Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Kid Sewing With An Actual Kid

I am lucky enough to have a niece who is interested in sewing and who was scheduled to visit us here on the Central Coast for the 4th of July. She was only planning on being in town for 3 days and we had a lot of activities to fit in; the Boardwalk, Carmel, dog walks.... Time would be tight. Fortunately, she shopped in advance and brought 2 yards of a very cute blue floral jersey for us to work with. And double fortunately, I have 7 years of BurdaStyle magazines upstairs so I was pretty sure we'd be able to find a reasonable pattern to hand.

And here's the proof!

Burdastyle 05-2012-143
My niece didn't just come with the fabric, she came with a creative vision.

She drew a couple of quick sketches to get us going. She was after something with a V or wrap neckline and a sash with a bow. Sleeves were optional. Ideally we would have included a scalloped ruffle on the skirt, but time and fabric constraints worked against us on that front.

After reviewing a ton of Burdastyles, she decided that "Girl's Dress" from BurdaStyle's May, 2012 issue ticked her boxes. The pattern is designed for a woven and the largest available size was a 6, but as a jumping-off point it worked well.

Did I mention that Isabella is 8 and that she had never used a sewing machine before? Not a problem for her though. Within 10 minutes she'd threaded the machine and was practicing sewing accurate seams. She also batted out a few decorative stitches.

We really only had a few hours to sew, so Isabella wasn't able to do the hemming and final finishing, but she did have time to stitch up the bodice and skirt seams and complete the bow (which was our primary design element). She even included some decorative stitching and a button, setting that bow off to perfection.

Front view on the hanger

Back view

Bow closeup, with button and decorative stitching
I did the final hemming and mailed the dress off to her in Chicago with my fingers crossed, hoping it would fit her the way she wanted it to.

And it does! She totally rocks it.

I wasn't sure that an 8-year-old would be ready to tackle a project like this, but Isabella did great. Besides the creative vision thing, she took a lot of care with the process. She was willing to go slow to do well, so her seams were accurate, and she was super careful to trim all her threads neatly. She was also curious about the technical side of things. We watched some videos about how the sewing machine works and, thanks to a thread tangle, we had a chance to take the machine apart to clean out the bobbin area. We had a blast. If you ever have a chance to sew with a kid, grab it.

My pattern review is on PatternReview.com here.