Many thanks to Sew18thCentury for the Sewing with Babies award. I’ve seen the badge on people’s blogs and thought, How charming! At least I don’t sew with a baby anymore… the Young Mr is, after all, very nearly 14. But aside from some safety issues (pins are slightly less hazardous, as they only get trapped on the size 13 feet, not potentially ingested), sewing with a school-age child is sewing with someone who needs (wants) your attention.
Sewing With Babies was created by Sarah W. from the blog A Most Peculiar Mademoiselle to recognize, “mothers who try (and now and then fail) to find time to create something beautiful and/or useful with needle and thread, between feedings, nappy changes, laundry, nursery rhymes, and baby kisses.”
I have been sewing with and for the Young Mr since before he was born; the day I went into labor, I was home with a sinus infection, contractions, and seated at the sewing machine frantically making…Christmas stockings for our family, including the cat. After all, my mom was coming for Christmas! Clearly, while I was in the grip of something strong, what I really needed was to get a grip.
What did I do after he was born, when he was the Monkey and not the Young Mr?
Like most moms, I sewed during naptime, or gave him a creative, not-too-messy activity to do alongside me. Caution was in order, because at about 18 months, he did climb onto the table to ride the sewing machine like a horse.
I took handwork with me to sew at lunchtime—and I still do this. Since 1999, I have sat in buildings under construction, hand sewing or quilting. It’s a good thing to talk about if you’re babysitting a lobby during a members’ open house, or while men screw heat detectors into ceilings in rooms without internet access, and you may learn new words to use when sewing goes awry.
Mostly, I get up early. When he was the Monkey, the Young Mr woke up before the New York Times was delivered. People, that was just unconscionable—and worse in the dial-up internet era. St. Louis at 4:00AM was a lonely place. After I got him back to sleep, I was wide awake waiting for the paper, so I started planning pieces, cutting patterns, and sewing before Mr S got up and we had to get ready for work.
I still get up early, sometimes 4:00, usually 5:00, and have sixty to ninety minutes before the rush to work and school begins.
I’m struck by the mothers who sew for their children, and wish I had been able to sew historic clothes for the Young Mr when he was little. So even though some of these folks have been nominated, here’s another vote to keep on sewing.
Romantic History I especially like historic clothes for boys…now that I’m stuck making man-size clothes for my boy. (How did that happen!?)
Dana Made It When my son was younger, I wanted to quit my job and sew for kids. Didn’t work out that way, but it’s great to see fresh ideas for sewing for kids.
Sewing with Kids This is how I started, felt animals and tense embroidery projects.
Today was more like sewing with The Cursing Mommy, though.
Still, from layout commencing at 07:59AM today to the cessation of sewing machine hostilities at 16:42PM, we have a garment. The words I have heard carpenters, electricians and pipe fitters use came in handy when the thread was– I swear–possessed by demons. Fabric wandered like it had grown legs, not been cut into legs, and I thought about how our mechanic said, “The Devil has many feet, Mr. S” when pronouncing the old Subaru unfit for resuscitation. I tossed the bad thread, rewound the bobbin, ate a sandwich, and started over. It was worth it to get to hand-finishing work, which is portable.
Now, it’s time for a beer (the cursing mommy would approve), and to switch to another project. Before I laid out the overalls, I cut out the stomacher and cuffs for my gown, and organized the finish work for that. Yesterday I decided to attempt to make a coral necklace, and that might be a good project for this evening. My thumb muscles need a rest.