On rainy days we sew

We had a few rainy days last week. I'm not hard core about being outdoors in the rain (unless its been that way for weeks and then we go out regardless to save our sanity) so last Friday, while it rained, we stayed inside to sew. 

Can I just say how lovely it is to spend an afternoon in the sewing room with my three children at hand? I don't have any mama projects on the go right now. With the advent of spring gardening and (prior to that) making the choice to spend more personal time writing I've put my once a week sewing time on hold indefinitely.

But that's my personal sewing, not kids' sewing. Helping the kids with their own projects is part of their education. And sewing little things with and for them is one way I communicate my love. Investing time, energy and presence into the process of creating. Gift giving that doesn't involve going to the store (supplies from the craft store aside) or plastic wrappers.

Anyway, we had a wonderful couple of hours sewing together. I finished making this pillow pal for Brienne out of an old sweater of hers that she did not want to part with, in spite the fact it was 2 sizes too small.

We used soft pink fabric she received as a birthday gift (thanks Cori, that was an awesome gift) to complement and contrast the blue fleece sweater. A tuft of braided yarn, button eyes and mouth and little ears stitched into the corners. Even I was impressed with how this turned out. 

My other project was this little denim skirt for Celine's doll, make to match her own.


This is w---a---y after the fact but I never did share the goodies we sewed up for each other for Christmas. Yes, you heard that right, Christmas. I was really proud of the work and care my children put into gifts for each other (and pretty pleased with my own sewing in fact) but I never got around to posting it here. 

Brienne's Annabelle with new dress made by me and cloak and muff made by Celine.

A Jedi doll for Laurent, complete with outfit and lightsaber made by Celine.

A jacket for Celine's doll (made by me), matching her own (made by Damien).

Are you stitching anything these days or are you too busy in the garden?

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  • Jill Foley

    Jill Foley on April 13, 2010, 9:54 p.m.

    I've never learned to sew...my mom always claimed she couldn't sew a button on to save her life and so I've always had this attitude that I dont' know what I'm doing. Still, I bought a sewing machine last year thinking that I could and should introduce myself and my girls to the art of sewing. It's never been out of the box. But now I'm inspired....thanks.


  • Naomi Kilbreth

    Naomi Kilbreth on April 13, 2010, 10:11 p.m.

    I've been in a sewing mood these days, after laying other projects aside. Right now I'm in the middle of two projects, which you could count more as five if you wanted to stretch it :0) A pair of pajamas (top, pants, and shorts)for Daphney, and matching dresses for Daphney and me.I'm really excited about the dresses so I had to put the pj's aside, but sewing is still an evening project, reserved for the nights I actually have energy!

    By the way, the sixth picture, the one of Brienne and her doll, is simply beautiful! Pajamas and all I just find her relaxed look adorable ;0)


  • SavvyChristine

    SavvyChristine on April 13, 2010, 10:58 p.m.

    Do alterations on a wedding dress count? And making a veil from scratch? That was my most recent sewing project. But what I really want to do is buy a thrift store linen skirt and turn it into an over-the-shoulder notebook bag so that when Lily and I go for our daily walk to the park, I can sit and write and not be encumbered by my purse or anything superfluous. Hurray!


  • daffodil lane

    daffodil lane on April 14, 2010, 1:19 a.m.

    You had me laughing, at the first paragraph. I don't particularly like the rain either, but we'd probably shrivel up during the autumn, winter, and spring if we didn't brave it. It just makes summer all the more sweet! ...We know the tourists and visitors by their umbrellas. :)


    • renee

      renee on April 14, 2010, 1:32 a.m.

      I hear you. West coast is simply rainy. But except for winter (at least from my experience visiting there) it's not bone chill rainy. But maybe I'm just a wimp (smile).


  • Cori

    Cori on April 14, 2010, 1:52 a.m.

    We haven't been into sewing much lately over here. Babies, foot pedals and needles aren't a very good mix!! I love that jacket on Celine's doll - you've all been learning to sew for real :-) (Just ordered some Teva proton 4s for myself. My grandfather used to buy "good" shoes for us when we were kids - he would roll over in his grave to know I was purposely looking for no arch support!!)


  • Hillary

    Hillary on April 14, 2010, 2 a.m.

    Now that I am officially done with the activism my big plan is to sew curtains for our bedroom, the living room and the playroom. It's been on my list for waaaaay too long. I can't wait :)


  • kyndale

    kyndale on April 14, 2010, 3:12 a.m.

    I do love the rain and all kinds of weather, EXCEPT...for wind. I'm not fond of extreme wind! My kids are taking sewing classes at the co-op while I teach the pre-school class. They love it. I have a few projects I'm thinking about but nothing that has jumped out from my head into something real. I wish we were in the garden. It's been really cold here lately! I love all the projects your kids did! Sewing is so rewarding for little and big people. :)


  • Molly

    Molly on April 14, 2010, 7:39 a.m.

    I have lots of sweet projects just waiting for me. With our big move under our belts I am finally ready to pull them out. I am going to start by teaching my girls to sew this summer (Grandma gave us her sewing machine so we have two, and it's hers so it's special). The first thing my Mom taught me to sew was a bean bag frog so I think we'll do that and study frogs and their life cycles a bit. I also have some easy flannel/fleece blankets to make each of the kids with their favorite colors and a flannel to match their personalities. Beyond that I have fabric, dreams and plans, but I am trying to keep it simple so I'll just start with this!


  • Francesca

    Francesca on April 14, 2010, 11:27 a.m.

    Today it's the first day when it's not too windy, too wet, too rainy, too cold, too something to finally garden, but I got busy stitching while the weather was unkind, and I can't put my project down yet and dig in the dirt!!! You've been very busy, that first photo should be entitled "sewing machine magic", it's adorable.


  • Rana

    Rana on April 14, 2010, 1:35 p.m.

    My mom was the sewing queen. She used to make dresses and shorts outfits for me and my sister all the time. She taught me how to use her old machine and I made a couple of skirts and shorts. Now I have her machine and I have not used it in years I don't even now where I would begin. I could use a refresher. Do you have any ideas as to what would be simple things to sew with 7 year olds to get them started?


    • renee

      renee on April 14, 2010, 4:30 p.m.

      Rana, I have something better for you than ideas (smile).

      The kids and I would love to send you some of the pattern books we've used and grown out of. All we ask is that you'd give them to someone else when you no longer need them. These books have easy patterns for hand stitching and machine sewing. I think you're bound to find something within the pages that will work for your twins. Use the contact form to send me a private e-mail with your address and we'll mail those to you.

      Your question gives me a good post idea - resources and ideas for simple sewing with your children, maybe someday when I finish writing the 20 or so other posts that are in my notebook right now!


      • Rana

        Rana on April 15, 2010, 12:48 a.m.

        Thanks Renee, We will definitely put them to good use and we have some friends that I think would enjoy doing this with us. You will have to look for a post at my blog on our first trial and error projects.


  • Jenn

    Jenn on April 15, 2010, 5:31 a.m.

    I love the doll and the little outfits. Very nice!! We are too busy in the garden for much of anything. I do have to sew this weekend, though...Maddie's dress for the up-coming Jane Austen dance. :0) So yay! I miss crafting.


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