Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > General Chit-Chat (non-quilting talk)
Advice on teaching sewing to young girls >

Advice on teaching sewing to young girls

Advice on teaching sewing to young girls

Old 08-28-2014, 07:27 AM
Power Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Corpus Christi, Tx.
Posts: 16,105

I don't teach per se but when my niece showed an interest in sewing we got her an inexpensive machine. The one thing she had to do was to learn to thread her machine. We went over with her Gma (my sister) also. 3 pairs of eyes we figured were better than one. Told her to always keep her manual very nearby. The learned to wind the bobbin and thread the machine. She also had to insert the bobbin correctly. This was during Christmas break. She accomplished quite a bit during that time. A drawstring purse, pillow and pillow case. A case for her scissors with elastic. She made a case out of felt for her embroidery also. She also made a small quilt for her cat Whiskers and her puppy Fiona. She has learned to clean her machine and very well I might add. Her stash is old clothes from anyone she can get them from. She is in 4th grade now. She asked the teacher if she could bring some of her projects to work on at recess but got a big no. Because of the scissors being a weapon and zero tolerance. At least she asked first. But they do need to know the machine threading and bobbin winding!
tessagin is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 08:26 AM
Senior Member
Cheshirecatquilter's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Cheshire, Massachusetts
Posts: 838

I agree -- forget the cleaning until they have built up their own lint. You want them go get off to a flying start and get hooked before the drudgery happens. Make it something they can use like a pillow case. Then they will be thinking about it afterwards even when they are not sewing. Rule #1 -- keep your fingers out from the needle area.
Cheshirecatquilter is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 09:15 AM
Power Poster
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 15,507

Originally Posted by Cheshirecatquilter View Post
I agree -- forget the cleaning until they have built up their own lint. You want them go get off to a flying start and get hooked before the drudgery happens. Make it something they can use like a pillow case. Then they will be thinking about it afterwards even when they are not sewing. Rule #1 -- keep your fingers out from the needle area.
You can also buy finger guards.
miriam is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 10:15 AM
Super Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: North Fork Ca
Posts: 8,234

I agree to put maintenance a bit later on. Safety first, especially if they are going to be using rotary cutters
IBQUILTIN is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 06:11 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Gaylord, MN
Posts: 3,840

I started my Granddaughter sewing a little when she was eight. I had her pick out some fabric for pot holders to make for her Mom and other Grandma as Christmas presents. The front of the pot holders was four patches sewn together and put together with the thermal stuff and another fabric on the back. She then quilted them by sewing from corner to corner. I pretty well did the binding for her as I could tell she needed a break - still a short attention at that age.
from there she picked out squares again and made little kids quilts to give to the Santa's Helpers program at Christmas time. Those I helped her tie. Besides the actual sewing, she likes to pick out the squares from my precut stash and arranging them how she wants them to look in the quilt. She is ten now and can stick with it longer. Good luck!
Karamarie is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 08:28 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Central Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA
Posts: 7,695

I used to teach 4H, and the best I can offer is to ask someone to take notes for you in case of questions you want to answer later, techniques you might want to demonstrate, and use the first fifteen minutes of class as everyone gets seated to answer any questions from yesterday or last class. Also playing soft music quietly, as they learn, helps keep the more volatile among the students from getting too frustrated. Letting the students help each other with questions is also a way to foster community among the students, as long as you are there to moderate the answer to assure accuracy. Good luck you are in for a wonderful experience. I learned more from them than they did from me. (In fact it was one of my kids that showed me the best way to line up snaps so you have them spaced right. Rub some water over the bump part of the snap after it is attached, then press it against the other side which leaves a dot for you to line up with. Brilliant!)
madamekelly is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 08:36 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 983

I made clothes for one of my DG's while she was living with us (4yr-7yr) then she would come & spend a weekend or week. When she was 8yr she asked for some fabric & next thing I knew she made her Gampy a knee pillow case by hand, that was 13yrs ago & it is still together. When I started teaching myself to sew 1yr ago she was there by my side again. I showed her how to thread machine & wind Bobbin and taped down a 1/4" on my machine. She has now made 3 dog quilts a small lap quilt for a male school mate for his birthday (with perfect patching fabrics) and just finished sewing a Jelly Roll Race top. BUT when it comes time to quilting she procrastinates. I guess because I'm just learning SITD & she hears me getting upset she don't want to do it LOL. So I'm not one to give advice since I'm a beginner too but maybe find out if they have ever sewn before & if so at what level they are at & maybe have a couple of classes for the different ages. Sounds like a lot of fun but I'm with you on the holding my hands behind my back. Good luck & hope you spread your love of quilting and or garment sewing.
oldtisme is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 09:29 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,230

I used to teach 4-H kids sewing....just always keep it fun for them...it is not life or death if they sew crooked! Remember this is a "love" that you are trying to inspire, not perfection! Kids learn at different rates and with different cues, be patient and kind, and it will all come together!
I agree with skipping the machine maintenance...that will come as they progress. I think that especially in this day and age..kids need instant gratification to keep their interest, so just keep it fun for them...the maintenance will come later! Good Luck...and thank you for inspiring another generation!
donna13350 is offline  
Old 08-29-2014, 03:23 AM
Junior Member
IraJane's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 246

I taught middle and high school students to sew for 31 years as a school teacher. Maintenance, although important, is definitely down the line after getting them interested in sewing. The faster you get them sewing the better. I tried to have the 5th graders sewing by the 3rd day of class, even if it was just on scraps. They all had to hand in a sample that showed a 5/8" line, backstitching, and a line of stitching with a square corner, before we started on the actual project. A favorite project of my younger students was a drawstring bag that we put added a pocket to the outside before sewing it on the sides. The original pattern and idea was the one made for first year 4-H. Makes a good bag for carrying things to class and can be made in many sizes for so many purposes. Good luck and keep it fun. We sew because we want to, not because we have to.
IraJane is offline  
Old 08-29-2014, 08:28 AM
Super Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Posts: 1,649

Back in the 90's I did the same thing. Had probably 9 or 10 home schooled girls and their mothers and their grandmothers. They wanted hand sewing, so that is what we did. Loved it. At the same time my husband taught the boys. He had maybe 6 or 8. They started with aviation, since he was a pilot, then they went on to other things that they wanted to learn, such as cartooning, finances, politics, physics -- basically anything they asked about. I still teach one homeschool mother sewing in my home, and a college grad on two separate days.
fmhall2 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
love to sew
05-19-2013 07:15 AM
General Chit-Chat (non-quilting talk)
11-26-2012 07:44 PM
08-18-2011 12:14 PM
07-12-2010 07:25 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

FREE Quilting Newsletter