Children’s designs

I love crafting with my children. I love to hear their ideas. They choose crafting subjects that I probably would not, which stretches me. Their interests are different. We chat about their ideas and find a way to turn idea into do-able. They are forever surprising me in what they make.

Although I absolutely love this process, there are two things that I find challenging when crafting with my children. To start, I sometimes over-estimate their abilities.  I get it wrong.

Take this project for instance. I bought white t-shirts for them to decorate. They chose dye for some of the t-shirts. Next step, after much discussion, the girls drew the designs for their t-shirts on paper. TF selected a dinosaur and I drew his picture with his help (“It must have spikes. Lots of spikes.”). So far so good.

Next the girls traced each section onto freezer paper and cut them out. They selected fabric and ironed the freezer paper on to it. I showed them how to stitch the pieces onto the t-shirt so that the stitches were invisible. This is where they struggled and I took over.

My daughters would have been happier to blanket stitch. Next time I’ll encourage them to take that route and design accordingly. This time I was too wrapped up in the project and forgot they are nine and seven years old. The bullfinch would not have worked with blanket stitch, so too late this time.

We’ve now reached the stage where everything is sewn on, but the project is not finished yet. The next stage is truly theirs. They have fabric paint, buttons and sequins to add detail to their designs and I must stand back and watch.

This is the second part of crafting with children that I find difficult.  Not interfering with their design choices and approach. Being there only when they need me. Parenting! After spending so much time, sewing these little darlings, I’m going to find this next stage the most difficult …. to let go……..

… this space!

(Strangely enough, I don’t mind the mess.)

6 thoughts on “Children’s designs

  • Wednesday 11 April, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    i agree – it is a very fine line when crafting with children. it sounds to me though like you did a good job of helping when they needed it and then backing off when the buttons/fabric paint/etc… come out.
    although that in and of itself is difficult – sometimes i just have to sit on my hands when my daughter’s crafting takes a turn different from what i had pictured in my head!

    • Thursday 12 April, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      Picking up the camera and photographing them in the act of creating, has helped. I do have to remind myself not to touch their works of art when they are in the process of making it. Each project is different and some work better than others. Most are enjoyed by all, so I guess we are all winning really!

  • Wednesday 11 April, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    That was one of the best bits of Motherhood for me, learning to let go and just let them do their own thing also showed me I could just let go and enjoy myself too! Can’t say there aren’t times when our ideas don’t match and I did hide the black paint for a long time when they were little 😳 but all in all I think I am a much better person thanks to a little letting go…I love your T-shirts, can’t wait to see them all decorated with sequins and stuff – have fun! 😀

    • Thursday 12 April, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      I’m still trying to find that balance. We did a very similar activity a few years ago and it did not turn out quite so well. This time has been a more positive experience.

  • Thursday 12 April, 2012 at 7:36 am

    The T shirts are fab – can ‘t wait to see the embellished versions! I SO know what you mean about the difficulties of standing back and keeping the lid on parental ideas of how things should be. The interesting thing I’ve found is that often something unexpected and better than my original plan emerges but it can take a bit of “chewing feathers” allowing it to do so! Glad the hens came up with chocolate eggs on Easter Day! Those chicks are every bit as cute as they looked set to be in the making! E x

    • Thursday 12 April, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      I am completely impressed by AJ’s bullfinch. I was so busy helping TF, that she drew, traced and cut the fabric all by herself. I wish I had included photos of both of the girls’ design sketches. BL’s was a work of art on its own. I have a feeling that when she starts the embellishments, not everything will be included.

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