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Teaching your Children to Sew

Today we have a guest Blogger.  Paisley Hansen who you can find here talks about teaching your children to sew!  Issue 4 of One Thimble includes a pattern by Jody from Jody’s Craft Creations which is an excellent project for teaching your kids to sew!

Best Ways to Teach Children to Sew

If sewing happens to be one of your very favorite pastimes, chances are nothing would make you happier than if your children also made a hobby out of sewing. Whether your child is already interested, or you think he or she would be interested, teaching him or her will be easier than you think if you employ these tips.

Buy Some Supplies
Before you start teaching you kids how to sew, you’re going to want to purchase some supplies first. Your focus should be on getting a good pattern book. Ideally, the pattern book should be appropriate for your child’s age, but any pattern book should do as long as the patterns are easy. Choose pattern books that are likely to entice your child. For example, your daughter might love the idea of sewing a slip-on dress.

After you’ve chosen the pattern book, you can purchase thread and fabric. Since your child’s first few creations aren’t likely to be very good, don’t waste your money on expensive material. Instead, opt for the cheap fleece fabric.

Purchase the rest of the required notions, such as elastic, fasteners, and Velcro. Try to go for ribbon ties, snaps, and Velcro instead of buttons and zippers, which tend to be difficult to deal with for beginners. If the pattern your child wants to do calls for plastic, it would be best to buy a little more plastic than required to make room for most likely inevitable mistakes.

The Sewing Machine
Believe it or not, but there is no need to purchase a special sewing machine just for your child. This should be music to your ears, because you won’t have had wasted much money if your child turns out not to like sewing, or he or she grows tired of it in the future.

All you need to do is make the sewing machine accessible to your child. Place the sewing machine on a table that stands low enough that it will allow your child’s feet to reach the pedal. Once your child is comfortably seated in front of the sewing machine, run thorough the basics with him on operating the sewing machine.

The Sewing Process
Some things you want to make sure you explain are that he or she should thread the bobbin with a thread that is the same color as the top threat. Take the time to show your child how to thread needles and the best position for their hands while they’re sewing. Tell them which stitch and tension is best for the job and why.

Have your child cut his or her own material once you’ve explained why the fabric and material have to be bigger than the clothes to allow room to sew. Allow your child to iron the fabric flat, which will make the process of ironing easier for your child.

Finally, show your child how to sew one section, and then let him or her take over once you think he or she has gotten the hang of it. Check your child’s progress every few minutes.

Once your child is finished with their product, go over the mistakes he or she made and tell her how to fix it. Of course, be gentle when discussing these mistakes, especially if your child tends to have a very negative response to criticism. Be very supportive of your child’s mistakes and help him or her learn from it. Don’t forget to highlight the things he or she did well.

As you can see, teaching your children how to sew isn’t even close to as difficult as it may sound. Just keep your child’s age in mind when purchasing patterns and materials, and your child should be well on his or her way to becoming a very successful sewer. While your child most likely won’t be very good at first, don’t let that frustrate you or your child, as he or she will see improvements soon enough.

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