Sew Much More!
In this age of instant gratification sewing is fast becoming a lost art, something that children talk about their grandparents doing long ago. Unfortunately, with the loss of the skill of sewing, we lose something that is not only an asset to the family, but also builds many abilities in our young children. Of the many talents that are acquired by a young sewer, one of the most basic of these is small and large muscle coordination - eye, hand and foot. And with age appropriate projects, a young adult will continually fine tune this ability and gain dexterity with an increase in difficulty of patterns and projects.
Sewing also exercises math and measurement mastery beginning with measuring and cutting fabric. They need to measure the body, compute sizes, adjust patterns and include seam allowances and hem lines. Children will be working with fractions at the sewing machine and in yardages, multiplying and using angles, especially in quilting. As the budding seamstress gains competence, sewing gives him/her the freedom to wear any style clothing that appeals to them, as they are no longer limited to the availability of what is in the stores. It also encourages the development of design and line concepts, such as creativity and color coordination, since the child now has the license to alter patterns and chose their own fabrics.
As a child sews a project he/she will develop character qualities. With the completion of a task there is the self affirmation of having “created” something. Sewing requires following directions and encourages finishing a project. Other character building traits include: attentiveness, perseverance, modesty, and creativity. Sewing provides a pathway to building hands-on skills that will continue to be an asset throughout a lifetime. As the children go on there will be many opportunities to utilize their talent as they repair, redesign, and/or remake ready made articles of clothing. As a child grows older they will be able to use their ability to save money with altering or redesigning clothes that they already own, or to purchase second hand clothes that can be repaired.
Along with all of the other benefits of sewing, there is also the biblical application. Right from the beginning when God made clothes for Adam and Eve from animal skins, sewing has been a part of the bible. Scattered throughout the word are references to spinning, sewing, weaving, and making clothing and tapestries. The wife of noble character in Proverbs 31 is one who provides for her family in all ways, not the least of which is clothing her family in scarlet, making coverings for the beds, and making linen garments to sell. A busy and productive woman is one who is pleasing to the Lord and to her husband. This is something that boys and girls can be taught at a young age, the love of productive life and creative work. There is also many places in the Bible where the people are told to dress modestly, and to hide their nakedness. That is one of the many byproducts of learning to sew - a person can reflect their faith and obedience to Christ by their handiwork and in what they wear. Jesus used many parables, analogies and stories in his teaching, and teaching sewing is a perfect opportunity to use biblical parables, analogies and stories that can be applied to both the task at hand and to life. Overall, sewing is an important life-skill that will contribute positively to many other areas of ones life.
JoAnn Gagnon homeschooled her son and daughter and taught both of them to sew. She now spends her time creating patterns and writing sewing instruction manuals for all ages and skill levels. She has devotional study booklets that go along with the projects and technique lessons in her manuals. You can find out more information about her and get a full list of her books at www.bunkhousesewing.com