Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Busting the Summer Boredom Blues

By Ally B.  of Design Rewind Fashions 

Lazy summer days are the things dreams are made of . . . unless you are a kid on summer break without a clue of what to do.   At some point we all hear those dreaded words, “I’m bored!”  

Sewing is a wonderful way to keep kids entertained, help them learn a truly valuable life skill, and give you the opportunity to learn a little more about how your child works.  

A few months ago I discovered Simplicity 8431 – a 1969 vintage pattern of zodiac transfers appliques.  

What I find to be the best feature of this pattern/transfer is the ease of making something children and adults will find adorable.  It is also a fun project to do during summer to give later for holiday or birthday gifts.

My middle school age daughters have not sewn much.  Since they both are fierce perfectionist, I wanted their project to be a little challenging for their skill set and yet give them a boost of confidence that sewing is fun when they saw their end product.  Keep this in mind when picking a pattern for a child or even for yourself if you are new to sewing. We all want our work to look like the pattern envelope – or better.   Vogue Couturier looks amazing but if you begin with items that are highly difficult to construct it is likely your project will never see the light of day.

Most children have an innate desire to construct or create.  The process of choosing fabric to the thrill of operating a sewing machine (“something grown-ups do”) gives them a sense of ownership in the project.   My daughters chose to put their transfers onto pillows they would make (Simplicity 8431 does not come with pillow patterns – it is just the transfer so you will need to decide how to use it.  Placing the transfer on a book bag would also look cute too).

Their pillows turned out amazing!  What I love most is the pillows are just one outcome of this project.  We also spent a really fun day together and they helped each other learn skills the other had already figured out.  They also were beaming with pride when their creatures started to materialize from all the bits of felt. Yes, there were moments of frustration but they were short-lived and now they have their own, very unique pillows.  Well, until the holidays.  They decided to make pillows for all their aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Below is a small selection of patterns available in Etsy shops from some members of the Pattern Patter team.  These have been selected for their ease of construction.  Do you love to sew?  Take some time to teach the next generation.   They will always remember you for it!

1960s Pattern Nightgown 2 lengths includes Pillow Case Pattern Misses Size 10
Simplicity 9740 Pillow Toys Monkey Turtle Cat Owl Can Be Pajama bags Elephant Frog Christmas Gift Uncut- 3

1970s Top Shorts Pants and Skirt Pattern McCalls 6019 Bust 32 Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Quick & Easy Separates UNCUT
On Sale McCalls Skirt Pattern M6327 - Misses' Pull-on Skirt in Five Variations - Sz 6/8/10/12

1970s Handbag and Hat Pattern Simplicity 9655 Womens Newsboy Cap Toboggan Purse Belts Vintage Sewing Pattern One Size


  1. Such fun patterns! We really do need to encourage youngsters to sew!!! Besides, it's fun to wear something we've made. :-)

  2. Teaching sewing to a child is a gift that keeps on giving. They will have that set of skills their whole lives.

  3. So fun! Glad your daughters are enjoying learning to sew.

  4. Well put! Anytime spent will our children is a true investment.