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Friday, July 25, 2014
When I was designing my cut and sew dolls I couldn't help but think about my own experiences as a child learning how to sew and thought that cut and sew dolls would not only be a good way to teach a young child how to hand sew but also how to teach them how to machine sew as they could be put together either way. Plus, they quickly see the results of their efforts.
My mother and her best friend taught me how to sew when I was about ten years old. First they made me practice sewing two pieces of fabric together by hand until my running stitches were even and I knew the difference between a running stitch, straight stitch, back-stitch, etc. Then they explained the various types of stitches and their use and some of the sewing terminology.
I, of course, was anxious to start with the sewing machine. Just let me make something. They tried to explain that I needed to master the hand stitches before moving on to the sewing machine. I couldn't understand why back then. I can now. I wanted to create something right then and there.
When they were happy with my hand sewing I moved on to the sewing machine. First they explained how the machine worked, the different parts of the machine, the different machine heads, the different stitches, winding bobbins, etc. I couldn't move on until I knew this. I had no idea when I wanted to learn how to sew how much I needed to learn first. I was ready to go. Let me at the sewing machine - now.
Finally, the day came when I was allowed to start my machine sewing - or so I thought. Au contraire!
First my mother and her friend explained all the sewing terms, showed me how to sew a straight line with the machine, how to sew in reverse, etc. Here, too, they had me practicing rows and rows of stitches on single pieces of fabric. I, of course, thought I was ready after sewing two or three rows of stitches.
My mother would look at my rows of stitching and tell me to continue practicing. My rows of stitching were crooked. I wasn't allowed to move on until they were straight. I really think my mother made me practice much more then I needed just to keep me out of her hair. In any event, I practiced sewing straight lines forward and backwards until I could do it with my eyes closed.
When I thought I was done and ready to start my project here, too, I was wrong. I had no idea they had a test in store for me. YIKES! I'm learning to sew not going to school. Needless to say I passed my quiz with flying colors and they decided I was ready to move on to my first pattern.