Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Crafty Christmas

The garage/playroom is the centre of all things Christmassy at Studio You SEW Girl.  Right in the middle (right where everyone can trip over it) is a fine, tall, cardboard xmas tree. 
The wee girl and I seem to have developed our own little tradition with this particular part of the Christmas crafting season.
These little hands have been very busy this last week, crafting up a Christmas bonanza of handmade love ....and warming the cockles of this old sewing-obsessed heart. 
(Eeep!  Those confident little crafting hands.... gets me every time....)

There has been a bit of a shift in the young one's approach to sewing, which includes looking for design ideas and occasionally accepting help (if it means that the job will get done faster or better).  Books have been consulted.

And yet - designs are interpreted, not followed.  She made lavender-filled softies for the teachers.

This owl is made from felted jumpers, not the proscribed fabrics, and the scale was tiny.  We used fusible pattern pieces, fabric glue sticks, fusible webbing and basting spray  in the process (anything to make things stay put until they were stitched down). 
I machined the blanket stitch around the eyes and tummy, but only after the girleen had given it a red-hot go, herself.  She managed the outer blanket stitch, and with the help of my new button foot and fancy-schmantzy button-stitch, machined the buttons into place (with helicopter-style supervision on my part).
The "Square Bear" was not so square, because there was a bit of an oversight in reading the "enlarge 200%" bit for the body pieces.  We thought that the curved limbs gave the bear a bit more character, anyway. 
Since we realised that the Christmas stocking was at her Dad's house, and that Santa would be visiting while she was with me (and mostly because it was a scorching hot day and I was scratching around, looking for indoor/air-conditioned activities), we whipped up a new one from a bit of cotton sheeting.
And then she designed a dress. 
All on her own, she sketched an idea and presented it to me.  "I want to make this".
So we did.  (Go on....ask her what that arrow on centre-front means...).
Again, she was happy to delegate the tricky bits (setting in sleeves and putting the binding on), but she happily sewed up the straight seams on the overlocker (serger) and wondered why "some grown-up ladies are scared to do overlocking."
Such a sombre, understated design for a 7-year-old, but this is exactly what she wanted. I think it was designed around the shoes... as you do. 
We had to go out to buy white knit fabric for the binding yesterday - no other colour would do. (I had just about every other colour in the stash and did my diplomatic best to inspire a change of design).  The hemline had to be "wavy", and I don't have a rolled-hem or babylock on my very basic overlocker, so we went even more basic (small zigzag stitch).  
She wore it all day yesterday and is wearing it today.
She's already showing signs of a creative career (although I think that Corporate Law or Politics would be a better use for her finest talents). 
At a xmas gathering of my friends, she held court, and then started drawing portraits of those sitting around the table.  (Warning: evening light and iPod-quality  photos follow.)
Someone gave her money, and then others started comissioning portraits.
I loved the details... (That's a jug and a glass of beer, below.  Others had bowls of nuts in front of them or sunglasses on top of their heads.)  
As we walked home, she was excited and a bit incredulous about the $5 she held in her little hand. 
"People thought they were worth MONEY... but I just thought they were worth bits of paper."  She would have given them away.
And yes - the fruit hasn't fallen far from the tree.
Wishing you a safe and happy Christmas with the people you love.


Robyn of Oz said...

Congratulations Nikki! You've inspired your daughter so much. My granddaughter loves crafting as well, so I bought her a sewing machine for her 7th birthday. So far she's made some clothes and a small quilt that she is so proud of. Once the spark is there, I doubt anything can take it away.
Love the square bear and the owl. How cute. Her Wednesday Addams dress is gorgeous.
Merry Christmas to you both.

breakfast jo said...

Love it all! Have a very Happy Christmas love breakfast Jo xxx

Vireya said...

Happy Christmas to you both, and best wishes for a year filled with creativity ahead!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

she terrifies me, she really does. that much talent at that young an age - she's going to take over the world!

Credit to you!!

Wishing you strength and the best of everything in this season.

Fer said...

Super awesome Mummy daughter action!

Robyn of Oz said...

Hi Nikki
Back again. We have our Christmas on Boxing Day because our family is usually scattered with their partners to just about all corners of the state on Christmas!
One of the gifts each family got was a pre-printed babushka softie. It was a family affair : my seven year old grand daughter sewed them on her sewing machine, her father (my son) did the stuffing (I have to teach him about stuffing techniques as this won't be the last, I'm sure) and my daughter-in-law hand stitched to close and attached the home made label. Just so cute!
What is it with the confidence of the young? They just don't seem to have any fear about 'having a go' at anything. I suppose it is upbringing. We weren't allowed near anything in case of breakages, accidental self harm or burning the house down. Subsequently I had a fantastic learning curve when I left home!
Best wishes to you and yours.

Lisa M said...

Your wee one inspires me. I hope you are able to include this dress design in one of your books at some stage (although you may need to pay her royalties).
I fully understand designing around shoes. My wedding outfit was selected because of how it matched a pair of shoes I had purchased at least 18 months before I even started dating my now husband (together now 17 years). I remember seeing them -they came in 3 colourways at the time, and I have all 3 pair still - and knew instantly that if I were to ever marry, the neutral coloured pair with the patent toe and heal were the shoes I would wear, and I did. Friends and family thought it strange, but I never did. I believe it is easier to find/design/make clothes to match favourite shoes than the other way around.

Lisa M said...

By the way, her dress is gorgeous. Also, I'm glad to have read in your latest post that you had some time to relax and recharge.