Allen’s Monorail


Allen’s Monorail

Another sewing story from the week involves my friend Allen (four years old) and his mom, two very regular visitors to the Museum. I have known Allen’s family since before he was born. He seems to have inherited his older brothers sense for planning. He comes in every week (sometimes twice a week) with his mom after preschool and he always has a plan for what he wants to make or explore. This week he wanted to build a monorail (like the ones at Disney World). Allen likes to use tape and cardboard and other recycled materials to create things. But on this day I decided to prompt him to try something different. I asked him to try and make a monorail out of fabric so that we could practice sewing as a form of attachment. He was hesitant at first but warmed up to the idea after he found a piece of fabric that he could draw on. He used a pen to draw the shape of the monorail and then he and his mom worked on cutting the shape out. After that we concluded that the fabric was kind of flimsy; so I suggested that we try stitching the piece of fabric to a piece of cardboard. We quickly found out that it was too hard to simply push the needle through the fabric and cardboard. I was then able to show Allen a new tool; a spring-loaded punch. We used this to punch some holes around the perimeter of the fabric and the cardboard. This series of holes made it much easier for Allen to understand where to stitch up and down with his needle and thread. All even noticed that there was a pattern to the stitches as we were sewing. Up, down, up, down, up, down; from one hole to the next. In the end Allen was happy to have a monorail to take home. I was happy that he tried something new.



Kevin is a teacher by trade. He loves dinosaurs, sloths and magnets.

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