Train up a child….

“Train up a child in the way he should go:  even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


Karoline sewing on her grandmother's Featherweight

Karoline sewing on her grandmother’s Featherweight


This Scripture applies to more than spiritual guidance.  Now a successful nurse practitioner, Karoline began sewing here at our home when she was 7 and has never stopped.  She was one of my daughter’s dearest friends from toddler days.  Karoline went to church with us and joined us for family vacations.  She was like one of the family.

After she graduated from high school, I didn’t see Karoline for many years. Recently, she moved back to the area with Benji, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Mr. Whiskers, an orange marmalade cat.   Yesterday, we had a joyous reunion and a fabulous day sewing on a special project for Benji.


K holding Bcr


Now can’t help strolling down memory lane, recalling Karoline’s enthusiasm and projects she had through the years.  And  the fun.  She was a really fun child to be around.

When she was made the new owner of her grandmother’s Singer Featherweight, she was hooked.   It’s clear now that a lifelong sewist was born at that time.  For sleepovers, she packed up her Featherweight just as routinely as she packed her nightie and tooth brush.  She and Rebecca alternately ate popcorn and sewed until bedtime, then resumed stitching in the morning.  They always had a sewing project going.

In my sewing classes, she made quilts,


K 930 quilt

making a twin size quilt on my Bernina 930


and a basic heirloom sewn nightgown.


K Elna

joining beading to edging on my Elna 7000


Along with 8 other girls, she made porcelain dolls on the back porch with my mother and sewed their clothing in the dining room with me.


K oriental doll cr


She made a puff-paint Noah’s Ark applique’ play outfit at a 4-H workshop.  That’s my daughter Rebecca,  pre-orthodontia, with the blue ribbon in her hair.


K and B 8n9


She smocked a Christmas ornament and then a lace edged collar.   She knitted a sweatshirt yoke. She loved needlework.

Then, on her 10th Christmas morning a new top-of-the-line Bernina 1130 sat waiting for her under the tree.  Karoline was over the moon!  Of course, most adults would be over the moon with such a gift, but her parents wanted to encourage her interest in sewing.  Now, 20+ years later, she is still sewing on that Bernina.  Clearly this gift has achieved its mission.

So after being away for many years, she came yesterday for some help designing and sewing up a special Benji project she had in mind.   Daily, Karoline walks her adorable pooch with this little pouch attached to the leash. It holds dog waste bags.


K holding B uncr


But what she wanted was a bag that also could hold her cell phone.

Karoline arrived carrying a tote bag with a tin of delicious homemade blueberry muffins (for creative energy, she said), two pieces of a charming Amy Butler print in vinyl as well as cotton, two unfinished quilts and fabric yardage for a summer dress.   We swapped life experiences and tried to catch up after years and years of absence, then finally began work on the pouch.

We measured and remeasured and made up a rough pro-type in scrap fabric.  Then we cut into the Amy Butler fabric.


pouch V1


The finished product is not perfect, but it is cute and adequate.  The vinyl cell phone pouch is lined with the identical print in cotton.  Two tiny pink buttons secure the lining to the exterior.  Attached to the pouch is an elasticized pocked with a deep pleat to accommodate the roll of plastic bags.  An opening allows the bags to be pulled out easily.


Benji and Karoline with her new Amy Butler dog walker bag attached to the leash.

Benji and Karoline with her new Amy Butler dog walker bag attached to the leash.


Version 2 will be longer with a larger opening for the bags and we won’t forget to insert the alligator clip before attaching the loop.

Karoline was pleased with the end result and looks forward to Version 2.  I look forward to spending more time with this sweet young woman I’ve loved since she was a baby. And I look forward to introducing her to machine embroidery.

Apparently, with sewing it’s often true that you can “Train up a child in the way he (she) should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Post Script:  Shortly after Karoline (age approx. 12 yo)  received her new Bernina, her older brother Albert asked her to hem his new jeans.  She tackled the job with her signature enthusiasm and sense of style.  Using her new spool of variegated jeans thread, she stitched the hem with a fancy decorative stitch.  Albert was not pleased.

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