The Cutest Little Terrorist sews …who knew?!
Seven years ago I got to meet my then 2-year-old nephew, J for the first time. I dubbed him the “Cutest, little terrorist” at the time, after he silently snuck upstairs, closing all the doors en route, and speedily attempted to flush my $70 Clarins cream down the toilet – along with a bar of soap, and a few candles thrown in for good measure. He also hammered dents in our new drywall, and scribbled permanent marker on my family heirloom yellow wood sideboard. This all during a short visit with us, and as I say, he was just two at the time. Charming little devil! I say cute and charming because you should see the angelic blue eyes and lashes-to-die-for on this kid. He’s also has a contagious smile, and dishes out enthusiastic hugs and kisses spontaneously. You just can’t help but forgive and adore him.
Because our families live on opposite sides of the globe, and travelling with kids is $$$, we sadly haven’t seen each other since then, until our recent trip to Sydney. J, now nine, lives there with his older brother and juicy little sister. It was just great for my little terrors to meet their Ozzie counterparts. I took some of my Happy Sew Lucky kits for his family, in the hope that I’d get a chance to whip them up before our Christmas dinner. (My SIL is a self-confessed “tart for Christmas decorations.”)
As soon as I set up the machine on the kitchen table, J was at my side with intrigue & questions: “What are you doing?” “What’s it for?” “What do you mean you designed it?” “Can I sew a bird too?”
Those are words to make a crafty gal’s heart skip a beat. So I started him turning my birdies right side out then stuffing them. He got the knack of the straw and stick technique in a jiffy and whizzed through this task with glee. “What’s next?” he piped up. OMG I was in love with a terrorist again!
Given that he’s a tad impulsive (!) and had zero experience operating a sewing machine, I gave him my LOVE banner kit to sew. Straight lines, more turning, a quick lesson on ironing, and some ribbon threading = all do-able with a bit of supervision. (I sewed the curved hearts for him.) I was amazed at his intense focus during the exercise. The kid was clearly motivated and into his craft. (In the gene’s I tell you!) And look how well he did. (I had forgotten to bring the cotton tape with the fabric, so we improvised with some striped ribbon we found.)
Now J was hooked! And with all our birds done and the banner up, we were out of supplies. I suggested making a felt stuffie and sent him off to draw up the design. (Sadly I forgot to take a pic of this masterpiece.) We went on a craft shopping expedition and bought some felt, then raided the house for stray buttons, piece of string etc.
The Robot, named MENARO (with an “O” shaped like a rectangle so it’s robot-ish, please) was quite the design. I was informed that it operates with solar power – note solar panel behind his head. (with white stitching, please) Lots of knobs and buttons on the front – each with a designated purpose. We made the knobs by cutting little slits in the felt and pushing folded strips of felt through. I secured the strip ends beneath by stitching around the “knobs”. On the back it has a rip cord for a parachute. We had a good laugh when we repurposed a piece of string for this – I’d just cut it off his shorts because it was bugging him. I did the embroidery and trickier, smaller buttons. J sat at my side art directing thread colours, button placement etc.
Once we had all the bits sewn onto the panel he got back onto the machine and slowly went around the edges. (I had to go over a few spots where he missed and left holes for the stuffing to escape.) Then he stuffed his robot up and sewed on the final big button on his head.. All around it was pretty successful don’t you think? He was very keen to be blogged about, as he seems to think instant fame will follow. As you can see he had no problem having his picture taken for the occasion. Def a celeb in the making! So drop him a comment if you’re in the mood. You can bet he’ll be looking out for them.
J, thanks so much for crafting with me. It was a blast. We’re going to have to work on some projects via Skype now I think. Oh, and thanks also for out-growing your “flushing” phase. :-)