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April 19, 2011



I remember learning to sew from my mom. She had an ancient Singer. Before I actually sewed anything, she had me practice by running the machine without thread on lined notebook paper so I'd get the sense of sewing straight. Obviously there were no stitch guides on Mother's machine. My first machine was a Necchi and it weighed a ton.
Also, I love Jared's new pattern.


I gave my daughter a deluxe edition of Little Women when she was ten. Bought it for her when she was seven. Could hardly wait until she turned ten. She never read it. She was not a reader. Daughter of two voracious readers. But not one herself. Just a word of warning. Your mileage may vary. As for Jared Flood I was very lucky to take a class with him. What a pleasure. Young people like that just do not grow on trees. (Now I sound like I'm 90.)


I think that you should give Girlfriend the sewing machine. I also think that you should propose to her that her first project be a cozy for one of her electronics. That seams to be a really big hit for the kids I know. But hey also my nephew and neighbor kid made lap quilts around that age.


I'm into my second "serious" lace project and loving it, so that stunning scarf is going in my Ravelry queue!

I used my mom's 45 lb. Singer as a kid, too, when I fell in love with fabric, sewing and all things textile and fibery. When I was about 24, my parents got me a Husqvarna Viking Juliet, which at 35 I still have and absolutely love. Sewing machines have changed SO much since then, and I do look forward to getting a new sewing machine with all sorts of computery crap added into it.

I think a sewing machine is a GREAT Easter gift for an 8-year-old! And I'm still giggling about the "honesty" discount. That is so nice and so funny!


Loved this post on sewing machines and commerce.

I learned to sew on my mother's Singer (machine that folded down into a wooden cabinet that looked like a side table.) Let's not discuss some of the outfits I sewed:)

My own first machine was a Brother--a gift from my first in-laws. Hotsy (my Father in Law) smoked little cigars and they had saved up the coupons and got me a machine as a gift. The thought of it still brings tears to my eyes. And for years I sewed my own clothes, gifts, household items, etc.

Eventually I gave that away to my sis. And then, a couple of years ago, bought an inexpensive, but amazing, portable machine.

It still amazes me how much I learned from my mother during the years when I thought she didn't know spit:)


I'll see your 4 machines and raise a Singer 1939 featherweight. Of course, one machine is a serger, and one (ca. 1979 Dial N Sew) came through a house fire. The remaining two are my workhorses, a 1950s Singer knock off and a 1988 Viking. Really, it doesn't seem excessive to me...

The seamstress in me says go with giving her the machine, but maybe you could wait until she sees you make something fabulous and asks to learn. I don't really know, she is your baby, after all, so you will probably make the right decision. I got lessons for my 8 year old and 20 years later she loves to sew when she gets a minute.


I truly despise sewing... I'm actually quite accomplished/skilled and have sewn miles and miles of fabric... but pretty much hated every minute. However, that Hello Kitty machine makes me think I'd enjoy it!

Rock Island - LOVE!! I've promised myself I won't knit anything for me until those 2 wedding shawls are finished... that's just the kick in the butt I need. After all, as Mother of the Bride, then Mother of the Groom a month later, I need a new shawl too, right??

PS - let's pick a day and meet for lunch and shopping at our fave LYS with our fave LYS employee ;)


I have knit two of his Juneberry Triangles. Love that man.

I would give Girlfriend the Hello Kitty machine, and work with her to find a project she a. wants to do b. can do with your help. And show her some things she can do on her own. Potholders, doll quilts, then doll clothes, and people clothes. 8 is a rough age - some can handle it, others can't. I would have loved it.

I have four machines too. One of them works. I may get machine #5 next month - a treadle. I've always wanted a treadle. It's a sewing machine AND a work out machine. That's my excuse for the double treadle spinning wheel too.

Jo Anne Wetherell-Moriarty

That seems like an awfully big present for Easter, especially if she hasn't expressed interest in sewing. I would wait. Maybe you could gauge her interest by working on a simple project that she can help with. Then give the gift later for a real gift giving event.


Definitely give Girlfriend the sewing machine... and be sure to take her to the fabric store so she can pick out a yard of fabric for her first project! I bet if the two of you pick a project and make it together, she'll be interested in using the machine.


My Dad gave me my first machine when I was about Girlfriend's age - still have it, still love it. You deserve credit for the gift, not the Easter Bunny.


I agree with Kathy at Knitting off the Grid (great name!) and give her some fat quarters in her favorite colors, too!


I got my first sewing machine for Christmas when I was eight and I. Loved. It. My grandmother also gave me a bag of scrap fabric and I cut and sewed those little pieces until there were just strings left. I mostly dabbled in Barbie and doll clothing :) I think that machine was my first real experience with crafting and I have been hooked ever since!


Give it to her for Easter, but make it her decision to sew. No guilt trips if it turns out not to be her thing,but support if she's into it and wants to learn.


I got my first (very small awesome) sewing machine at about 6 - but I had been trying to make doll clothes with paper and tape.

I tried to give my oldest a machine around when she was 8 or 9, and it didnt' go too well. These machines look awesome, and I may have to get one for the younger child in my house (now 9) who is asking how to sew...


I learned to sew at 12 - I made my new baby brother's layette. That particular sewing machine was one that my mother actually wore out! I didn't get my own until I bought my Kenmore in 1969 - I still have that one and it works a treat.

Whether you give it to Girlfriend now might depend on how coordinated she is. I could knit and crochet at eight but I was not ready for machine sewing. It's super cute though - I'd have died of happiness!


Love your blog! My mom, who is not and never was a sewer, bought me a sewing machine when I was little. I had never sewn but had developed an interest in fiber arts as I learned crocheting from my Grandmom, who worked in a sewing factory for many years of her life. When she gave it to me I was happy but not jumping-up-and-down-excited. I guess my mom knew that my interest in sewing would eventually develop since I'd already become obsessed with crocheting and had made 4-5 afghans at age 9. I must say, she knew me better back then than I knew myself. Now I love that sewing machine! It lives in my studio as a constant inspiration for new projects and fond memories of my grandmother when she sewed.

tiffany kraght

hey guess what? i bought that exact hello kitty janome for my daughter for her 8th birthday, almost exactly a year ago. her birthday is sunday, and she has loved it every minute since! i couldn't see letting her touch my juki f600!!!

Paula Morales

Thanks for the kpixie link. I've never heard of the site but now I'm a fan. I ordered Jared Flood's shawl thanks to you! It's funny because I just started knitting my first shawl and I'm loving it. Can't wait to start shawl number two! And a sewing machine for Easter is an awesome gift! I would've loved that at her age. Include cute fabric and fun projects with it. It's an amazing thing when a parent can pass on a creative craft like that. It's a great bonding experience too!


oh my god...you are so right about the shawl thing. I think they are lovely, but never really pictured myself wearing one...that is until I laid eyes of this picture. The boy has photographic skills if I say so myself. So much so that I have just purchased the same yarn and have this project in my queue. I hope I love it when finished.

Just so you know Kimba the white lion was one of my favorite cartoons!


My 8 y.o son demanded that my mother teach him to sew when she came for his birthday. Thanks for sharing your source for a non-hello Kitty machine. I see a future gift option.

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