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Thread: what is too young?

  1. #1
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    My DD loves to help mommy sew and cut fabric and use the sewing machine. She is always wanting to do it on her own though. She is getting good at the sicssors and using a needle, but is she really too young to be doing more than just "playing" with them? she is only 2 1/2. (I got those lacing boards with string to help her get the idea of put the thread threw the hole and pull it out the other side) Is there a good way that I can teach her how to hand sew and use the machine? ( I am new to quilting and don't know a lot myself.) And when I get her her own sewing machine what is a good age to do that at? I was figuring probably between 6-8 years old, depending on maturity and how much interest she has at that point.

  2. #2
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    How adept is she at other things?

    My daughter's third-born was very adept at physical things at that age.

    Maybe when she is able to operate the controls?

    Better to show her so she does it right, than to have her "experiment" on her own.

    Give her some squares that are "good enough to keep" (but not so expensive that it would really hurt to not be able to use them) and see what happens.

    Sometimes kids totally amaze me at what they can do.

  3. #3
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I have given her needle and thread and two squares of fabric to "practice" sewing on. she had trouble pulling the needle through the fabric and she would just randomly insert the needle. I was going to try and draw lines with a pen for her to follow. looking for very cheep light colored fabric to do this with however.
    She is able to use the remote control on the TV and loves to push buttons and everything. She also gets a kick out of stepping on the foot peddle and making the needle go up and down real fast. or slow.

  4. #4
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    lines might help. If I plan to do any hand-piecing, I draw lines on the fabric.

    how about unthreading the machine needle and let her make holes in paper now and then - when she has been very very good?

  5. #5
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    Two things I have done with my daughter, who is 4:

    I bought some plastic canvas and let her practice sewing with yarn and a blunt needle.

    Also, I cut cookie cutter type shapes out of felt and made dots around the edges to show where to sew. Put two shapes together, sew together, leaving a gap, and stuff. She did really good at that, actually.

    I've found she has a short attention span, and after it is exhausted, she's going to do things deliberately wrong just to get my attention, so when she starts making mistakes I just put the sewing away.

    I haven't let my daughter use the machine at all yet. I know she's not ready to give it the sustained attention it would require.

  6. #6
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    That's a tough question. She is very young but you want to encourage her curiosity. Can you find her a toy sewing machine to encourage her but not put her in danger? At her age, instead of getting a poke in the finger like us big girls, it could really damage her tiny fingers. Let her help you pick out fabric and hold her in your lap as you sew. If she can control the pedal, put the pedal on a stool and let her press it when you sew. I love that she is interested and that you are doing your best to encourage her. Best wishes to both of you!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    My dd was 18 months old when she said, "Uppy mommy, my do." So I sat her on my lap and held her hand while she guided the fabric through the machine. She has a thin blanket that she hemmed and a polar fleece robe that she sewed. I was 3 when my sister piled encyclopedias on the sewing chair, sat me on them and said, "Don't tell mommy you're sewing on her machine because she'll think you're too little and we know you're not." My sister was 11 or 12 at the time and knew how to sew on the machine. I did too after a couple of hours. She even taught me how to wind a bobbin, put it in, thread the machine and the needle. So, IMHO, if she wants to learn, teach her. Before I went to kindergarten my oldest sister had taught me to sew on mom's machine, my mother had taught me to hand piece, grandma taught me to crochet, and my older twin sister's had taught me to embroider---I still have my two sets of pillow cases that were made before I turned 5.

  8. #8
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    My grandma taught me how to sew, she sat me on her lap to start with and she operated the pedal and helped me guide the fabric thru. I still remember the day I was big enough to operate the pedal. I did the same thing with my daughter putting the machine on slow. (She is not a seamstress but does know the basic skills!!)

    As far as hand sewing she taught me the correct way to do the basic running stitch at an early age and let me make my own mistakes. I did prick my fingers a good many times!!

    So the moral is: teach her the right way to do things but keep a close eye on her!

  9. #9
    Quilting Di's Avatar
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    When you do decide to get her a sewing machine, don't make it one of those cheapie ones. I bought my, then 5-year old granddaughter a $39 machine at Meijer. It really gives them no idea of how a machine works. It is loud, clunky and hard to control flow of fabric. I will teach her on my oldest Pfaff. Right now we are working on loom "knitting" of hats and scarves for all her family and girl cousins for Christmas.

  10. #10
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sahm4605
    I have given her needle and thread and two squares of fabric to "practice" sewing on. she had trouble pulling the needle through the fabric and she would just randomly insert the needle. I was going to try and draw lines with a pen for her to follow. looking for very cheep light colored fabric to do this with however.
    She is able to use the remote control on the TV and loves to push buttons and everything. She also gets a kick out of stepping on the foot peddle and making the needle go up and down real fast. or slow.
    But putting the needle in and out of a specific spot is different than the remote. Give her another 6 months or so. In the meantime, get some of that plastic needlepoint canvas, a large plastic needle and some yarn. She can practice with that without hurting herself and you don't have to watch her every second. I got my DGD a sewing machine at 5 and she actually did quite well, she is now 12 and would rather horseback ride and do all things outside. My other DGD is 9 and last summer made herself a skirt almost by herself. This summer she made a purse. And she can use the embroidery machine unattended. They all progress at different paces.

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