Growing up sewing, I expected to sew for my own kids some day. Having sons put a different spin on it. When they were infants, it was fun to stitch things for them, sleepers and blankies, and all. But as they went through the toddler and small child stage, well, one can only make so many striped shirts and pull-on pants and still feel creative. Halloween was a fun outlet, as costumes are much more fun than little coveralls! At a certain stage they wanted skateboard shorts, and that is when I taught them to sew their own.
I was a tad bit jealous of my friends with little girls, who had so many more options for making fun clothes for their kids. Only on the sewing front, however, as I am enough of a tomboy-type myself that I was happy not to have to deal with the princess dresses and all on an everyday basis.
However, I have three grand-nieces, and sewing for them has been a blast over the years. Baby clothes were easy, and fun little jammies made great gifts. Princess dresses with fairy wings were a new (one-time) experience. Then the doll stage hit. I do not think I had made doll clothes since I was a kid myself. It was fun looking at the fancy, frilly patterns, but I was happy to see how much they enjoyed the active-wear and sporty things I choose to sew for the dolls. You can get a lot of mileage out of miniature fleece hoodies with perfect, tiny zippers.
Now the grand-nieces are getting past the doll stage. Two are firmly preteens and have their own sense of fashion and decor. I may have to shift to other types of gifts, but I have always liked passing down the joy of handmade gifts. As I look towards holiday gifts this year, I am stumped.
A friend suggested making them quilts, but I think they are not quite ready yet. They have delightful rooms that are well buried in decoration already. I have given things like beading sets and knitting kits for kids in the past. If they lived near me, I would probably have them each come over for a day of sewing something themselves (no sewing machines in their homes) but they are scattered about across the country.
So I am asking for suggestions. Any ideas out there for 10-12 year old girls?? I keep a very limited budget for gifts, but have a healthy supply of stash to draw from if I sew for them. I will probably resort to books if no great inspiration hits me. Do not get me wrong. Books are great gifts, but, well, I still like the personal touch.©2011, The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com.