I love making handmade gifts. I feel like they have a little extra sprinkle of love and joy in them. Luckily, my family appreciates gifts I make, which certainly makes creating them more enjoyable. 🙂 But I’ll be honest, sometimes the making of the gift defeats the purpose of the gift. I get a little perfectionist about my creations and spend a lot of time making them, maybe stress about them a bit. And then I emerge from the sewing table, with crazy eyes and disheveled hair, fueled by caffeine and over-exhaustion and profanities, and hand the gift over grumpily. “HERE! Enjoy it.” Sprinkled with extra
It’s not always pretty. So, I’m trying something different this year. I’m passing on the gift of frenzied gift making to future generations. I’m teaching my son to sew. I swear this was his idea!
As you may already know, I’m in graduate school. I’m a mom, a wife, a student, a researcher, a clinical intern, a person trying to make her way through life. I’m busy. Lately, my son has been expressing his sadness that I have to go to work and I have to go to class. “I don’t want you to go, mommy,” he exclaims as he clings to me. “I hate that you have to leave.” I hate that I have to leave too, sweetheart.
“Will you be done with school soon?”
He calls the nights I have work and class “stinky Wednesdays”.
He’s over this whole mommy-is-gone all the time thing. And it just so happens that he wants to learn how to sew. So, sewing it is!
He’s been “helping” me sew for a little while. He steps on the pedal while I sew; he helps pick fabric and patterns, etc. I started officially teaching him by having him sew lines and line drawings on paper. He did a fantastic job! I was so impressed. (Pics of his progression below)
Then, we moved on to a simple sew. He made a little softie fish from the DIY Mermaid & Pirate softie kit (affil link) from Peek-A-Boo. This was a GREAT idea for a beginner. The directions are pretty simple, everything is all laid out, and you can still kind of sew by following the lines. He is in love with his fish and has happily added it to his MASSIVE collection of “friends”.
But my boy has a giving heart. He wanted to make something for someone else. It’s almost Christmas after all! He asked to make a gift for his sister. I still wanted it to be semi-simple, so I suggested a taggie blanket. I admit I never saw the point of these things before. My son was not much of a tag chewer. Baby girl, on the other hand…she can’t get enough of those tags. Her favorite snack is the tags on her bibs! He thought the blanket was a great idea. He picked out the fabric, the ribbons, and sewed the blanket together. I did the topstitching. I let him pick minky as the backer, which was of course, stupid of me. If you’ve ever sewn with minky, you know that stuff is a pain. Slippery little devil! But it’s his favorite fabric and he wanted it for his sister, and who am I to say no to that. Oh well! 🙂
I wasn’t the best teacher. I was sometimes impatient. I sometimes stepped in and took over when I should have let him keep trying. But we had a lot of time together. Unadulterated time. Time when he asked questions and told stories and had my undivided attention. I didn’t have to do homework or go to class or hold his sister. I just had to sew with him. The time goes by so fast – if you’re a parent, you already know how painfully fast it goes. Just yesterday it seems he was the baby in that picture. I blinked and now he’s an eight-year-old boy. I meant to give him the gift of sewing, but it may have been more of a gift for me. The gift of time. Just me and my boy. I’ll take that time as long as I can get it. ❤️