Wednesday, September 16, 2020

When is the Best Time to Learn Something New? September Sewing Month

September is Sewing Month and a Great Time to Learn Something New!

Fall Season has arrived and the evenings are getting so much cooler that spending lots of time outdoors isn't quite as appealing as it was in July.  So what are you going to do with all those evening hours?

If Television isn't your thing, then learning a new craft just might be.  I know I love to keep my hands busy and sewing is one of the ways I do just that.
                                                  
Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

Now, I must admit to you that sewing had been a big part of my life.  Before my retirement I was a designer/dressmaker for many, many years.

I was taught the craft by my mother, and by several courses taken from my early teens and beyond.  Each course building on what was taught previously.  

My grandfather used to say, "Learn something that you can do with your hands so that if need be, you would have a "job" using your talents. No one can take that away from you."    I think he was pretty wise with those thoughts.

Sewing is a talent that everyone can develop if they have the will to do so.  I know my very first attempts at learning how to sew, were used to make my room, mine.  I loved pillows and crazy colors.  So with my need to personalize, my mother wisely let me choose some fabrics that I loved and encouraged me to experiment with her sewing machine.  Of course I had her help (I was only seven or eight years old at the time). 

My point is that if a child shows a willingness to learn something, we as parents or grandparents can help them along by imparting our knowledge to them.  Arts of any kind require an inquisitive mind.  Children are always curious about all kinds of things.  It's a great time to teach and have fun without pressure!  At the same time, our kids learn that originality and creativity can go hand in hand in many different ways.  

While sewing and sewing skills are geared more for girls, I think that boys should have the ability to learn too, if they are so predisposed to do so.  Many of our esteemed fashion designers are men!

To help with this avenue for creativity, there are several kits available that girls and boys may find interesting.  I like these two for a starting point.  Pictures feature both girls and boys making and sewing their own creations.


The first book is geared to teaching some hand sewing techniques, while the second book includes the use of a sewing machine as well.  Depending on your children's motor skills and how well they can handle each task, you may like one better than the other.  **I will add a caution hereParents and/or Grandparents should be able to sit with the children while they are making these items.  There are sharp instruments involved and extra precautions should also be in place.**

If they are new to sewing, start with the first book and then when they have mastered or expressed that they really like this kind of craft, you can move to the second in the series.

Who knows if you will be the one to spark a new hobby, that could lead to much bigger and more beautiful creations.  

What started out as a pillow in my case ended up with me designing and executing some beautiful gowns, dresses, suits and so much more.  I made a nice living doing something that I enjoyed and also gave pleasure to my many customers over the years.

You never know the power you have to guide and form a new designer, they could end up on Making the Cut! (Our own Tracey, did a review on this show and it is quite a revelation in how many got started in the sewing and tailoring business)

Children love to learn new concepts and this is one that they can take with them into adulthood.  Mending and remaking clothes for the budget conscious may just become a "vogue" idea again.  Our days of "throw away everything" have got to stop.  Who knows where and when these skills will be put into practice as our children grow.  One thing is certain, there will always be a need for clothes and if you learn how, you can become quite a master!


I went from Pillows and Bedroom Decor to making beautiful gowns like this one!  Just one gown from my archives!  This was for a graduation and it's still one of my favorites.

Whatever you do, don't underestimate the joy that spending quality time with your children and grandchildren can have.  It will be memories for you and for them and teach them a really important life skill.  




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8 comments:

  1. What an absolutely gorgeous gown, Olivia. I never knew you were a dress designer. Loved learning about your 'hidden talents'.:)

    I learned sewing in a high school course and from my grandmother, the seamstress in the family. But I never was very good at it and it couldn't hold my interest beyond making clothes for my children when they were small as simple things were easy and the budget was tight. My grandmother made almost all the clothes my siblings and I wore growing up. Years later I would recognize various materials in the scrap quilts she would make from the leftover fabric. (Waste not, Want Not). :)

    Sewing is very enjoyable for many and just okay for others, but I agree it is a skill everyone should learn just because there are times when it is needed, if only for the purpose of mending a garment.

    So- Happy September Sewing Month to you.

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    1. I so agree with your last comment. Even if they only use the skill to mend a garment, the skill would have been worthwhile to learn. Most grandmothers went through the depression where money was not available for cloth or much of anything else. Many dresses were made from old shirts, pants or items no longer needed, flour sack dresses (remember those). Hopefully we will never go through those kinds of hard times, but you never know when this skill will be useful.....p.s. I wish I had a picture of the back of that dress too, it was such an interesting design.

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  2. Beautiful gown Olivia! You are quite talented and clearly have exceptional sewing skills.

    I agree about teaching children what they wish to learn as early as they express an interest. I love to sew. Like you, I was very young when I took an interest in crafts. I didn't start using a sewing machine until I was 11 or 12, but by then, I had a reasonable knowledge about thread, needles, fabric, embellishments, etc. Sewing on a machine came easier to me because I was already experienced and enjoyed making things. I have no doubt I would have loved the books you have featured!

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    1. Thank you for the nice words, I have used sewing as my "work" for nearly 40 years and as a dressmaker enjoyed all the interactions with people who saw their dreams and their designs become something they could wear. Kids should learn the basics as even being able to sew on a button without knowing how can make a garment unwearable. One gentleman client would bring me all his shirts to have the buttons redone by hand, so that pulling that ill fated thread would not cause the whole button to fall off......oh the memories.

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  3. That IS a very beautiful gown! Wow! I used to sew as a hobby but I only made things like window toppers and craft projects.

    Now, I have to admit I cannot even hem a pair of pants. Someone should have taught me and made me practice!

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  4. Thank you Brenda, making window toppers is a great way to use your skills, you might not think too much of it, but it is a way to personalize your home. Craft projects are great too. Hemming pants should be learnt by anyone, girls and boys. I can't believe what they charge nowadays for that. Maybe I should come out of retirement....lol

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  5. Olivia, I just realized that I shared this on Facebook yesterday (so I wouldn't forget) and then forgot to come back here and leave you a comment. So much for that clever strategy, lol! I think planting the idea of creating something special with one's own hands, for oneself or as a gift, is a great thing to do for any child. Nurturing whatever interest starts to sprout from that seed by teaching them the skills to bring their ideas/designs to life (or give something they've seen their own unique touch), can help them tap into their creativity, build their self-confidence, and get them started on what might turn into a lifelong hobby or even, as in your case, a career they love! I looked inside the Kindle preview (on Amazon) of both books you recommended, and they look terrific. Either or both, accompanied by some sewing lessons and supervision, would make a marvelous gift. And, as you pointed out, time spent teaching your child or grandchild new skills they actively want to learn, or helping them create something they can be proud of, is something both of you will cherish, not just in the moment, but in the lifelong memories you create together.

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  6. I learned basic sewing in school in Home Economics, remember that class lol, and loved it. If I didn't work online so much and had to pick something to fill my time, it would be painting, crocheting, and learning to sew. I truly am in awe of people who can sew. My mom learned how to sew in her early thirties and made all my figure skating costumes - and they were so good!

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