There are certain things kids should learn before they grow up and leave home – how to do laundry, how to cook at least a few simple dishes, where to find the electric company’s phone number when the power goes out, how to put out a grease fire – the basics. One of these things that I don’t think most kids are taught anymore is how to sew.
If you don’t have a do-it-yourself household, you might think “Why do they need to know how to sew?” Do you really want them to have to throw away a pair of pants because a button falls off? The curtains are trash because the cat tore the hem out on the bottom? The seam rips in their favorite pillow so they have to go buy a new one? Even if you don’t plan to start making all your own clothes or constructing elaborate home decorating projects, knowing the basics of how to use a needle and thread is important.
Codi is pretty proficient with hand and machine sewing, but Tucker hadn’t sewn much and wanted a robe. His room is in the basement, by choice, and it’s colder down there than the rest of the house. I saw it as a good opportunity to coach him through a sewing project and he was on board. We found a pattern, bought some fleece and he cut the entire thing out himself.
He got to use all my fancy tools. I had probably never let him touch my Gingher scissors before.
Fast forward to two years later. The robe pieces were still sitting in a bag in my sewing room. We hadn’t managed one stitch. I asked him if he’d like to finish it, to which he replied “Will you sew if for me Mom? Please?” I caved, for several reasons, not the least of which was that I just wanted that big bag out of my sewing room.
It took me less than an hour to stitch up. Because it was fleece, I didn’t use any of the interfacing the pattern called for, didn’t have to finish any seams and just turned the edges in and sewed for the hem on the bottom and sleeves. This is the pattern we used, although there are about a million fleece robe patterns out there, all pretty much the same.
The surprise was the boot-like slippers we found cut out in the bag. Neither of us remember cutting them out and I don’t think we would have done it intentionally because Tucker has giant feet. We’re talking 14’s here, so it didn’t seem likely they would fit anyway. I decided to go ahead and sew them up, thinking they could go to my daughter.
I didn’t have any of that stuff you use on the bottom so slippers aren’t slippery but we have wood floors, so I didn’t want to leave them with just fleece. I used rubber drawer liner, which looks very similar to some stuff I had for putting under a rug to keep it from sliding around. I don’t know how long it will survive, but it’s working out well. And they fit him!
I’m trying to come up with another project to help him gain some sewing skills. Of course, I thought of that again right after I sewed a button back on his pants for him a few days ago. I’ve got to get to this before I run out of time or else he’ll be running back home every time he needs a stitch in something. Wait a minute…