Ella and I have embarked on a slightly more structured homeschooling journey this year. While I’ve always had a Waldorf-inspired home, with lots of song, outdoor time, natural materials, open ended creative play, and child involvement in homemaking, this year we’ve been making time to do more formal Waldorf “school” which usually involves circle time, a story, and crafting or handwork.
Last week, I came home from the library with Amy Karol’s book Bend the Rules Sewing, and flipped through the pages with Ella, who instantly wanted to create something. Napkins seemed like the easiest idea until I realized that the hem would provide a challenge to me (I am really quite new to sewing and don’t like anything smaller than a 1/2″ seam allowance!). So we decided to create a place mat together. Nothing is more fun to this five year old than to be let loose in mama’s fabric bin. She held up endless combinations of background and accent material, until we narrowed it down to a purple plaid and turquoise floral!
It was Ella’s first time using an iron, and she was somewhat hypnotized by the process. Over and over the fabric she would go, smoothing it out just so, and then flipping it over and doing it all over again. I cut the pieces to size, she ironed and ironed and ironed.
Piecing the place mat together was relatively simple, so she and I worked the sewing machine together, with her on my lap. After an hour or so, we had it finished!
It’s a tiny bit crooked, the seams are definitely not even, and heck, it’s not even centered! But we created it together, it looks beautiful on our table, and I didn’t even let my creative control freak side get the best of me!
What are your favorite crafts to do with kids?
** Joining Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On today. Head on over there for more crafty fun!
I’m impressed! Great job, Ella! (My Anastasia isn’t allowed to use the sewing machine yet. How did you manage to keep her fingers safe? I could use some tips!)
Kristina, Ella definitely “helped” but I was I who steered the sewing machine ship, so to speak! I had her lay her hands down on either side of the fabric, and I laid my hands on top of hers. Then I just gently guided her along. So she felt like she was in charge, and I felt like I was in charge! I also asked her to move her hands when I had to back stitch or change directions. And I kept the machine on the slowest speed! Give it a whirl!
So lovely! What a great memory!
Oh, I love it. It is so bright and cheery and best of all it had the wonderful side effect of a beaming smile from your very proud helper.
John Page says
You two have made a work of love that will bring back memories every time you look at it. So it’s crooked. So it has mismatched seams. Does it keep the table clean? Then job well done.
Thanks Papa John! It has been fun doing all of these crafts with Ella. Probably reminds you of the time when I tried to sew myself a skirt a few days before I went to Kenya. No pattern, no sewing knowledge. Didn’t you have to step in and “assist”??