Go on and click. I'll wait!
Doesn't it look fabulous? Now listen, you don't have to be a sewing mom, a crafty mom or even a mom to enjoy this book. I would have loved a basic book for beginners like this when I was in college. That was when I first learned how to use patterns and needle and thread to create things (mostly costumes) and I am sure this gentle guide would have made the learning process less painful. Well, that and steel gloves!
Sewing With Saint Anne is the perfect book for teaching your daughter how to sew or for learning how to sew yourself. It was the inspiration for one of Sunshine's birthday presents this year. Her very first sewing kit.
Alice includes a handy list of items that no sewing basket should be without and while you don't have to rush out and buy everything on the list, I decided to use Sunshine's birthday as an excuse to put together a basket for her and also fill in some holes I discovered in mine! Needle threaders... so cheap and yet soooo easy on the eyes.
Since we do take a break from our more formal schooling during the summer days, I chose this month to start Sunshine with some of the first lessons. From "threading the needle" we headed straight to the running stitch at which point she was beaming to finally be doing "real sewing"!!
After seeing pictures of another little girl's lovely needlebook, the running stitch didn't satisfy her for long... Mommy, please can I make something? Pleeeeeease?
We chose the needlebook project since it allowed Sunshine the chance to use her new skill, but eagerly look forward to making our own napkins, scrunchies and baby blankets. I am looking forward to using up all the scraps I have been saving these many years.
If you are already a "sewing mama" then the extras in this book make it worth having on the shelf as a resource or just an interesting read. History, ideas, patterns, poems, tidbits of fascinating information, thoughtful advice, a glossary and of course... beautiful reminders to pray! You need to see this book! (And I need to see about a newer edition so that I can peruse that beautiful new cover close up! I bought mine when Sunshine was maybe 3 or 4 years old... you don't think I was a little excited about having daughters do you?)
I think what I love most about this book is what you won't find printed in black and white. The spirit of Alice's book inspires so much within the hearts of little girls and those of us who remember being little girls long, long ago.
There is a very natural desire in the hearts of most people to create even though that creative endeavor can take many different forms. Some methods of expression require more discipline or technical skill and for those, a guide is an invaluable help. My very first guide and inspiration was my grandmother. She introduced me to her domestic arts and carefully passed on the knowledge she had...for that I will be eternally grateful. This book acts as a guide too. It can guide a young girl through the basic steps of learning to sew completely on her own with detailed illustrations and very well written instructions. It inspired us to spend some time looking, listening and loving, as well.
We read together. We sewed together. We created together!
She asked me about the crafts I learned when I was a girl. I told her about my grandmother and the simple things she taught me. Simple embroidery, simple crocheting... simply wonderful time spent together! What started with a running stitch ended with hours of sharing bound together not just with thread, but with love.
When Sunshine discovered that you could create pictures with needle and thread, she sat down and decorated this handkerchief for Husband's upcoming birthday. He usually carries one in his pocket, but I think this one will be saved for a special day in the future when only the tears shed after "giving her away" will be worthy enough.