s t i t c h

I kind of knew that my almost-five-year-old daughter, who loves to layer and build and create, would love to sew. I already knew that she likes to press the foot while I sew, and thread and fabric are two of her most coveted crafting materials, so I decided to get her started with some independent stitching. Both of my wooden hoops have been acting up on me, so I needed to get her a new hoop. As I mentioned in an earlier post, our local sewing store closed its doors earlier in the season, so I was left going to Jo-Ann Fabric in search of one, and I was shocked to learn that they only sell the plastic kind now. Grump! I ended up getting her a bright yellow plastic one, but I bought a new wooden one at Purl a couple of weeks ago, and I plan on giving it to her as a winter solstice gift. I want her to experience stitching with the wooden kind too. I also bought a yard of grass green cotton jersey since I figured it would be easy to sew through, and kind of fun to touch and feel.

Amanda does a lovely job introducing this first sewing adventure in her book, The Creative Family. I first had Chick gently touch the tip of the needle because I felt that it was important for her to have a good sense of its sharpness. She was a little hesitant because she was all wrapped up in how she has been told not to play with needles for her entire life. After fifteen minutes of almost touching it, she finally did, and we quickly moved on. I threaded it with some embroidery floss and she got busy. There were a few times where she sewed over the rim of the hoop, but it was a good lesson in back stitching. Below is her masterpiece. She wanted to cut around her needle work to make an ornament of sorts. I have it hanging at the end of my hallway, so I can catch glimpses of it all day long. For me, it sweetly captures her capable, independent, beautiful almost-five-year-old little self.

xo e


  1. What a wonderful way to introduce your little one to sewing. Her ornament will be cherished for years to come! I was surprised the other day when my seven year old son wanted to help me machine sew his scarf. I took old wool sweaters and felted them in the washing machine and dryer and cut them into rectangles. It makes the warmest scarf yet!

  2. Cute! I've had really good luck finding wooden hoops at rummage sales. I keep thinking I'm going to decorate my sewing room with hoops full of fabric, but then I can't part with any of my fabric stash. Clearly I have issues. At least the yellow one is bright and cheerful!

    As someone who now drives 40 minutes each way to my preferred fabric store, I continue to have great empathy concerning the loss of your local shop. JoAnn's serves its purpose but it's not enough on its own!

  3. I love getting the little ones sewing!

    Here is what we did ...


  4. Oh, how exciting! It makes me quite happy picturing your little one sewing today in all of this snow! Are you all home and cozy together by the fire?
    See you soon! p.s. I finally remembered to comment and it is fun! I need to find a way to get rid of my picture when I do. It is too silly!
    Love. a.

  5. I love this idea. I have an almost 4 year old (actually 4 on SUNDAY). I sew and craft so she always wants to help me. She sits in my lap while I sew and her busy little hands are not always SO helpful. I was wondering when and if I could introduce her to sewing and I love this method. Very sweet.

  6. How very sweet! I remember my first go using a wooden hoop. I'm going to dig for it. I didn't know they don't make them any more. You are so kind to set your daughter up for a creative life!

  7. When my daughter was 11 we saw a sign in a catalog. We talked about turning into an embroidery project.
    It said "Time spent with Grandma and Poppa....
    PRICELESS" and had hearts. My friend wrote it in her wonderful handwritting and I transferred it to muslin. I got an oval flexible hoop/frame. She struggled, but got it finished. My parents were so touched! My dad asked if I had taught her the "special" words Mom uses when she does needlework! I said NO! but she can fling her body back pretty well when she makes a mistake!
    J Ososkie

  8. Always so glad to find other people, who love to do hand-done embroidery (too much machine-done computerized stuff around these days). If you're interested, I'd love to share my non-commercial blog about needlepoint, one of my passions, with you. I also have fun working up diagrams, which I freely post for your non-commercial use.
    Thanks for such a tender post. You're building lovely memories.