beautiful is empowering. And the 'voice' that a child gives her or his creation makes it unique in all the world.

The gift goes both ways. She enjoyed her fairy. I enjoyed spending time with her. Which is the best gift of all. Time together :)

Enjoy your crafting!

P.S. A few of our tips for successful sewing with children are here. We will share many more in our book coming out in late spring, 2013. Thank you for visiting the Forest!

Alexandria's Fairy

I recently enjoyed a treat. My niece visited and we sewed a fairy together. The needle, thread, and sequins fascinated her. "Look, Mom," she said, "I don't need glue!"

After showing my niece the basics of the running stitch and adding sequins (which will soon be shared in our book), she took off and made it mostly by herself.

The beauty of sewing together was that I planned to make a fairy for her a few months ago. I would use pink, black, and maybe red because those are colors she wears often. Yet, yet she chose all blues and greens! She chose colors I would never have selected for her. And they inspired me!

She especially liked the star on the fairy's hat.

I liked the long stitches to attach sequins. They gave nice texture and decoration.

We both decided that this fairy would wear short skirts instead of a long, full petal skirts. Better for dancing (my niece is a dancer). 

A parting image of her fairy looking thoughtful.

I am so grateful that we got to make her together. Wonderful sewing, Alex! She also reminded why I sew with children (again) which I posted about here. Magic is best shared :)