Summer is a great time to start sewing with kids and teach them how to sew. Life is moving a little slower for most of us and it creates time for sewing moments that we may not get during the school year. I have been sewing with my kidos more and I want to share with you the tips that I have discovered for many learning to sew a great memory. (P.S. these tips work with older kids and adults,too.)
- Start with a actual project. Children do need to learn the basics of how the machine works but you have got to make it into an actual project that they will be able to have after. My daughter first project was an unbacked “crazy” quilt for her doll. All was she was really doing was learning how to control the machine, how to line up the fabric, basic operations, sew lines, and understand back stitch. She did not even realize it. She was focused on her project and she learned all the important things simply by repeatedly adding fabric pieces to her quilt.
- Let them choose the projects they are working on. This will go a long way letting them own their work. You don’t have to even give them many choices. You can simply ask them what they would like to learn to sew and then offer them a few choices. My daughter currently wants to sew softies and dolls. I went to my favorite blogs that offer patterns and downloaded a few. Start with the free ones then progress to paid for patterns. I showed her 3 patterns and asked her which one she would like to try.
- Choose projects with forgiving seam allowances. For example, it is o.k. if your child get a little off when sewing a stuffed animal or a small bag. Seam allowance control can be hard for even adult learners. That is why I encourage first time sewers to start with projects that do not have to fit something else. Stay away from clothing or doll clothing in the beginning .
- Briefly explain the why’s for all the steps in sewing. Remember briefly! Kids are amazing sponges for knowledge. They will remember what you tell them and it will help them feel secure.
- Make sure they are comfortable. They may not feel at ease the same way you do. Try different tables, or place a box under the foot pedal. My daughter currently does best when she stands and sews.
- Take frequent breaks. In the beginning my daughter would sew for about 20 minutes at a time. Then she would need to do something else. Do not push them past this or they will see it as a chore and not a fun skill.
- Let them make mistakes! Don’t stop them immediately or try to jump in and change it. Teach them how to correct mistakes and explain it. Mistakes are how you learn!!! Remind them it is O.K. and tell them you make mistakes, too.
- Cultivate their creativity!!!!!!! Just because you do not like their fabric choices, doesn’t mean it will not be beautiful to them. They see things that we do not!! My daughter amazes me all the time.
- Lastly, HAVE FUN! This is a bonding experience that they will always remember. Make it a positive, loving memory that they can treasure and you can too.
Go out and sew with your kids today!!!
Create creativity and make great memories!! I will be share our projects with you through out the summer! I would love to see what you and your kids are creating.
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