Sunday, February 8, 2015
Last Friday, the girls took their first sewing class at the local fabric store. We had quite a lot of drama getting out the door (related to the issues they've been struggling with since day 1), then we encountered traffic due to a car wreck on the way, so we arrived just over 30 minutes late. That instantly answered the question of what I'd do while they were in class. It was only fair that I stayed to help and catch the girls up with the other class participants. The relief on the instructor's face was obvious. It actually worked out well. Whenever I started feeling impatient with one girl, I'd move on to the next and let the instructor take over. The result was that each girl got to iron, pin and sew for the first time and two got to use a seam ripper for the first time. All three walked out with a full size pillowcase that they are proudly sleeping on and something smaller that they sewed up after class when they got to dig into a box of scrap fabric.
It was very interesting watching them work on their own with the scrap fabric. Jie Jie clearly understood how to repeat what she'd just learned on the pillowcase and cut, pressed and prepared her fabric well. Her actual ability with the machine will take more practice, but the concept of design, planning and execution is clear to her. Sissy can use the sewing machine quite well but has no ability to design or plan so unless the project is given to her in utter clarity, she'll just stand there and stare, perhaps longing to participate but never daring to try anything on her own. Blossom is all about speed, never mind if she runs off the road. She'd put her foot down on the pedal and start looking around the room, not realizing her fabric wasn't going where it was supposed to go. I asked the instructor about this and she said it's common, just not in someone as old, but we all know that Blossom isn't developmentally on target (as are any of my older girls and Apple still to a small degree, remember, for every 3 months spent in an institution, they lose a month of development). So, it took some effort to get Blossom to dig into the scrap pile and more effort to get her to decide what to make. Then she was off at top speed, but by then the instructor and I were ready and slowed her down. She made something she really likes, a tiny Barbie pillow case with Tinkerbell front and center (thanks to my own cutting and design) and during the night, I made a little pillow to fit inside it. Blossom's biggest accomplishment happened in preparation for the class. She is now able to cut on the lines! Fine motor skills are hard for her for many reasons, but she's making progress and she sees it and LOVES it. I've always had left-handed scissors for her, but I was also able to purchase fabric scissors for lefties and they really work!
I took pictures of the girls in the actual class, but they are on my cheapy buy-minutes cell phone that I can barely use (I hate cell phones!) so My Firefighter will have to help me get them out. My computer doesn't recognize it as a removable device, despite a new driver, so I couldn't get them out myself.
I was inspired by how much the girls liked the class to look on craigslist for a used sewing machine. Instantly, I found one, a cheapy model that sat in the original box, never used, by the previous owner for the past 8 years! They wanted $70 for it and I offered $40. They accepted $50. Each girl put in some money and they are now the proud owners of their own sewing machine. Sissy got to try it out first tonight. Her after class project Friday was a tiny pillowcase. Tonight, I helped her make a rice warmie to go inside it. She went to bed with her own little warmer (which included a lesson on how to heat it in the microwave), very happy.