Do you craft for your kids?

DONNELLE BELANGER-TAYLOR
Last updated 08:39 21/09/2012

Craft 1I grew up with a crafty mum, a knitting-sewing-crochet mum. She made most of our clothes and toys; it was cheaper than store-bought. 

Times have changed, and in many ways the economics of homemade have tipped in the other direction. Craft supplies often cost more than the mass-produced finished item. It's frustrating.

I'm by no means as accomplished a crafter as my mum, but I do love to sew.  It just... doesn't happen very often. Money, time and space are in short supply, and without a dedicated area, sewing is difficult to do in the short segments that three kids give me.

So one bonus of leaving the kids with hubby when I went to stay with my mum after she broke her ankle was floor and desk space - and unbroken time - to tackle a few sewing projects. Hubby also had some simple clothing repairs to do, so I left my sewing machine behind and planned to use Mum's.   

The highest priority was a replacement for Vieve's favourite dress. At a fabric store, she saw similar pink and white-polka-dotted knit fabric and immediately tried to claim the entire bolt. Since she's about to grow out of the dress, I figured I'd give it a try.  

By the end of the weekend I had four different dresses almost finished, but all needing to be fitted on her. The other projects were a pillowcase dress (modelled by Vieve, above) that I'd started for my niece years ago, a peasant dress in the same fabric as the dress on the doll Mum made her for her birthday (modelled by Finn, as Vieve was disinclined to acquiesce to my request), and a dress in cute cupcake fabric. I came home absolutely keen to get the finishing touches done.

Craft 2But my trusty old Bernina (seriously, it's older than I am, and they've re-used the model number!) had been possessed by something. The first time hubby plugged it in, it ran by itself, at full speed, no matter what he did.

I was frustrated that I'd lost momentum on yet another project, and I dreaded the cost of repair or replacement. It took over a month but, thankfully, a thorough service exorcised the demonic sewing machine for a very reasonable price.

On Thursday we were stuck at home with a miserably lengthy cough/cold/fever thing, so I got out the machine and finally finished two of the projects. There is something delightfully satisfying in making something for your kids. I find dresses in particular really fun, but I grin every time I see Finn wearing the 70s brown-and-orange-curtains board shorts I made for my eldest. Vieve fell in love with my first sock monkey, and Finn claimed the sock cat.

Sometimes it's the simplest things that they love, though; Vieve was transported with joy when I sewed up the sides of a piece of folded polar fleece to make a "pony sleeping bag". 

Do you craft for your kids?  I'd love to hear about the things you've made - or you could share a picture on the PG Facebook page.

 

A PG first - a competition!

The winner will get an item of children's clothing made especially for you, by me!

Leave a comment, and on September 28 a random commenter will be selected. I'll get in touch regarding age/gender/interests/colours/measurements before I head out fabric shopping and get sewing. 

Sound fun?  Spread the word!

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