for christmas i gave ella this fantastically pink and very wonderful vintage sears kenmore sewing machine that i found on craigslist last fall. i had to learn how to wind and thread a long bobbin, but once i got it all threaded up it ran like a dream.
ella was thrilled with it! she immediately started planning what she would make first, and she decided she wanted to make a dress.
she drafted and printed the pattern herself, with my guidance, using the child's play patternmaking program by wild ginger software, she assembled and taped the pattern together with my help (i forgot to get pictures of that part--i was too excited!)--then i cut the pattern out for her. she laid out the patterns on fabric, weighted them, i cut. she did all the sewing herself. she even pressed the seams herself. the only part i sewed was the neck placket in back, which is fiddly even for an adult.nordictrack C2200, which seems very appropriate for a runway).
the edges are raw, the seam allowances and hems are all different sizes, but no seamstress has ever been happier with her own creation than ella is with this dress.
oh, about the homeschooling: subjects covered on the day she made her dress include: mathematics (measuring her body, calculating the amount of fabric needed); geometry (drafting the pattern, assembling the printed pattern pieces, laying out the pattern pieces on the fabric, assembling the pieces in the correct order and orientation); reading and writing (navigating the program, reading the parts of the pattern, recording her measurements, reading the pattern pieces); mechanics (threading and running the machine); science (the affects of heat on the fabric and thread fibers, interaction of the thread with the fabric for stable seams); art (determining a design for the dress, selecting a fabric that worked harmoniously with the dress design). probably some other things too, but those are the biggies.
she's already picked out her next project, and it involves: stretch velvet. LOL i'm glad my singer walking foot fits this machine.