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4-Year-Old Seamstress
by April Henry

Today marks a note in time; a note in history; a memory forever to be ingrained in my mind.

Last night before SweetPea went to sleep, she looked at me and asked, "Mama, can tomorrow be a special day for us?" I nodded my head and smiled - then kissed her goodnight, closed the door and decided many things would have to be postponed....

.....because tomorrow would be the day. The day that she would begin to learn.


"Mommeee ewing (OH-ing)?" This was a common question since she first could talk. I will never forget the time when she was 18 months old and I was sewing late, late at night - repairing something for Hubby's hunting trip, no less. Well, she must have heard the whir of the machine and came out in her little footy pajamas and asked, "Mommeee ewing?" (she couldn't say her S's)
I got her up on my lap and had her 'help' me. Hubby seeing the sweet moment caught this picture. I am so glad he did.

She's watched me sew and sew and sew these last few years.... she's seen many, many machines come and go from our business. But, despite all that - she has known that there is a specific machine saved special just for her (well, two of them actually - a Sewhandy and a Featherweight 221). When she was 2-years-old she'd drag grandma and grandpa and Great-Aunt Thelma into her room to show-n-tell her "lil tineee-ewing-sheen" (as she would call it) . She didn't seem to mind that she could only look at her tiny sewing machine at that age - knowing that someday it would be hers to learn to use.

Well. Today is the day. Part of my heart is sad - knowing that those 'lil tineee' days are gone, but the other part of my heart is smitten with joy over her ability to grasp some of the new concepts. There was not one moment of frustration or impatience... it was a happy, happy time for her and me.

I asked SweetPea what she wanted to sew (thinking it would be something like a pillowcase, or blanket for dolly), but, no - she immediately, without a second thought, blurted out in excitement that she wanted to make something for "brother" (she calls him that) - a little vest for Sam Cobra of the Johnny West Action Figures.

What is a mother to do? Well, I let her at the fabric basket of large size scraps and she picked out the striped print. I quick-like drew a little pattern for a vest with the hopes it would be the right size and to give her a little flavor of the 'process' of sewing with a pattern.

She cut out the pattern piece, she pinned, she cut, she sewed, she even pressed her seams open!

These pictures will say it all.......

The Sewing Machine she is using is a 1950's Singer Sewhandy. We've had this one for several years now - Christian even learned on it.

I didn't say a word about the little threads stuck to her shirt - I thought that needed to be a part of the whole memory.


Even the stripes match ~ must be the dawn of a fussy cutter! 

"Brother" comes home in an hour and a half - she is beside herself with excitement and anticipation. The last thing she said was " he will just love it and be so proud of me".

That makes me want to cry....
***UPDATE*** Big Brother was genuinely pleased and showed sweetness that made both Hubby and me so grateful. Of course, he had to get Sam Cobra fully dressed with his black hat and pistol in hand.