Teaching kids to sew can be both fun and rewarding.
There are few things better than sharing something you love with your child. And if you’re looking for something creative and fun for your kids to do that doesn’t involve watching TV or playing video games, sewing might be the ticket.
If you want to teach your kids how to sew, here are some things you should keep in mind.
Consider Their Age and Skills
Not all children are the same. Something one 5 year-old can do easily on their first or second try might take a little time for another 5 year-old to get the hang of. So, when thinking of sewing projects for your kids, keep their age and skill level in mind.
You can start your child off with some simple sewing tasks, like measuring, cutting fabrics into specific shapes, and threading needles. If you think your child can handle it, you can move them up to some basic hand sewing techniques.
Get them some felt, and some thread in a contrasting color, and teach them to do basic stitches, like the back stitch and the straight stitch. Eventually, you can move them up to doing things like sewing on buttons and stitching hems.
If you think your child is ready to sew on a sewing machine, buy one made especially for kids. These kids sewing machines are much easier to learn to use than “adult” models. They are more durable and harder to damage. They are also safer than a “grown up” sewing machine would be.
Find Some Books on Sewing for Kids
Sewing books made especially for kids are filled with tips, advice and crafting projects. They’ll also give you an idea of what types of projects would work best with children of certain ages and skill levels.
Buy a book your child will enjoy either reading with you, or paging through on their own. Many sewing books for kids are made like giant picture books, filled with bright and colorful graphics, and instructions that are big, clear and easy to read.
Let your kid look through one of these books and pick out the projects they want to do. A child will be much more enthusiastic about a project they’ve chosen themselves than they would be for a project chosen for them.
Keep It Fun and Exciting
Make sure learning to sew is something your child really wants to do. If your child stops to watch when you are working on the sewing machine or hand stitching a quilt, they might be interested in learning to so.
Some might suggest getting your kid on a regular sewing lesson schedule, instructing them on the same days and times. But while that might help them learn to sew faster, it might also turn sewing into a chore that they start to avoid. Instead, save the “lessons” for those times when your child actually wants to do it.
This could mean several days, or even weeks, could pass between sewing lessons. So it might take them longer to learn to sew, and they might even forget some things between lessons. But sewing is supposed to be fun, so don’t turn it into something they feel like they have to do.
Some children will lose interest in sewing after 2 or 3 lessons, and that’s okay. If you try to force them to keep going, chances are that interest will never return. But, if you let them be, that there’s a good chance their interest in sewing will return all on its own.
Choose Projects Just for Them
Letting your child help you make a quilt might be a fun way to spend some time together. But kids will get more excited about projects that are just for them. If they’re making something they can wear, play with, and show off to their friends, they’ll be more excited about that sewing project.
Kids love toys, so making stuffed animals, quilted books and plushy mobiles are always good sewing projects for kids.
If you’re child loves dolls, they’ll probably be interested in making doll clothes. Not only will they have fun, but making doll clothes at home is much less expensive than buying them at a toy store (where clothes for dolls can cost nearly as much as clothes for actual people).
If your child loves a particular cartoon character, they can make a throw featuring that character that they can toss on their bed, or even hang on their bedroom wall.
When your child makes something they can interact with every day, it will make them even more excited and enthusiastic about their next sewing project.
The most important thing to remember when teaching a kid to sew is to be patient. Teaching kids anything, especially something like sewing, can be frustrating at times. But if you remain patient, and let them work at their own pace, the time you spend teaching your child to sew will be well worth it.