My 9 year old grandson was asked at school to make a present for his secret Valentine. He was pleased to find out it was a girl he liked and he knew exactly what present he wanted to make her.
“What present? his Mother asked. “What present do you want to make?”
“A purse” he said. “I want to make her a purse”
“Are you sure” his Mother said. “You will have to learn how to sew”
“I am sure” he said. “I want to make her a purse”
So my daughter asked me to show him how to use my old sewing machine so he could make his purse.
A difficult task, I thought. All that threading the needle, spooling the bobbin, holding the fabric straight as it speeds under the needle, putting his little foot on the pedal at just the right pressure.. but I said “I would love to. I would love to help him make his purse.”
So today we visited the fabric store. The boy and his brother wandered the store looking at all the large rolls of fabrics. Old lady fabrics, big patterned fabrics, fluffy fabrics, silky fabrics. We looked at all the colored buttons and ribbons and trims.
“What colors do you think your friend likes?” I asked. “Close your eyes and think of her and think what colors she reminds you of”
“Blues and Greens” said the boy.
After walking up and down the many isles looking at rows and rows of fabric rolls he finally chose just the right fabric. Blues, greens and pinks- patchwork style. Perfect! Then he chose little green heart shaped buttons and a pink flower decal and matching trim.
We headed off home and I pulled out the old sewing machine case and we began to set it up on the table.
I showed him how to spool the bobbin. He was fascinated. “Let me do that” he said. The bobbin spun around so fast as he put his little foot on the pedal. He lowered his head as he concentrated on winding the thread from the bobbin into its little silver case and inserting it into the machine. "I like doing things like this" he said.
Next was threading the needle. With this done I showed him how to hold the fabric and push the pedal and sew the seams. He was marvelous. He finished off the seams with a zig zag stitch.. then trimmed the sides with the scissors - like he had been sewing for all of his nine years.
He asked his 10 year old brother who was helping him guide the fabric "Does this machine use batteries?" "No, said his brother "It has a plug in the wall".
He smiled happily as we turned the bag inside out and he saw how wonderful the bag was coming together. He carefully lay the buttons and the flower onto the bag all ready for the next stage.
He threaded the needle and I showed him how to sew on the buttons by pushing the needle in one hole and out the other. Done..
He glued on the flower decal and the velcro and the bag was done.
With the bag in his hands I took him home.
“Look Dad” said the little boy. As he showed him his purse.
“No way” said his Dad. “You made this”
“Yes” said the boy. “I made it”
It takes a child sometimes to remind us that all it takes is a vision and the will to make our desires a reality.
The boy had his vision. It was a girls purse. He knew what size. He knew what color. He knew what the girl would like. There was never a question that it could be done. And he did it.
It was a good day.
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Causes Leonie Mateer Supports
St Judes Children's Research Foundation
Conservation international Foundation
Breast Cancer Research Foundation