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.
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…