It’s easy to encourage your child to really engage with and enjoy their sewing project. Let them pick out the things they need, which might result in unusual combinations of colors, but that only adds to the fun.
All you need to teach sewing to children is patience and allow them to take it at their own pace. But most importantly, you must always have fun.
They can begin by sewing two pieces of fabric together. There will inevitably be different sized stitching and they will struggle staying near the edge.
When they start to feel more confident, get them using smaller stitches of the same size, before encouraging them to keep a straight line. With practice, they will soon find this becomes much easier.
Using the sewing machine
Sewing machines can be great fun to use. There's a wide range available, so if you don't have one already, it's important to choose a machine that’s appropriate for kids.
You should start with showing them how to be safe when using the machine and explaining to them where they should and should not put their hands. You can start off simply with you controlling the fabric, while they work the pedal. Once they've watched you and start to feel more comfortable, then they can take charge of the fabric too.
Beginner sewing projects
When introducing a child to sewing, you'll need fun projects that will interest them but not take ages to complete. If it's something that they can use or give as a gift, then that’s even better.
Doll clothes offer children a great way to start sewing. Perhaps start by making a simple dress that involves seaming and basic hemming. You can then build from there. By learning to make doll clothes, your child can learn basics techniques, which they can develop later on to make clothes for people.
For this simple project, you will need small fabric rectangles, thread, lavender, needle and zig zag scissors. Cut out your fabric, ideally with zig zag scissors to stop the fabric fraying. Don’t tie a knot when you start, but instead, leave a small piece of thread to tie at the end. Use a running stitch and sew three sides of the rectangle together. It doesn’t matter if it’s uneven, the stitching won’t be seen when it’s finished. Fill the little bag with lavender, sew to the end and then tie a knot in the two bits of thread.
Owl glove toy
To make the owl, they'll need a glove, buttons, felt, stuffing, needle and thread. Turn your glove inside out and sew across the fingers. The little finger and index finger will become the ears. Turn the glove back the right way around and pull out the ears. Stuff the glove and shape the toy while stuffing. Cut out some owl’s feet from the felt, and sew these into the cuff seam, tucking in any bits of the cuff that stick out. Your child can now make their owl come to life by adding eyes, a beak and wings.
Site last updated 4. August 2020