Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A First for Finn

Yesterday afternoon, while finishing up a sewing project, I found myself with two lengths of polar fleece, about 8 inches wide and 30 inches long. I remembered that Finn had asked me for a scarf and noted that the fleece was just the color to match his coat. The part of me that likes to make things more complicated than they need to be then said, "Oh Hope, you can make him a much nicer knitted scarf." The part of me that is always working to be a better mom said, "But he could make this himself."

Finn had his parent-teacher conference at preschool last week, and one of the things that we took away from it was the importance of allowing four-year-olds to focus on the process rather than the product. Sean and I are both product people. Many a night Sean starts out playing blocks with the kids and ends up creating the world's greatest block creation while the kids have moved onto something else. Many an evening I deny Finn the opportunity to help with the trickier parts of dinner because I want something just so. We both have a tendency to initiate art projects that have a definitive end product rather than putting out the art supplies and letting him explore.

"Hey, Finn, how would you like to make yourself a scarf?"

"Do I get to press the pedal on the sewing machine?"


And so, for the next forty-five minutes, Finn made a scarf. I tried to be as hands-off as I could while still ensuring his safety. I may have hovered a bit when he sewed that one seam on the sewing machine, and I did set the machine to its very slowest setting, but he did press the pedal himself -- in a standing position.  I don't usually let him use my fabric scissors, but with close supervision he was able to cut the fringe entirely by himself. And I resisted the urge to go back and clean it up when he was done. It is perfect just the way it is.

End result: a scarf made with two lengths of fleece with a seam up the middle and fringed ends.

Bigger result: the proudest four year old I have ever seen. Mama's pretty proud too.


  1. Woo hoo! Go Finn! A seamster in the making.
    Is he doing Mace hands in the last picture?

  2. It is indeed tough to step back! I don't know if you have seen it or not, but here is a link to a blog that I follow. She focused a lot of the process of art instead of the product. There are lots of possibilities....


  3. Jodie - LOVE! Thank you for the recommendation.