Amelia’s First Sewing Project

Phyllis Lifestyle 27 Comments

After I wrote the blog post last week about my quilting projects, I received a very special surprise. Amelia came for a visit, and I had planned our activities, but she had other ideas. She came in (while still in her gown) and announced that she was going to make a quilt for her new doll. I could have jumped for joy. She decided she would go through fabric and make a quilt.

As luck would have it, I had a stack of small squares already cut that I quickly grabbed, hoping that she would like these. She went through and picked out her favorites. She arranged them in the order she wanted and then proceeded to pin them together. Pinning was her new task, and she used many, many pins. Then she said the magic words to a sewing grandmother, “Gigi, I want a sewing machine so I can make dresses for my dolls.” I told her when she was a little older we would definitely be buying one.


My mom taught me to sew, and it will give me great pleasure teaching her when she is a little older. I can hardly wait.

Do you have any fond sewing memories?


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Comments 27

  1. When I was in fifth grade, I joined the 4-H Club at my school. I chose two catergories to participate in which were Sewing and Handicrafts. I was interested in sewing because my Mom had always sewn mine and my older sister’s dresses. I remember her staying up late and sewing many nights. In my first year in 4-H Sewing, I had to make a head scarf with ties. Mine was solid yellow with a pretty lace edging. I won a first place ribbon. My Mom’s sewing machine was right off from the kitchen so while my Mom was cooking for our family, she was right there to guide me and answer all my questions. The second year project was an apron, then a pantsuit, etc. I stayed in 4-H for five years always including sewing every year. As the projects got more complicated, my Mom was right there to help me learn to read patterns if I had a question. I told my parents that I wanted a sewing machine for Christmas in the sixth grade. That would have been around 1967. Sure enough, “Santa” came through with a Kenmore sewing machine in a wooden cabinet! It was a heavy, metal machine well built and the cabinet was real wood. My parents paid $75 for it on sale. It could do straight and zig-zag stitches and button holes and had a zipper attachment. I kept it and used it for a long time and it never broke, but I lost it, cabinet and all in Hurricane Katrina. Now I have a portable one in a case in my closet. Unfortunately, I don’t have alot of time these days to sew much, but hope to again, one day. There were five children in my family and my Mom taught all three of the girls to sew. It seems to be a lost art today for many, but it is a wonderful talent to have. I hope to teach my grandaughter one day,
    when we both have the time. I am so thankful that my Mom taught us to sew.

  2. I can relate to 4 ft 1, that is how tall I am. Thank goodness they are starting to have petite short now. helps not to have to alter everything.

  3. I took sewing in high school, I learned to sew my own clothes. I had 4 daughters, sew there dress etc. I sew for my church during the holidays. I had 6 granddaughters first, I made them dresses, n the holidays I made them aprons for the kitchen for baking. I made baby quits (at least 5) for winter. they still have them. If any sewing is need they come to momo,mending etc. No one else sews in the family!!!I had the pleasure making my
    great-grandson a blanket, pillow case to match for day care, when he started. for nap time.(Superman of course!)

    Being 4’11 I had a tailor my clothes to fit. I am moving n now I will have my own Sewing Room!!!!!

  4. How wonderful to be able to pass these skills down to the next generations. I taught home economics and the students groaned when I said we would be sewing, I always had over 60% boys) in the class. When we got started people would come in and say are those the same students you always had, they loved it. The boys were great with the sewing machines. The other thing they really liked was our section on manners. We looked up things in books, the computers and I had videos for them to view. Afterwards, they were required to make a manners pamphlet and even embellish it, they had guidelines for the grades. I didn’t go to work until I was 45 and taught the dreaded middle school children. I loved every bit of my twenty years of teaching and that was an age group that kept you young.

  5. I learned to sew at an early age. My mother made all of my and my siblings clothes when we were little. She also made all my doll clothes and “Barbie’s” entire wardrobe. I use to love to go shopping for fabric with her and looking through the pattern books. When I was very young she taught me to sew by hand and I began making my own doll clothes. I remember getting my first sewing machine at the age of 10. I was so excited! I still have that sewing machine today 46 years later. I love that you are sharing your love of sewing with Amelia. Your making memories she will cherish for ever.

  6. Our five-year-old Granddaughter was to spend the night and I called to ask what she would like for me to get her at the grocery store. She said, “YaYa, you won’t get me what I want.” And, of course, I said I would get whatever she wanted. She said, “I want a sewing machine.” I told her Publix didn’t sell sewing machines but for her birthday you’d better believe she got a sewing machine. XOXO, Sally

  7. My mother taught me to sew when I was 8 years old. I remember my first project was a pink and green floral robe. I made almost all of my clothes during high school and even made clothes and prom dresses for a friend. If I wanted something new to wear to school the next day, I would make it that night. I bought a Sears sewing machine for graduation and used it for 30 years until they no longer made parts for it. Today I mostly sew for the house making draperies and such but look forward to the day when I have a little granddaughter to sew for. I took smocking and french sewing classes before my child was born but having a little boy led to making Batman and Captain Planet costumes instead of smocked dresses. I still have clothes I made by hand for my Barbie doll prior to learning how to use a machine. I’m so thankful to have this skill that my mother so patiently taught me.

  8. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with your little one. It is so much fun to share our talents with the younger generation, especially the grandkids.

  9. Gigi, will you teach me to sew, too? 😉 My mother-in-law bought me a sewing machine about six years ago. I didn’t get past learning how to thread the needle! I still have fabric pinned with an apron pattern…but I never did any actual sewing. I am so amazed by all the beautiful things my friends and family make, and I dream about someday being able to create such special things. For Christmas this year, I think I am going to give myself sewing lessons. That would be a true treat!

    So good to see you a couple of weeks ago. We hope to do it again soon and have a little more time to hear about all you are up to right now. It is always wonderful to hear what’s going on at Hoffman Publishing! Michael misses you dearly! X0X0

  10. How sweet! I have no problem imagining how your heart must have burst with joy, not to mention a bit of pride afterwards for a job well done by such a young seamstress. I think this Christmas would be a perfect time to get her a sewing machine. Janome has, or used to have, a 3/4 Hello Kitty machine which is based on their Jem Gold machine. This machine has been very popular with quilters because it only weighs 12 pounds. It would be a machine that she could use now and even into adulthood (yes, I do have one myself). If you can find one, they should be around $100-$125 give or take. There’s even a smaller one that weighs 5 pounds, but I would go ahead and get her the bigger one as it will carry her further.

    Oh, by the way, you did know that little girls were once expected to have a quilt made to show on their 5th birthday, at least those who grew up in the Appalachian Mtns. That tidbit comes from the book “A People and Their Quilts” by John Irwin Rice. So, go ahead. Get that girl a machine! There’s no time like the present!

  11. My mother taught me to sew when I was twelve. My home economics teacher continued to teach me through middle school and high school. I sewed my wardrobe as well as making clothes for my sons and daughter. I was so honored when my daughter became engaged and asked if we could look for a pattern so I could sew her wedding gown. Her gown was a beautiful vision of satin and lace. My oldest son became engaged and my soon to be daughter-in-law asked if I would make her wedding gown. I am so lucky to have learned the art of sewing at a young age. My love of sewing continues and I enjoy making clothes for my grandchildren. I hope some day one of my granddaughters will walk down the aisle in one of the wedding gowns I created with love.

  12. My sweet grandmother, my namesake, taught me to make doll clothes by hand when I was about 8 years old. My Barbie was the best dresses Barbie in school. She instilled in me a love of sewing. I bought my first sewing machine when I was 18 and spent many hours making my clothes until my girls came along and then I sewed for them. There is not a time when I sit at my machine and don’t think of my grandmother. One of my daughters now sews and knits. I was so fortunate to have this amazing lady in my life. What a legacy!

  13. My Mother brought the sewing machine, which she didn’t know how to use into their marriage, but my DAD taught me how to use it. Now on my third one ( and first new one) I can do much more WITH this one, but still pretty much straight sew…now learning quilting

  14. The memories that tie my heart in knots are…..time spent with grandchildren Noah, Joshua, Amelia and Evelyn making gingerbread houses sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, crafts, drawing pictures or just sitting anytime listening to what’s going on in their lives. And with the girls, having a Tea Party (complete with gloves, hats and scarfs they choose from my collection. I WISH I could sew. I soooo loved your blog and pictures! I can not sew a stitch! But it’s never too late at 69….. I can hear you say. So, never say never.

  15. That is so special! I asked my 6 year old granddaughter what she wanted Santa to bring her and you will never guess what she said,a sewing machine! I hope to help teach her how to sew and have some special times!

  16. I have fond memories sewing for my dolls when I was a child growing up in Sicily. I used to use scraps of left over material and I used to make clothes and accessories for my dolls. I was too young to use a sewing machine so I would sew by hand. I was also into embroidering, I remember making a drawing on a white piece of cloth and embroidering it, using different stitches. I really enjoyed doing that and I hope someday, I’ll have the time to get back to sewing and embroidering again!

  17. My 8 yr old boy and 5 yr old girl learned to sew this summer after begging me, and I was delighted to teach them! My mom taught me to sew, and I have spent many hours using those skills. I am thrilled to pass the know-how and enjoyment along to my children, too. They also asked for, and received, crochet and knitting lessons. To quote my son, “Knitting is the best thing ever!”

  18. How adorable. I remember when my mother began to teach me to sew. I couldn’t wait to do it and I still feel the same way at age 66! It looks as though she will have the same love!!!!!!

  19. That is really wonderful. My daughter turns 8 on Sunday. She is receiving a sewing machine for her birthday. I was beyond delighted when she asked for one.

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