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Thread: Teaching Young Children to Sew

  1. #1
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    Teaching Young Children to Sew

    In the past 6-7 months I have gone from "Grandma who comes to visit" to "Grandma who we live with and disciplines me" with my four year old grandson. He always seems interested in my quilting. Last night I was binding my quilt and let him pin in a few spots. He always wants to help with different things. Where do you start with a child who is four?

  2. #2
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    It depends on the youngster...their attention span and interest..You could get the fleece (on sale at Joannes ..black Friday sale) take two. 48inch squares cut 4 inch long. 2inch wide cuts along each edge and put him to wok tying the 2sides together. Then he could take it to you favorite charity and he could learn about giving. I give mine to the program for foster kids. My grand kid sits on.my lap, puts his hands on mine while we sew. He loves to operate the thread cutter and snip between pieces when I chainpiece.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LoupEsprit's Avatar
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    My son is 4, and is taking an interest in my learning to quilt. I'm following this thread for sure!!
    ~Megan
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoupEsprit
    Imagination Sparks, Creativity Ignites...

  4. #4
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    My DGS is a little older (8) but when he was 7, I started teaching him how to sew. I started with simple basics of how the machine works...AND TO KEEP FINGERS AWAY FROM NEEDLE... He picked it up quickly. This week when he came, we made simple Christmas ornaments which were 2 squares about 4x4. I showed him how to put right sides together to stitch and he pinned it, then stitched it. He turned it right side out, then he stuffed it with fiberfill and then we pinned (together) the opening and stitched it. He was SO PROUD!!

    Some say to let them stitch on paper with you pressing the foot pedal to get them used to sewing a straight seam. My 5yo DGD took to that very quickly. I show both of them the 1/4" and used a post it note taped with masking tape for them to use as a guide.

    Do I dare say they can do a better 1/4" seam than I can!! LOL

  5. #5
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    When I was in Kindergarten, we made a quilt each year featuring the children's art work.....many different methods: drawing ON fabric (tough), iron-on crayon transfers, hand prints, transfer paint, and my favorite, a follow-up to a shape unit, I fused primary and secondary colored cotton to a peel-off backing and had them cut into compatible geometric shapes: children could play and finally assemble a pattern according to ability and we fused it right there in the classroom to make individual blocks. Adult assembly required. Showcasing the child's art, accepting whatever they create, opens the door to later sewing.

    My DS's wanted accessories for their play and managed to make pouches and bags, belts and straps, about age 7 or 8. Jedi clothing and ninja suits needed Mom help but they had to stand still for fittings.
    Last edited by Greenheron; 11-25-2012 at 11:21 AM. Reason: grammar

  6. #6
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    I started my kids with yarn and plastic canvas to introduce the idea of how to use a needle. Then My daughter sewed a little stuffed animal from felt - easy shape like a cookie cutter, and I marked dots for her to put the needle through all around the edges. Then we moved on to tracing and cutting squares of fabric and sewing them together by hand. I also traced some designs onto plain fabric that she could embroider, and that went pretty well.

    Felt is good because it doesn't ravel.

    Like others have said, it depends on the child and their attention span. My son hasn't shown nearly the interest that she has, and so hasn't actually completed any projects. My daughter made a little doll quilt (I sewed the long seams on my machine, and bound it, and she used yarn to tie it) when she was 5.

  7. #7
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    My 10 yr. old Granddaughter wants to sew. My son took my White Jeans Machine home with him about a year ago. Now he and his daughter have picked out a pattern. He doesn't have a clue. So I went over the pattern sheets with him, and told him a bunch of things. H didn't know what selvedge was, but he is one who will probably remember all this. His daughter was not there at the time. When I came home, I found the manual for that machine, and then I made a doll skirt like the pattern he has. The skirt is gathered onto the yolk just below the waist. I had tried to explain gathering, so now he can see for himself what it looks like with all the gathering stitches on and the threads that pull it up. I wish I could be there to help her, but she is 3 hours away. I will send this off in the mail tomorrow, along with some stick pins. I don't think he has any. But he does have stash LOL. When they go to garage sales, they pick up stuff they like. They were breaking a lot of needles, and I don't know why. It worked OK when I was there.
    I love helping little kids learn to sew. I have two grandsons who have done a few things with me. And Noah did knitting, too.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

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