A Little Dress
Sarah says often, much to my parent's dismay, that she wants to be a "fashion designer" when she grows up. Don't worry Mom and Dad, remember Lizzy said she wanted to be a garage when she grew up, and Anna said she wanted to be a baby when she grew up. We usually change our minds a few times.
Since she was here for a visit, I thought it would be fun to give Sarah a little bit of a "fashion designer" experience, and let her pick out the materials for and help create her own dress. Originally, she had the idea of basing a dress for her on the pretty dresses in the American Girl doll magazine, but then I told her that we should wait and see which patterns and fabrics the store had to offer. In the end, she told me, "I decided not to copy an American Girl dress because I didn't want to be a plagiarist."
Some almost-7 year olds use words like plagiarist in context. That cracks me up.
At the store, I steered her towards a simple pattern--I didn't think a complicated pattern where I had to do most of the construction would be much fun for everyone else. The purpose of this project was for Sarah and the other younger girls to experience making something to wear, not for me to show off! Sarah walked through many different aisles of fabric, saying, "This is nice!" about every 5 seconds, but this white, pink, and purple flower pattern is what she fell in love with. She picked out a turquoise button and ribbon and we were all set!
I walked them through all the steps, from pre-washing and drying the fabric, to carefully laying out the pattern pieces and cutting them out of the fabric. We threaded the machine together. Sarah was too small to press the foot pedal and control the fabric at the same time, so first she guided the fabric while I pressed the pedal, and then she stepped on the pedal while I guided the fabric. The older girls each got a chance to spend some time at the machine too, though Anna was the one who stuck with it the longest. I helped with the little bit of gathering that the sleeves required because it was a little more tricky. Anna hand-sewed the button on at the end, and Sarah had her dress finished just in time to wear it to her birthday party!
Crafting with little ones can take a little more time than just "doing it yourself" but the memories and the skills you learn are priceless! I remember working on scrapbooking and embroidery projects at a young age with my mom and loving it. Have you ever had the chance to do some crafting with the young people in your life?