Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Teaching My Son To Sew

If you sew a button on his shirt, he can wear it another day. If you teach him how to sew a button on his don't have to do it anymore. All 3 of my sons can sew buttons on their shirts and sew a straight seam in order to mend a tear. The older ones prefer to leave these things to their wives. Except for hockey gear. They can mend their own hockey gear. Possibly because the girls won't go near the smell. 

Yak is taking it a step further. Having spent so much of his life with me in my workshop, he has pestered me for years to let him sew on the machine. Yak started out with a needle and thread when he was about 5 years old. He had his own sewing kit, in a matchbox, with several colors of thread wrapped around old bobbins, a paper with a couple needles stuck in it, and a safety scissors. He would sew meandering seams on scraps of fabric and call it done. Later, I showed him how to sew on a button and mend a small tear. Finally, this year I set him up with my grandma's old factory model Pfaff.  This is the machine I use for sewing leather, heavy canvas and anything that might damage the Janome.

Historically men were the sewists anyway. Tentmakers, tailors, dressmakers, most were men. Yak has developed an enthusiasm for designing his own patterns and I want to nurture that enthusiasm quickly before it goes away. First he watched studiously as I sewed the drapes for his dad's RV. He noted the working of the foot pedal, the hand wheel and how to guide the heavy fabric under the needle. Next, I let him take a turn. First he sewed on some cotton scraps to get the feel for the machine and foot pedal. He sewed up a number of bean bags, which he sold out of at the Farmer's Market where we worked for several weekends. His next project was hand bags. I think the simple design, along with the sturdy upholstery fabric looks great. He ran into difficulty attaching the straps, so the project is on hold for now. Maybe this is a good time to encourage use of the seam ripper...

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linda skinner said...

I think all boys should learn to sew, everyone needs a button sewn on or a split seam mended sometimes. I also taught my 3 sons to sew as well as my daughter. My sons have all made wonderful quilts ans my daughter is a great sewer also!

mrsd said...

Linda, absolutely. And I think girls should learn how to change their oil. Basic skills save a lot of money and add a sense of satisfaction and confidence.