Sewing in Summer

This is our first week of summer vacation. Deliberately, our summer should be less busy and more relaxing than past years. We have not scheduled very much for the girls to do. I want them to play outside, explore, read each day, swim, and play some more. For my two older girls, I have one specific goal for them each: to help my middle daughter with reading and to *really* teach my oldest daughter to sew.

We've started working towards those goals this week. For my oldest, we started reading The Mary Frances Sewing Book: Adventures Among the Thimble People. I blogged about this book a few months ago here. The book covers many basic hand-sewing/sewing techniques. So far, my daughter has learned/practiced the following: basting, uneven basting, running stitch, back stitch, half-backstitch, catch stitch, overhanding, overcatching, hemming, blanket stitch, buttonhole stitch (I now understand the difference between these last two!), and cross-stitching. The picture above is the sampler she's been working on with all these techniques.

She's currently working on a cross-stitch Farm Folk X-Stitchette by Wee Wonderfuls. I enlarged the pattern for her to see more clearly, but it's been slow-going thus far. Once she's finishes this, we'll move ahead and start to work on all the doll clothes patterns in the book. I think there are around 33 patterns in total. I plan to have her sew some of the clothes entirely by hand, others on the machine with some hand-finishing.

I'm not sure how many of the patterns we'll work our way through this summer. I want her to be able to do a lot of the work herself, so we'll take our time if necessary. So far, we're both enjoying the book and learning together. And being that we're both lefties, I feel like I'm the perfect teacher for her (fellow lefties may understand)! :)


  1. This has to be one of the best gifts you can give your child; the gift of sewing! I love the cross stitch sampler your daughter has started.


  2. Especially nowadays, Beth! It *sometimes* feels like a lost art.

    I particularly love the creative process of hand-sewing. It feels like drawing to me :).

  3. the cross stitch is looking adorable!! i am impressed!!!

  4. So cool! My daughter and I are both lefties too. I cannot wait for her to really really sew with me. She actually completed a project a few weeks ago. She's 4 so we definitely worked on it together, so now I am looking for another simple simple project for her. I will check in to see your daughters progress. Glad I found you!

  5. Thank you both! She's almost done with both the crossstitch and her doll's apron now. These little projects are perfect :).

    @Sew Pretty Dresses - I think lefties can really benefit from having another lefty show them how to sew. There are just things we do differently :). My 5 year old is eager to be a part of all this, too. I'm trying to give her a few simple projects on the side.

  6. How old was you daughter when you started this book? I love the idea and my daughter is in love with your dolls. It would be a neat Christmas present.