We chose a project that only involved straight line sewing, but had an element of creativity to it. Using some fancy tea towels as inspiration, Art Girl decided to make six tea towels each with different designs.
We bought white towels and Art Girl spent a lot of time deciding on fabric and ribbon combinations. Then the work began: measuring; cutting; ironing; pinning and finally sewing. This project was a lesson in patience, if nothing else. All the prep work it needed for just a few minutes of actual sewing!
The end result, I think, is very good for a first sewing project! I remember not having the patience with sewing as a teenager. There is a rhythm and satisfaction in the process that can only be appreciated when you slow down enough to see it and I think that comes with age. She was proud of her achievement, however, as was I!
Another lesson recently learned was sewing on buttons. Art Girl came to me with her winter coat which was minus four buttons. She had found only two of them. After checking the seams, there were no extra buttons. Ugh. Do so few people sew now that they don't include extra buttons? Am I supposed to buy a new coat because I lost a button? A quick trip to a fabric store and we had exact replacement buttons. Art Girl then learned how to sewed them on.
Being able to sew on a button, hem a pair of pants and sew a simple project are all, in my opinion, life skills valuable to everyone. School curricula have changed a lot since I was in school. I was taught both basic sewing and cooking skills, as were the boys. Home Economics, as it was called, is not longer taught in the school district my children attend and that is true for much of the country.
In our 'new economy', marketable work skills are important, but so are skills that promote self reliance and self sufficiency. We live in a service economy where we pay someone else to do everything for us, but there are monetary and self worth benefits to being able to do it for ourselves.I believe that in this new working reality, where job security is hard to find, having the ability to mend our belongings and creatively make something old new again will be an asset.
Art Girl may not enjoy the process now, but in the future she will at least enjoy the monetary benefit of spending a few dollars for some buttons as opposed to buying a new coat.
Get ready Computer Boy - you're next.