Category Archives: Kids Sew

County Fair Kid Entries

On the seventh day, God rested. His grandchildren must have been out of town.   Gene Perret

What a fabulous, fun day we had with Robert and Laurel yesterday!  They are all atwitter with excitement about the upcoming county fair and the entries they are preparing.

Their enthusiasm and energy far exceed the energy and time that their grandfather and I have.   I guess not making parents of people our age is further evidence of God’s wisdom.  But then, there was Sarah and Abraham…I wonder how they managed! Continue reading

My First Needle Art~Knitting


L knits

I know this won’t be a popular post.  But knitting was the first needle art I was taught and now my granddaughter wants to learn. So it’s what is on my mind now.

Most of us progress through many forms of needlework, ultimately focusing on a few with greater passion.  Seven year-old Laurel’s interest in sewing, quilting and now knitting gives me great hope that she will be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about a variety of needle arts.

About two weeks ago, when Laurel announced that she would like to learn to knit, she also confided that she thinks those ladies on tv who bang their knitting needles together are probably not  knitting.  “Show me how, Nana.”

I silently groaned, having recently donated my complete collection of knitting needles–all sizes, all length–as well as a few bushel baskets of yarn.  But not wanting to lose the moment, I pulled out a little  “craft” learn-to-crochet kit that included about 10′ of nasty red yarn.  With some rummaging I found  a set of size 7 circular needles that missed the clean sweep of  no-eyed needles.  And so we began….

It did not go well.

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Rick Rack Smocking at the Beach

three cousins at the beach

three cousins at the beach


Once again I share with you an upclose and personal view of Judy Day’s delightful creations  for her granddaughters. She never makes “a dress.” It’s always a complete ensemble for each of the two girls and their dolls, usually including matching hairbows for all and often coordinating flip flops.

Though the idea for rickrack smocking is not Judy’s original idea, her execution is always original and fabulous.  Enjoy Judy’s chronicle of the dresses.~~~~



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Come See~~2nd Annual AG Tea Party


Laurel’s Second Annual American Girls Tea Party is history.  After all the preparations, as expected, it was a huge success.  Last year the guest list was much smaller, but the past school year has brought a lot of new friends into my seven year-old granddaughter’s social circle.




All the girls are enthusiastic owners of one or more American Girls dolls, all of whom were, of course, also invited to the festivities.   As is so often the case, sewing projects played a part in this special event. Continue reading

Second Annual American Girls Tea Party

Molly in her party dress, ready for tea

Molly in her party dress, ready for tea


Last year, my darling daughter-in-law hosted a tea party for her very own American girl, Laurel, , and some little misses in the neighborhood.  She even provided gloves and hats for dress up before tea.



This is last year’s party, the first AG doll tea party. After plundering through the dress up box, they were ready for tea.


This week, by popular demand, the event will be repeated and likely will be remembered as  the Second Annual American Girls Tea Party.  Shelly and Laurel will entertain eight little girls and their dolls.




When I asked Laurel what I could do for the occasion, she requested that I make these hats for party favors.  Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and tackled the task with the enthusiasm and delight that comes only from meeting a grandchild’s request.  I declare that child could ask for the moon and I would try my best to arrange for delivery, probably through Amazon. Continue reading

Sewing with Boys

My dear husband took this picture. He thinks only the subject matters, not the background or a wadded up, dirty shirt.

Recently, when grandchildren Robert and Laurel spent the night, each wanted a sewing project.  Laurel, 7, made a sleeping bag for her American Girls doll Kit and Robert, 5, embroidered this apron.

Again and again I am so thankful that I have some blanks on hand for these spontaneous bursts of sewing enthusiasm.  For some time now, this denim apron had been lying in wait for its big chance to make a little boy happy.  And it did. Continue reading

Doll Sleeping Bag–Kid Sew



Grandchildren Robert, 5, and Laurel, 7, spent Friday night and all day Saturday with us.  As usual, it was a busy time with both children requesting a sewing project with me and shop time with their grandfather.

Bob finished a shop project with Robert, but Laurel is training for a children’s triathalon and asked him to “train” with her.  In Florida’s scorching July heat, they jogged and biked and twice went swimming with Robert.  Bob is a real trooper, but time (and energy)  ran out before he and Laurel made it into the shop.

I managed to do some machine embroidery with the little guy which I will post later.  The major sewing project was Laurel’s, this doll sleeping bag.

Once again, at our house, Laurel’s American Girls doll Kit was forced to spend the night in the nursery crib because the little doll cradle at the foot of Laurel’s bed is too short for the 18″ dolls.   Laurel lamented  the doll bedding shortage everywhere.  At her home, she has the sweet AG doll bed decked out with bedding I made for her first doll, Molly .  But now that Kit has joined the family, “She has to sleep on the floor, Nana!”  Outrageous!

Last month, at our cabin, Kit again had to sleep on the floor, just as she had at a recent sleepover.  So Laurel thought this would be a very useful accessory for her new doll.




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Make a Girl’s Pouch Purse



When Laurel and Robert arrived for a two day visit,  my little granddaughter was wearing the ladybug dress I made recently. While she was here, we made a matching “purse.”

This  is a nice little sewing project for a child, as the purse foundation can be a ready made handkerchief requiring just 4 lines of straight stitch to be finished.   Or it can be more elaborate, like a square with lace edging or bias binding and machine embroidery.  Note:  I attached the bias binding but Laurel did  the remainder of the sewing.

Regardless of your choice, you begin with a finished square.  Large squares make large purses, smaller squares make smaller purses.  Nothing tricky here. Continue reading

Kids Sew Jumpers

6 year-old Kennedy hard at work in her Mimi’s sweat shop

Few activities delight a sewing Nana more than sewing with a grandchild.  Of course, we encourage this interest in all of our grandchildren, but some take to it like the proverbial duck to water.

Six year old Kennedy is one of those ducks.  Not only does her mother sew fabulous things for  her, but her grandmother, Judy Day, is an extremely accomplished “sewist” who sews almost around the clock for her three grandchildren.  Kennedy has reaped the benefits of matriarchal stitchers and observed that it is fun.

The little Snow Princess with her doll–doesn’t she look proud?

This summer, she and her cousin Courtney spent time with their grandparents and loved working  in the sewing room.  The girls made matching sundresses and were thrilled with the results.   ( The proud six-year old cousins will be featured with their sundresses in a later post.)

Recently, Kennedy spent a week with  “Mimi” and “Papa” and was more than eager to tackle another project or two.

Careful planning and extensive preparations are critical when sewing with children.  Having years of experience teaching sewing classes,  Judy knew how to guarantee her little granddaughter’s success.

Her choice of materials and pattern were suitable for Kennedy’s sewing skills. Polar fleece is a forgiving fabric and the jumper pattern was the quick and easy Lucy from Children’s Corner.

For American Girls doll Rebecca Judy drafted a similar style using a bodice pattern from Martha’s Doll Dressing book.  It features patterns for dolls 13″ -19″.  Continue reading

Little Santa Workshop


turn-tube Christmas pillowcase for Cousin Mikey

Today was the official opening of our Little Santa Workshop.  Newly empowered by success in the workshop and at the sewing machine and puffed up with confidence,  Robert and Laurel have composed a very long list of friends and family members for whom they intend to make gifts.  Trying not to put a damper on their enthusiasm and generosity, I suggested that we prioritize the recipient list and begin right away.  So we did.

There are so many quick and easy sewing projects that I think Laurel just might be able to check off most of the names on her list.  Coming up with comparably simple projects for the 5 year old “shopper,” Robert’s title for  his woodworking persona,  presents a greater challenge.

Today, Laurel made a Christmas pillowcase for one of her cousins.  The turn-tube decorative hem technique is detailed in an earlier post  Even with her little Brother set at a very low speed, Laurel finished this pillowcase in less than an hour.  Continue reading