The New Domesticity

I once had a friend tell me I was the only woman he knew that could sit and cross-stitch something while at the same time yell obscenities at a hockey game.  To date, one of my most favorite compliments.  I've always loved that a combination of my parents' tutelage, my education, and my "life education" has given me the "New Domesticity."  A woman who can cook, sew, and (sort of) keep a house, but has also associate produced off-off-Broadway, hung out with pro-hockey players, took master classes with the Ballet Theatre in Boston, took the afternoon off to cheer the Patriots' through the streets of Boston after their 2002 Super Bowl get the picture.  The ability to sew helped get Mark and I through a tough economic time shortly after we bought our first house.  I interviewed for a promotion in a suit I sewed myself because we couldn't afford new clothing at the time.  I got the job by the way.

I understand that these days, schools do not teach Home least not the way they did when I was in school.  Such a shame.  There are many things Mark and I want to teach Evie.  We want to give her the benefit of our combined talents.  My hope is that some day someone tells her she's the only woman they know who can change the oil on her car, star in a musical, and perform heart surgery...all in the same day.

To that end, I was looking for an appropriate way to introduce sewing.  I've tried those ready-made packs where they have pre-punched felt that little ones could sew together...neither of us found it very fun.  True, she was proud when it was finished, but she didn't love the process.  I recently went on a book buying spree, culminating in purchases of sewing books at JoAnn Fabrics.  One of these was a book of sewing projects for children ages 3 and up.  After looking at it, I'm going to have to question the age 3, but for my 4 year old, it worked great.  Evie and I spent a few moments this Saturday morning looking through the first part of the book to decide which project to begin with.

After much discussion and decision making, we agreed on the finger puppets.  Excitement really took over when she realized she would be able to put on a puppet play when we were finished sewing.  I'm really lucky she didn't suddenly decide we needed to make a finger puppet Joseph cast.  Then it was off to JoAnn Fabrics.  She was super excited that we were buying things for HER project this time...instead of waiting around while Mommy picked out fabrics. 

Happy Child. 
Picking our her first sewing kit!

Shopping trip completed, we headed home to get started.  Her first assignment was met with "but Mommy, I just want to sew, not take stickers off of the felt!"  Perfect way to learn that not every step of every project will be a favorite, but when you think about the end result, it gets easier!

We cut out the pattern pieces and then discussed which puppets we were going to make.  After remarking that we seemed to have quite a bit of pink felt, she thought it would be neat to make more than one of the pig puppets.  This then turned into "we could make the 3 Little Pigs!! and then a wolf! and then that could be our play!!"  Unfortunately, I do not have a video of this moment, but was adorable to watch the excitement build in her as we planned out the next steps.  While cutting out the pieces, we got to the ears.  I cut out three, and Evie said "Mommy, that isn't right"  I replied with, "we have three pigs, and each need two ears, so how many do we need?"  Without missing a beat I heard "well Mommy, three plus three is six, so you need to make three more."  Aaaand, her math is already better than her Mother's. 

Then, we got to work.  She did very very well.  She did most of the sewing herself, and only needed assistance a few times with "whoops" moments.  We worked for about two hours in the morning, took a break for lunch and nap, and then finished up in the afternoon. 

Such concentration...

Post nap, note the pink cheeks and Lambie supervising.

Finished project!  (Mommy made the big bad wolf)


I modified her "tv" with some leftover fabric from another project.  She was quite pleased to have curtains for her production.  Daddy served as the story narrator, then he was recruited to be the pigs so Evie could play the wolf.  It was a fun little interlude and something different on a Saturday! Next weekend we won't have much time at home, so it was nice to do something Mother/Daughter that then turned into some nice family bonding time.



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