Sewing is an incredible skill for your children to acquire that can be used throughout their lives. No matter what age they are, there is a sewing technique they can safely try out. It is a brilliant creative outlet where they can experiment, customise and make their own clothing and toys. If your children have expressed an interest in sewing, you should encourage them to explore the many possibilities it has to offer. Even if you are not an expert sewer yourself, learning how to sew together can be an enriching experience you can both learn from. Here are four simple steps that can help you teach your kids to sew with ease.
Start with hand sewing
Even though your children may want to make a new top or Halloween costume right now, they need to master some basics sewing first. Hand sewing can teach your kids how to thread a needle, work with fabrics and some basic stitches. It also gives them a chance to express themselves and experiment without having to be too neat and tidy. You can draw a simple picture onto a piece of card and get them to sew on top of the lines. This will get them used to holding the needle and create a stable surface for them to work with. Or you can show them how to join two pieces of fabric together, by putting them face to face and stitching across the top. You can get child-friendly needles from most craft shops so they won’t hurt their delicate hands when sewing. To make the process even easier, you should use bright colours and thicker thread and use fabrics that are easy to work with such as cotton and felt. That way your child can see what they are doing and the material won’t be too difficult to manipulate.
There are thousands of fun hand sewing projects online from sites such as www.babble.com. From creating a small useful bag to creating an embroidered wall decoration. Start small to begin with and only move onto something else once they can confidently make it themselves.
Show your child how to use a sewing machine
Introducing your child to a sewing machine may seem like a bad idea, especially if you think they are too young. But showing them how to use the machine safely and correctly is one of the best things you can do when it comes to sewing. Now they have mastered hand sewing; this is naturally the next step in their learning. It might be wise to buy them a child-friendly sewing machine to use that just includes the basic functions. You can read reviews for the best kids sewing machines on www.QuiltersReview.com. Show them how to thread the needle, raise the foot and about the pedal. Also, talk them through the different stitches they can do and how to fill the bobbin correctly. They will probably need your assistance setting their machine up when they want to use it. But also, encourage them to practise setting it up themselves.
Once they know how the machine should be set up, it’s time to let them practise sewing. Instead of using fabric to begin with, get your kids to use paper. This again will be easier for them to handle and gives them a chance to experiment with different stitches. It will also help them learn how to feed the paper into the machine and pivot the stitching as it moves. The pedal will probably be the most difficult aspect of the machine for them to grasp. Help them find the right speed and explain that going fast can cause mistakes and is not good for the machine. Slow and steady will give them more control and improve their machine sewing skills no end.
Let them make the decisions
Now they know how to responsibly use their sewing machine, they can start a proper sewing project. Letting your child choose a project, fabric and thread will boost their creativity and confidence. They may end up with some odd combinations of colours and styles, but that is all part of the fun of sewing. If you always decide which projects they do they may lose focus and interest very quickly. So always make sure they are a part of the decision-making process. You may need to guide them away from complicated sewing patterns and fabrics to avoid them choosing something that is beyond their skill set. You don’t want the to feel as though they have failed so always offer an exciting alternative.
There are loads of sewing for beginners ideas on www.craftsy.com and in craft books that you can use for inspiration. They will provide kid-friendly patterns that will be easy to use and boost their imagination even further. Also, think about something practical they could make. They may need an easter bunny fancy dress costume or a bag they can use for sleepovers. This will teach your children how versatile and useful sewing can be while still being lots of fun.
Build their confidence
Once your child has found a project or pattern that they like, they may only be interested in making this particular top or toy. Even if they decide to make it hundreds of times, you should be patient and encouraging of their decision. Even the simplest of sewing projects can teach your child a number of things each time. They will learn from their mistakes, improve their technique and gain more confidence. While it will be wonderful to see this independence and learning within your child, try to be positive about trying new things too. You could suggest a different fabric or a similar but more technical pattern. It might take some time for them to warm to the idea but trying new things will make them a better sewer all round.
So there you have it. Four simple steps that will teach your children all about sewing. It may be challenging at times, but it’s definitely worth pursuing.