Kids can be taught to hand sew from a very early age but as they get a little older, the transition to using a machine can really establish a love for sewing and an appreciation for handmade.
Simple: The project must be simple. If it’s too hard then the child will become frustrated and won’t see it through. Make sure you have all the necessary materials to complete what they’re making and adjust the project to suit their capabilities.
Show: Right from the word go I have shown my girls how to do things correctly instead of them learning ‘freestyle’. Show them from day one how to cut properly, use the guide on the needle plate to prevent wonky stitching, pin pieces together, press seams and clip corners just like you would do.
Slow: Most sewing machines will have a setting to turn the speed down. It shouldn’t be any faster than a chug!
Small: The project needs to be done and dusted within the hour. Smaller projects are far more likely to be completed than one that needs finishing off on another day. What they’re making needs to hold their interest, anything over an hour will likely to become boring.
Supervise: As much as we all love to set the kids up with projects so we can prepare dinner or hang out a load of washing, sewing I’m afraid isn’t one of them. Little fingers in the way of machine needles, is not something you want to have to deal with!
Stand Back: This is probably the hardest one for me. You really need to make sure that you offer all the help they need and ask for without it becoming YOUR sewing project!
Try these project suggestions to get the kids started.
- Hair scrunchies / head bands
- Cushions – you could use scrap pieces of fabric as filling
- Bags – a simple square/rectangle shape with handles
- Softie – let them create their own soft toy
- The older kids can start to make iPod & phone covers
This post is bought to you by Jodie Maloni, owner of The Haby Goddess, who also has two young daughters that she now must share her sewing room with!
You can find lots of craft and sewing tutorials over on her blog www.thehabygoddess.blogspot.com plus a gorgeous collection of haberdashery supplies from indie suppliers at the online store www.thehabygoddess.com.au