Friday, January 14, 2011

Goldilocks and Jim

Goldilocks is the nickname I am giving to the little girl who had her first sewing lesson from me yesterday. I was very nervous leading up to the appointed time. She's only six years old, for one thing, but she's been using a needle and thread (and even Scotch tape) to construct clothes for her stuffed gorilla toy and a naked doll she inherited. I hadn't had a look at her stitches until our first class, by which time I had come up with a few ideas we might pursue. It seemed wise to have a few projects in case her attention span was as short as I imagined from what I know of her from church.

I picked Goldilocks up at school and brought her here, so we needed to have a snack before beginning our work. Offering a child cake and milk sounds like something a woman in a storybook would do, so I felt very romantic about it, and I didn't mind changing the liquid offer to hot cocoa, it being a rainy day and all. This yummy marzipan cake came in a heavy foil wrapper all the way from Germany so that our Czech friend Jerry could give it to us for Christmas. I had stowed it in the freezer for such a time as this.

As it turned out, my student didn't yet begin any of the projects I had in mind, which included a 9-patch potholder, a hat for her, a blanket for her gorilla, and embroidering a dish towel. She seemed to want to get some clothes on that doll (poor doll doesn't even have a name), so we started on a skirt. I showed her how to plan for the right amount of fabric based on measuring the doll, and she took home a rectangle of flowered cloth which she had started basting along one edge. I will show her how to pull up the gathers and sew it to a waistband.

Earlier in the day it was raining when I first came downstairs and found "my" feral cat Jim sitting outside the sliding door with his fur getting sprinkled as he waited for me to feed him. I thought perhaps he would be willing to stick his head in out of the wet this time, so I set the bowl just inside the door, and went away a space. After some deliberation he did partly enter the house, so I took his picture.

I hadn't put quite the usual amount in the bowl, though, so he waited outside again after finishing it.  I added more food and set the bowl even farther into the kitchen. The temperatures have been higher lately and I hadn't turned on the heat yet, so I didn't mind leaving the door open for Jim for a little while. He came in again, and I busied myself building a fire on the other side of the room.


When I turned back around, he was sitting all the way inside on the rug, while he ate. But when he saw that I saw, he was greatly embarrassed, grabbed one more bite of food and ran out the door with it.

The sun is shining today, but again, the air wasn't too cold, so I put the bowl inside, and once again he came part way in and ate it. When he had finished and was walking around the corner through the gate, I looked out the door, he looked back at me, and I told him to have a good day. He switched his tail. So we have leaped a great hurdle, Jim and I.

This morning I've been researching flights to take me across the continent in about two months to visit Pearl and family. It seems that the two airports I want to use have almost no direct flights connecting them. I had thought that if I paid enough money or reward miles I could make the trip less exhausting. Now I find out that not much can be done to make traveling easier, and I'm suffering a temporary setback in my excitement. I will have to focus on taking healthy snacks, and on the wonderful reading I can do. But for now I'll just be glad I don't have to go anywhere today.

13 comments:

Marfa said...

That's wonderful that you're teaching a little 6 year old to sew. I work in a 4-5 year old class and find that they LOVE to sew, we use tapestry needles and embroidery floss and felt to start...

elizabeth said...

Nice... beautiful cat...

sounds like the girl was at least intrested in learning, this is great! :)

margaret said...

Thank you for the Jim update - he looks like a nice critter.

The first doll dresses I ever made were for little 4" dolls, they were rectangles of felt folded over and stitched up the sides leaving room for the arms to poke through and then I cut a little circle out for the neck. The drawback was that I had to remove the dolls' heads to get them on!

Jeannette said...

Cake and cats and cooked warm milk...maybe I need sewing remediation lessons?

Gumbo Lily said...

I'm glad girls still wish to sew. I used to make my Barbie clothes out of scraps of this and that with a needle and thread. Not perfect, but it was fun.

You and Jim did make great strides today.

Jody

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yes, it's wonderful you're teaching a little girl to sew!

I wish I could sew, but I seem to lack the patience for it. Can I come over to your house for milk and cookies and a sewing lesson?

And will you please keep us posted concerning Jim and his relationship with you?

wayside wanderer said...

Jim is beautiful. I would love to sit in on your sewing lessons so I could learn and be encouraged along with Goldie. That is a neat thing you are doing teaching her like that. ~Leslie

amy said...

It's very refreshing to read of a little girl taking sewing lessons! I would like to take lessons, too. I'm afraid all I know how to do is attach a button and repair a hem...I learned the basics in girl scouts many moons ago, but never had an interest until now to actually create something beautiful and lasting ...like a quilt maybe.

Congratulations on your budding relationship with Jim; I'll look forward to updates on your progress.

Pom Pom said...

I love the Jim story. He's gorgeous! My granny taught me to stitch but one of my friends and I made a great quantity of clothes for our troll dolls. I made more lists than actual garments but stitching is so earthy and good and I would have loved to have a sewing mentor like you!

Firefly said...

So sweet of you to teach Goldilocks to sew! And love the story of Jim. Good for you for helping the little guy!
Blessings,
GG

M.K. said...

Jim is beautiful! Keep us apprised of his progress. Maybe one day you'll post a picture of him curled up in your lap by the fire!

Sarah said...

What a special opportunity to teach Goldilocks how to sew and give her love and care. She doesn't know how privileged she is to learn from you!

Hurrah for Jim! He's making progress.

DebD said...

how lovely to have a sewing student...especially one who has projects in mind. I loved learning about Jim.