It’s The Process, Not The Product

by Christine@TheAums on March 2, 2012 · 12 comments

I spent the last 72 hours sewing. No, I don’t have any hip clothing, crafty quilts, or home decor to show for it.

What I do have is happy children…

and these stuffed thingamajigs:

Really, my sewing machine wouldn’t see the light of day if one of the Aumies hadn’t asked to sew something. And you know… Aumie see, Aumie do…the other three asked if they could, too.

When I handed each of them a threaded needle (yup even the 2 year old), I really had no idea that I would be putting aside most of my to do list for 3 days. While part of me fretted over this, most of me was at peace. I mean, if you don’t know by now, I mostly blog about never having time to blog, so it was perfect!

In 2010, I posted this rainy day project where I did most of the sewing work, but this time I was ready to hand over the reins. So I mostly supervised and offered guidance, and strangely this takes forever is a lot harder than me just doing it myself.

On Day 1, they made small pillows…either squares, circles, triangles, or…skateboards.
On Day 2 they opted for animals…bears, giraffes, and dinosaurs.
On Day 3 they kicked it up a notch and wanted animals in action…like the Pink Panther tip toeing:

Da-dum, da-dum…

The kids drew pictures of their project, cut them out, and traced around them on cloth. Through trial and error, they learned to trace bigger than their picture to allow for the seams, to sew with the right sides of the fabric facing each other, the difference between tight and loose stitches, and to use a chopstick to help stuff nooks and crannies. They learned to plan ahead, problem-solve, stay focused, and pay attention, lest they poke themselves with a sharp needle. Ok, they also learned how fun it is to prick their skin with a needle just enough to hold the needle in place like magic. I used to love doing this as a kid not sure who they take after there.

While their creations are hardly Pinterest-worthy (although I won’t stop you), they really go to show, it’s the process, not the product. The kids were happy no matter how their projects turned out, even if stitching came apart within minutes or it didn’t quite look like a giraffe so they had to change it to a deer. They were truly and simply proud of all their hard work.

When it comes to children and art, that phrase gets tossed around a lot…it’s the process, not the product.

But think of it in terms of parenthood.

It’s the process of raising children day by day, year by year. Because after much trial and error, planning and problem-solving, love and attention, I trust that the end result will be as great to me as these stuffed animals are to my kids…

Unique and perfectly imperfect adults, made and busting at the seams with love.


I’ve pulled out the sewing machine a handful of times to make:

Rainy Day Project: Stuffed Animals

Rainy Day Project: Clothes for Stuffed Animals

Cloth Napkins: A DIY Gift

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Runnermom-jen March 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Aw, Christine, great take away with relating the parenting to your sewn creatures…I love the line “busting at the seams with love”.
You are a great mama!!


Christine@TheAums March 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Thank you so much, Jen!


greta March 3, 2012 at 8:40 am

There really is something special about making something from scratch and seeing it to fruition. I can just imagine how proud your kids are! I was in 4Hthe as a kid and that’s where I learned to sew. I’m so (sew?) glad I did, and have my mom to help me when something is too challenging.


Christine@TheAums March 3, 2012 at 9:25 am

Greta, I would so love to kick my sewing skills up a few notches. I’m hoping by doing it with the kids I’ll learn more…or they’ll teach me someday!


Alison@Mama Wants This March 5, 2012 at 6:57 am

I’m so impressed!! And you’re right, it’s the process that matters, not the end product. That they learned so much, and get to own their project, that’s fabulous!


Christine@TheAums March 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm

They definitely own it…and they get so much use out of their creations, more so than the real deal stuffed animals.


Jessica March 5, 2012 at 10:27 am

I’m so impressed and inspired! I love that you went from talking about sewing to the process that is parenting. Thank you for this!


Christine@TheAums March 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm

You’re welcome! Impressed and inspired is a mutual feeling :)


Stasha March 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

Totally pin worthy. And I am not taking about the actual pins in the fingers. You are such an inspiring mom!


Christine@TheAums March 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Ha! I may have to go back and add a funny Pinterest caption to that picture! Thank you, Stasha…always a pleasure when you stop by.


Brandi March 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Totally in love with these creations. Man, these pictures made me smile. I can just imagine how the Aumies looked, heads down, deep in their creativity.


Christine@TheAums March 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm

The whole process of turning a drawing into a stuffed creature is totally satisfying…even if I’m just watching! Now I need to channel their creativity and confidence and make me some cute clothes!


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