Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sew together - Grow together - the book

Yesterday morning we woke up to grey skies, steady rain and a couple of coughing girls. Week three, day two of the school holidays, what on earth were we going to do? How on earth were we going to spend the day?

And then I remembered this treasure, Sew Together Grow Together, sent to me by Trixi Symonds, the author, a couple of weeks ago.

Sew Together Grow Together is a selection of hand-sewing projects developed over two decades in classes and workshops for children. The idea for this book was planted by parents who "can't even sew on a button" but wished they could play a more active role in their child's hand-sewing adventures and feel for themselves the excitement their children so clearly felt when they created something they loved and were proud to have made.
Sounds perfect hey?!

Trixi's projects are simple and completely achievable, her instructions make sense and are so child friendly that I believe anybody age five and up could make a go of them.

First our girls studied all the patterns in the book and chose one that they liked.

Then they gathered all the materials they needed, made space in the school holidays chaos of the kitchen table and got to work.

Miss Jazzy read through one step at a time, sometimes twice, and then they did it. Mostly Jazzy would finish first and help Pepper along.

Tracing, cutting, pinning, threading, stitching, snipping, turning...



This was my favourite part. We didn't have the googly eyes recommended by the pattern, but undeterred Miss Jazzy came up with the idea of using buttons. A little button glued onto a big button glued onto the owl. So cool!

IMG_9090 Ta-daaaaaaa!!!

Three little owls made from Sew Together Grow Together, by us. How great!

Just after I took this photo I left the girls and went down to collect the eggs. I asked them to tidy up a bit. When I got back half an hour later, instead of finding a clear table, I found Miss Jazzy deep in the cutting and stitching zone. She was so inspired by her new found skills that she couldn't stop and was taking them further. Using another project from the book she was making a treasure bag for her sister. Tracing and cutting and pining and stitching...

And without one speck of help from me, she followed Trixi's directions and sewed a bag. Then she filled it with treasures of her own and presented it to her sister.

Today she tells me we're pulling out the sewing machine, she's obsessed. Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Sometimes I wonder if my kids will ever love making as much as I do. If they will ever be the crazy girl with the basket full of wool at the picnic, the girl with the bits of cotton stuck all over her skirt up the street, the girl that fills every spare second cutting and stitching and knitting. Days like yesterday give me a glimpse into the future and I think maybe. There is so much love and creativity and satisfaction in making something by hand, I really hope I can pass a little of that on.

Happy days my friends, I hope you've got something gorgeous going on too.



  1. so great! I love that jazzy is so inspired, I would have loved these sewing projects as a little girl x

  2. I love it when the kids take on a project and make it their own. This book looks awesome.

  3. We've had coughing kids and rainy days here too. Perfect crafting conditions!! I think my 5 year old has the bug too. She just asked for a sewing machine for her birthday. :)

  4. I loved this post Kate. How I remember getting bitten by the creating bug as a child. How wonderful it is when you make something and it all works out as it's supposed to and you end up with something lovely.
    This book sounds great for children to gain confidence and I'm sure Jazzy will get so much pleasure from her new hobby.
    Jacquie x

  5. They look so Sienna would love them. Hoping you received my thank you email and pics last week of the beanie in your in box. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    1. I did indeed Kathy.
      I cried.
      I hope your sister is doing really well.
      Thank you so much for the pics and words.
      Love Kate xx

  6. How cute and beautiful Kate...what a lovely day to share with your girls. It is so cool when kids really get stuck into a project x

  7. Their owls are so cute. I think it is fantastic that they love to sew. I remember going through old garbage bags full of clothes that my mum was going to take to the op shop and pulling out things that I could make dolls out of and just drawing them out and hand sewing them. She used to scold me for cutting up good clothes but I rather liked recycling them into toys. I dont know whatever happened to them though. I dont know if Isabelle will ever be into sewing and knitting like me but at least you have 3 kids so that 1 might possibly love it as much as you which would be so nice.

  8. What a beautiful experience. Thanks for the inspiration- I'm off to crochet a poppy for tomorrow.

  9. Oh, how fantastic! Super sweet owls! This book would make the best partner with the sewing kit my nearly 9 year old possum is getting for her birthday! Thanks Kate. x

  10. What a fun time that making session was. Memories made, skills sharpened. Successful day all around. I love what they made.

  11. I love also this afternoons lazy-bussy with my daughter (while my sons are great outside-explorers ;-) And the owls look realy great!
    Jutta xxx

  12. I think that book might keep this big kid entertained very nicely!

  13. How exciting!! And I love the owls your girls clever using the buttons. Happy machining!!

  14. how beautiful! a few weeks back I finally got to pick up my sewing machines who were being looked after by a dear friend during our move. My daughter (who is 5) was more excited than me….and pulled out the fabric, and said "It's time I got a new dress"….we cut and sewed together and the whole time I just beamed with delight! Your daughters enthusiasm for craft will no doubt blossom from your creativity! That books sounds great too…just perfect for beginner crafters xx

  15. Oh I love this! It's how I was as a child and have continued on as an adult. The girls are learning skills and hobbies that will stay with them all of their lives,

  16. I have tears in my eyes after reading this. The other day my eldest, almost eighteen, decreed that she and her two younger siblings would make Easter cards - late, but who cares? - for their grandparents. I was doing some creating on my own and when I came down a few times to our equally messy table I loved the sight of a four year old, a ten year old and an eighteen year old all creating TOGETHER. Seriously, their Easter cards are amazing: a simple concept with a strikingly pretty effect.

    I'm so proud of them and know that they will be happy as long as they have that creative desire.

    Thank you for sharing.


  17. So beautiful! Sounds like a great book! Have fun! xxoo

  18. This is wonderful! I hope my daughter grows to love making as much as I do too. What a delightful book. I hope you have many more happy creative moments together!

  19. What a cute craft idea - we love owls around here! The bedtime owl comes to tuck my little babe into bed every night - whoo,whoo. I have an afghan just like the circle on in your picture, but in different colors. However, mine was bought, not made by me. I love it - its such a happy design.


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Visit my other blog.