Monday, September 06, 2010

Labour Day Project

So, what are you doing this Labour Day?  As was my practice years ago, I spent it sewing.  Saturday I took off and went shopping with Monkey Girl.  We spend a lot of time discussing body image and fashion vs trends as we shop.  We try on everything just for the object lessons.  We try not to laugh too loudly at what we affectionately label "CALL CLINTON moments" after her favorite show "What Not To Wear".  I like these times together.  She is growing up so fast and so tall that I need to have these discussions more often as she is soon to be out of the little girl sizes ( a feat she reached in her shoe size already!).

I think I may have mentionned in one of my posts last year that I have my mother's original SINGER machine now.  We gave it to Monkey GIRL FOR Christmas last year with the promise that I would teach her to sew.  The majority of what she wants to sew are knit projects, which that machine will not handle well.  So, we are trying something different instead. She is making a jean style jacket.  We are doing it in tandem, meaning that we have two machines on the same table with both of us working on jacket patterns.  I am finishing a UFO (another HP project - the HP Sportive Skirt Suit Jacket).  Hers is KS 3136.  We are using a black peachskin fabric from Wal Mart for her first project. This is a great project for us to do together.  It has many smaller straight seams which will allow her to get used to the machine as well as pinning, pressing and stitching.  I have marked out the 5/8" seamline with masking tape on the machine bed, and am marking the seamline on the fabric for her as well. She cut and prepped the pattern on her own, and I cut the fabric and interfacing as required.  She sews the seams, we press together and then I top stitch for her.  We are lucky that we are both sewing the same colour fabric right now!

It is going really well!  Her first seam had to be ripstitched, as she wanted to try to stitch it without a line to follow.  She was a bit upset until I told her the story of my first Home Ec project do-over (the night before it was due in!).  She laughed and started to rip as she kept giggling!  We have the back assembled and have the fronts half done.  We are at the stage of putting the chest pockets on.  We will see how far we get tonight.  She won't be wearing it to school this week, anyway. I promised her a trip to the Button Wall of Fame at Darrell's so that she can choose the buttons.  Yup, the buttons will cost more than the jacket, but seeing the pride will be worth it!  It is a neat feeling, seeing her across the table working on a project at the same time.  Who says that sewing has to be solitary?

On my end, I have the body of the lining assembled, leaving the facings only to be attached.  I am working on assembling the body of the jacket as well.  I am using a black pinwhaled bamboo corduroy with an ambiance lining in a navy blue.  The skirt was completed before the sewing drought started and was the last actual project completed before the Big Sulk started.  I made this up in a cheap knit 3 years ago for an interview for the job I now have.  Now, I am getting around to making the actual as the cheapness of the muslin is now showing.  I took the rainbow zipper off the muslin and am using that in the jacket.  I was originally going to use a rhinestone zip but think I may use that in another project instead.

So, this Labour Day, I engaged in a Labour of Love.  I have started my 9 year old on a journey of sewing for herself.  The feeling I get in sharing my space with her is so deep that I cannot find the words.  I remember sitting at my mother's knee playing in the button box and wanting to sit on her lap and sew.  I can't remember ever doing that, but I always wanted to.  I played in her sewing room all the time when she worked on the various projects.  Now Monkey Girl gets to work with me.  As a new sewer emerges in the family, I am rediscovering the basics through the teaching process.  I am rediscovering the love of the build and the satisfaction of the final product.  May you all be so lucky as to be able to pass on your skills and love to a new generation ... I now know that my grandmother's thimble will be well loved and used by another young girl as she begins her wardrobe build!

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