I'm a big believer in anyone can sew. I'm trying to bring my girls up with the same attitude and encourage their creativity.
This week my youngest has Book Character Day at school - where they get to dress up as their favourite book character. She has chosen Tess the Turtle fairy - who wears just regular clothes (easy), a pair of fairy wings (what little girl doesn't have a pair!) and has a turtle....oh...
So - when my daughter asked if I could make her a turtle - I suggested she make her own! So she did!
First she drew her turtle on a piece of paper :
Then I got her to draw the head, tail and a leg separately for the pattern pieces.
She then cut the pattern pieces out:
Then chose some fabric and pinned the pieces on:
Her 6 year old hands are still a bit little for using dressmakers scissors easily - so at her request I cut the pieces out.
She had to work out that we needed a top and bottom for each part - and then enough pieces for 4 legs (or fins)
Next came choosing 2 buttons for the eyes:
And stitching them onto the top part of the head:
Now onto the machine stitching! The head , tail and 4 fins had to be pinned then stitched around the edges - leaving a gap for turning out and stuffing!
Turning out and stuffing was lots of fun!
All stuffed and ready for assembly!
Each piece then had to be pinned and stitched to the main body - but facing inwards:
Then the other main body part placed over the top and it all stitched together - leaving the all important gap for turning out and stuffing!
Finally - she turned her turtle right sides out and stuffed him!
(sorry for the blurring stuffing photos!)
Final step was to hand-stitch the opening closed.
And there you have it - one cuddly turtle, designed and made by Maya - age 6!!
Now he may not be a very conventional turtle - but he is Maya's - the fact that she could draw and make the pattern herself makes him all the more special!
Aside from the fabric cutting, and the hand stitching it up at the end, Maya basically made this turtle herself. The machine stitching she could do no problem - I just stepped in to help when she started getting tired (a 6 year old's attention span isn't too long!) .
What crafts have you done with your kids lately? Do you let your kids loose on your sewing machine?
Just to update - I asked Maya - and she tells me the turtle's name is Pearl!
For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.
If you are interesting in helping your kids learn to sew, I have produced an e-book that helps kids learn to sew using a pair of jeans as the base fabric! Do take a look at my