Today marks one of my proudest moments as a home educator: Jenson made his very own 'fairy tooth pillow' as he calls it. He got the idea originally from watching Creative Galaxy, a children's art programme on Amazon. I quite like the show. The lead character is a little alien called Arty and with the help of his friends they visit the creative galaxy to find art materials for all their latest crazy craft projects! However, whereas the producers use the wonderful world of animation to fix all their amazing creations together, we come a bit unstuck when Jenson wants to recreate the ideas with layman's tools such as paper, glue and scissors! Bring back Art Attack I say!
So we began with the simple task of cutting out a square. His first attempt was a bit on the small side so I suggested we crease an A4 piece of paper diagonally to form a square. This he got. Next I explained how we needed to transfer the paper shape onto fabric. We took out pencil and ruler and I had him marking dashes along the edges we needed to cut along.
Next up. Pins! Jenson was trustworthy enough with them but it gets exciting when you add in the potential three year old, "Ooh this is interesting I'll put this in my mouth" and dog with soft pin cushion like paws! I showed him how to pin the two pieces of fabric together first and then he had a go. After the second or third pin he was getting the hang of it. Next up, the sewing machine!
The sewing machine was definitely the big pull factor for Jenson in this whole task! All throughout the cutting, measuring and pinning the same words kept cropping up, "When am I going to sew Mummy!?"
My sewing machine is archaic as sewing machines go, but it still performs its job well. I however had to delve deep into my memory banks to recall the technical terminology for some of the parts! I explained what the foot pedal did, told him where to find the bobbin and showed him how to thread the needle up. Luckily for us the bobbin needed winding on, (cue Wind The Bobbin Up) and so I also showed him how to do that. I've no idea how much of this has stuck but one can only try.
He did a few test runs on some black fabric to get the feel of the machine and to see what happens when you floor the foot pedal to the ground, (quite a lot by all accounts!) We tried doing straight stitches and zig zags. He found the whole thing fascinating. He loved it!
After a few dry runs we got stuck into the real thing. He'd chosen striped fabric for his pillow and I was thankful in hindsight as it made for an easy line to follow. With guidance from me to start with, he soon had a feel for the foot pedal and was controlling it nicely. He fed the fabric gently through the machine, without pulling or rucking it. For a first attempt and 'cause he is only 5 I was remarkably impressed, not only at his ability but also his patience and perseverance. He stuck at the job for an hour and a half from start to finish.
Once sewn we then had to turn it inside out. Next we got onto designing the motif. Similar to the pattern we cut for the pillow itself, he drew a tooth that we would then transfer to fabric. I loved the eyes and mouth, "With tooth missing Mummy!" I must admit that I did most of the sewing and cutting of this small and tricky shape. I did explain to Jenson everything I was doing and why so at least he could understand. It was all done by hand and not machine.
Next up, stuffing! That was easy.
And finally there was the simple task of using velcro to stick the tooth to the pillow before finishing it off with a pair of goggly eyes. Now all we need is that wobbly tooth of his to fall out!