At the beginning of the year I made a plan to simplify, including a personal reminder to make more time for my family. I really enjoyed taking snow days in January and visiting the spring lambs at a local farm earlier this month.

Yesterday I wrapped up a marathon crafty girls weekend with my daughter, Bronwyn. She’s 13 and really wanted to make a gift for her friend’s birthday. They are avid collectors of American Girl dolls and accessories, and Bronwyn thought it would be fun to make some clothes for her friend’s doll.

I was about Bronwyn’s age when my dad (yes, you read that correctly) taught me how to sew. I had taken a class at school, but when my parents gave me my own sewing machine, I really needed help to learn how to use it. I remember how patient my dad was when helping me to cut out the pattern pieces and assemble my first project. I’m sure I wasn’t as patient with Bronwyn, but we had a great time picking out the fabric, choosing the lace and ribbons, and listening to hours of ’80s tunes!

Bronwyn discovered some patterns for Josefina available online (if you’re familiar with American Girl dolls, you’ll know Josefina as the New Mexican girl from 1824). We downloaded the patterns to make a skirt and camisa, a dress, and a night shift. Bronwyn even created her own pattern to make Josefina’s doll!

I’m including a few pictures of some of the projects we finished. I helped with some of the pressing and assembly, but she did a lot of the sewing and she made all of the design decisions! I think she did a great job. (What do you think?)

When I’m learning something new I rarely think ahead to the number of years I’ll be using that skill. I don’t consider whether it will become a hobby, or figure how much enjoyment I’ll get from it. But when I was teaching Bronwyn about sewing this weekend, I thought about all of those things. I hope that she’ll enjoy sewing as much as I have. (And in case I never thanked you properly: thanks, Dad.)

 Are you crafty? Who were your best teachers? Do you pass along what you know?