Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Parenting

Sew, What Have You Learned to Make Lately?

It’s the National Week of Making.  What are you making this week?

About 8.5 years ago, my in-laws gave me the sewing machine I request for Christmas.

About 7 years and twelve weeks ago, I stored the sewing machine in a closet.

About 48 hours ago, my daughter took it out.

I had every intention 8.5 years ago of teaching myself how to use the machine.

In the time since then I’ve learned how to program multiple robots, use a 3D printer, make electric circuits, and Knox my daughter’s hair for synchronized swimming.

But I didn’t learn how to sew.

This year, my daughter took “Principles of Human Services” in middle school this year, which included a sewing unit.

As part of modeling a Growth Mindset, I like my daughter to see me learning new things.  So, I enlisted her help in learning how to use my dusty sewing machine.

Just to clarify, I have never. used a. sewing. machine. in my. life.

I learned a lot of new vocabulary.

“Where’s the bobbin?” my daughter asked.

“I don’t know.  What’s a bobbin?”

“It holds the thread.”

“Isn’t that what a spool is?”

We had several conversations like these.

It was a good experience because my daughter usually relies on me to figure things out – which I’m trying to rectify – and there were multiple opportunities where we were both at a loss just trying to get the needle threaded.

After I spent hours wondering why in the world any one would choose machine sewing over hand-sewing, we finally got the new/old sewing machine going.


Despite the attempts of our bulldog to sabotage the whole operation by pulling the plug out of the wall.


It’s possible he is a bit concerned about what we are planning to make with this machine.

Bulldog with Fabric

He has never been overly fond of us dressing him.

What I love about learning new skills like this is that they give me a sense of freedom.  I feel like I don’t have to rely on stores to have what I want – I can make what I want.  Can’t find the throw pillows I envision for my living room?  I can make my own (with a bit more practice). I think that’s really a huge part of what Maker Education is all about.

Now, I just need my daughter to take an Auto Mechanics course next semester and I’ll be all set…

1 thought on “Sew, What Have You Learned to Make Lately?”

  1. i just took to sewing last winter and found a new love in it. Several videos and blogs later, I have learnt to make kids aprons, tote bags, pouches, baby flannel sheets and a crayon roll. You can do it too.

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