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Sew-In Part Three: Maintenance & Flouncy Skirts

Welcome back to the Sew-In with Nathan & Sayley! These two kiddos are continuing  their adventures in sewing and creating their very first Featherweight projects! You can catch up on the previous installments here:

Sew-In at Home

This month, Nathan is learning about proper Featherweight maintenance and where to oil a Featherweight. Today, he was in more of a "technical" mood as compared to a "creative" mood. That is what I love so much about Featherweights. You sure can get technical with them! So Nathan and I looked up the Color Coded Oiling and Lubrication Points Chart here on The Featherweight Shop website and dove into an "oiling" lesson.

oiling points

First up, Nathan explored just how the Sewing Machine Oil bottle works. It was pretty sweet watching him pull open the spout and explore getting the cap off. 

The cap is off, and he wanted to hop right into oiling up the points on the chart. As with many young men, it is helpful to remind them to slow down from time to time. In slowing down, Nathan dripped a drop of oil on his finger, seeing just how fast the oil comes out of the spout. Now he knows the proper amount of pressure to use when applying a drop to the oiling points! Time to reference the chart and apply the oil!

He sure is excited to do this! First up is the hook assembly area. Since the last time we sewed, we have not oiled this area, so it needs one drop of oil (as Nathan just referenced from the Color Coded Oil and Lubricant Chart.)

Great job kiddo! Thanks for your help with the maintenance. You always amaze me with your intelligence and insight towards technology and maintenance. Thank you, sweet boy!

Now, it is Miss Sayley's turn on Gemma the Featherweight. Sayley has been chomping at the bit to keep working on her "flouncy" skirt. She can't wait to get further along. The next part we are working on today is measuring and cutting the waist, the bottom of the skirt, the bottom hem, and sewing!  Sayley is loving figuring out how to do this on her own. She is figuring out how each part of the skirt comes together!

First up, Sayley is creating her waist on the skirt. We recently moved to a new home, so some of her sewing supplies are still packed, and she is getting creative on tools (fabric pen.)

She decided to use a yellow marker from her school supplies and make tiny dots on the inside of the fabric (such ingenuity!) as she gently moves the ruler from end to end, making her semi-circle.

Sayley is making her first cuts on the first side of the waist. Such hard concentration, and a few nerves, to say the least! I think she was a bit worried she picked the wrong measurement.

She was pretty happy with how the first cut turned out and decided she wanted to use the scrap material as a pocket after we get further along. I thought that was a darling idea!

Now the scrap is being used as a hat! I wonder what else it will become?! She is back to cutting the other side. Sayley is as busy as a bee today!

We flipped both sides over and lined them up! The sides match, and it is starting to look like a skirt! Great job, Sayley, we are getting closer.

After the initial excitement wore off, I pointed out the square bottom of the fabric, and what that means on a skirt (that it will have pointy tips that she probably would not like the look of.) In brainstorming how to get rid of these corners, Sayley decided she wanted to cut off and round out the bottom of the skirt to make it more "flouncy."

Wanting to make sure both sides of the skirt are even, we used the first cut as a pattern for the second side.

Now it is time to work on the waistband! Using the scrap material from the original cutting of the fabric, Sayley grabbed a piece that she liked. We cut this down to have a couple of inches extra to go around her waist. Also, there will be a piece of elastic that will go inside, and the fabric will double over the elastic.

Sayley pops behind Gemma and gets her all threaded up and ready to sew!

She sewed the very end of the fabric and elastic together to help keep them in place. This helped Sayley while she was sewing as she did not have as many pieces to keep in order.

Great job little girl, you are improving so much since we started!

Sayley experienced her very first thread jam! Her expression was so cute. In the middle of sewing, the machine stopped, and she turned, looked at me with her big blue eyes, and thought she had broken it! After removing the jam, showing her what had happened, and getting it back up and sewing, I couldn't help but laugh inside. That will not be her first experience with a thread jam, but at least she will not think she broke her machine again!

Now, Sayley is learning what a hem is, and just how much it changes the look and feel of a garment! 

Pinning the hem of this skirt was a bit tricky. We ended up pinning a bit extra in one area, and a little bit less in another in order to create a smoother hem on her skirt. In talking through "why" we did this, and looking at how the cut was not symmetrical to the waist, Sayley saw why that happened. She also learned how to correct it too!

Sayley - you are going to look darling in your "flouncy" skirt!

Time to get back sewing. This is the first time Sayley has ever used or sewed with pins before! She quickly figured out how to remove them while sewing.

She is so focused, sewing, and singing, I do not think she even realizes that she is singing out loud. It makes my heart melt a little.

Sayley is having a significant improvement in feeding the material into the machine. When she first started, she would pull the fabric, not letting the machine do its job. Now, she is gently guiding the fabric, not pulling at all!

She is just finishing up her final stitches before taking out the skirt! So close, Sayley, great job!

Well, check that out! Your skirt is looking amazing! I asked her if she wanted to stop for the day, I could tell she was getting so tired, but she wanted to keep on going!

The concentration is real with this one! She wants to get as far as she can on her skirt!

Looking beautiful, Sayley!

Now it is time for her to get a little silly. She deserves it after all her hard work today!

When I was about to put away the camera and start cleaning up, she stopped me and asked to take these pictures. As Sayley puts it, the skirt has the flouncy layers she was looking for in the skirt!

My sweet Sayley, your vivacious spirit always amazes me, little girl. You did fantastic today!