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Thread: he wants to be a costume designer

  1. #1
    Senior Member Radiana's Avatar
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    he wants to be a costume designer

    Just put in an order for my grandson's Christmas present. I got him a Brother 25 stitch XL-2600i. He's 6 years old and has sat on my lap a few times when I've sewed and had fun so I know he'll be thrilled with it. For a couple of years now he's made costumes out of paper and tape and when the tape ran out........scotch, masking, duct and electrical he's resorted to using staples.
    Last edited by Radiana; 12-07-2012 at 05:08 PM. Reason: not finished

  2. #2
    Senior Member Radiana's Avatar
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    Oops, didn't get to finish my post. Just wanted a little advice about what fabrics to get him started with. He could make some capes for super hero costumes, maybe some vests. Does anyone have experience teaching children to sew? All suggestions welcome. Thanks so much.

  3. #3
    Super Member QuiltingKrazy's Avatar
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    I just bought my 32yr old son a used machine for his Christmas present too! He has done all types of art, paint, pencil, etc.... but a few days ago he has finally decided he wants to work with fabric! YEA! I know your heart will soar sky high when you see your grandson's first project on his machine!
    Lisa B in NC
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  4. #4
    Super Member psychonurse's Avatar
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    you can use pages out of a coloring book, and start him off "sewing" along the outside lines without a needle and then when he progresses, use a needle. he can learn to go slowly around curves etc.

  5. #5
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    It is very good your going to teach him to sew. Being a designer, you do have to be able to sew, as well as design the costume/outfit. He will need to be able to make the patterns he designs.

    I tried to teach my daughter because I wanted her to learn to sew, the only problem was she had "zero" interest, so it was not a very good experience. I have no ideas to offer you, but I wish well on your new adventure with him, and I am sure you both will enjoy the time together learning this new hobby for him.
    Amythyst

  6. #6
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    Teach him to keep his fingers away from the needle. Then give him some scraps and let him go. My gkids all sew. They make little pillows. I save all my fabric trimmings and they use them for stuffing. Maybe the seams arent perfect, lots of raw edges, etc. but the creativity is there, and you can GENTLY offer advice and assistance along the way. Pushing for perfection will only push them away. I buy fleece remnants at joannes for them, as well. This fabric is very forgivingof variable seam allowances. Big squares sewn together and fringed can make grandpa a lap blanket he will cherish. Don't forget the label. Marking pens on muslin is a good medium for this task.
    Good luck, and happy stitching fromm a gran of 8.
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

  7. #7
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    I taught my 2 boys and 2 girls to sew as well as my youngest son's best friend. They all still do simple repairs on their cloths. My youngest daughter does more sewing when she has time (she runs a business). My son's friend is into Renaissance fairs and he makes all of his own cotumes. He is this big strong guy so many people are surprised.
    The best way to teach is to start with paper with no threadin the machine. I drew straight lines, stars, large circles , etc. to get them comfortable with guiding things through the machine.
    He will have lots of great memories of his grandma in years to come.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    What a wonderful gift! I'd say once you are comfortable with him using the machine, start with capes. Capes are easy to make and many great costumes need a cape. Simple dress/robe type costumes are easy, too. Think wise men looking costume.

    He sounds like a creative kid. Maybe you should watch the sales at Joann's and pick up a couple of 99 cent costume patterns and see what happens. I'm sure the two of you could have a ball with them!

  9. #9
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychonurse View Post
    you can use pages out of a coloring book, and start him off "sewing" along the outside lines without a needle and then when he progresses, use a needle. he can learn to go slowly around curves etc.
    Yeah, that sounds like when my son started drums and the teacher made him " drum " in the air for so long he quit. Let him actually sew a line with thread. It's no fun sewing a piece of paper!

  10. #10
    Super Member Teddybear Lady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychonurse View Post
    you can use pages out of a coloring book, and start him off "sewing" along the outside lines without a needle and then when he progresses, use a needle. he can learn to go slowly around curves etc.
    My great grandmother used to let me sew pages out of catalogs using her treadle machine. I had so much fun. I get my love for sewing from her. I'm now 60 and I still remember the fun time I had.

  11. #11
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    I like the idea of coloring books, It's such a good thing you are doing. Have you considered letting him pick out fabric.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Radiana's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for the encouragement and great ideas!!!

  13. #13
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radiana View Post
    Oops, didn't get to finish my post. Just wanted a little advice about what fabrics to get him started with. He could make some capes for super hero costumes, maybe some vests. Does anyone have experience teaching children to sew? All suggestions welcome. Thanks so much.

    What fabrics? ... I'd start him with some quilting cottons ... they aren't slippery and are easier for him to manage til he learns a little more as to how to run the machine and work with the fabric at the same time.

    While fleece is very forgiving, IMHO it's stetchy-ness and the way you work with it could be a little hard for someone starting out. Likewise the shine of taffeta lining and silky-jerseys is enticing, though could be a total frustration creator for a new sewer. He can have lots of fun starting out with the stiffer cottons ... and then once he's comfortable with that move on to the other fabrics.

    As for purchasing the fabrics ... give him a gift certificate and go shopping with him! He's already "designing", so now that he's moving onto the "real" stuff, he'll have lots of ideas as to what he wants. Just help steer him in the right direction and support him along the way. Of course, first he needs to do some basic paper design/sketches, to help you figure out whether he needs one yard ........ or ten!

    BTW ... for the gift certificate, make it a personalized Grandma certificate, rather than a store one. You can have fun with what you put on it, including, the $$ value, the sewing lessons, Grandma accompanied STASH trips. And the big benifit it doesn't limit the shopping to one location.

    To go with the machine ... how about some thread and some hand sewing supplies that he'll also need.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Radiana's Avatar
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    I was thinking of having him start with paper for the first couple of weekends and then we'll go shopping for fabric. I like the idea of the gift certificate from grammy but if he gets it with his sewing machine he'll insist that we go right away. I'll have to limit his choices to the cotton at the bargain tables but I think he'll have fun rummaging through it all.

  15. #15
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radiana View Post
    I like the idea of the gift certificate from grammy but if he gets it with his sewing machine he'll insist that we go right away.
    Oh but the gift certificate could have that disclaimer there ..... as to what hoops he has to go thru before he gets to go shopping for fabric! Kind of like a check list before it is valid!!!!

    Do you have some ugly stash fabric ... that you wouldn't mind parting with, and that he'd think was cool? Maybe you could convince him to make a patchwork cape for his first project .... or instead of squares, just long strips?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  16. #16
    Junior Member helenhiwater's Avatar
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    All good tips for learning to sew on the machine. As far as design goes...I learned by hand-sewing doll clothes. You can try out your ideas without using much fabric and get a very good idea of how things fit together. The main thing is to have fun with it!
    every cloud has a silver lining but sometimes it is hard to get to the mint

  17. #17
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    I think you've started off exactly the right way. I,too, sew with my grandson sitting on my knee and we both love it. There is a book out there called Kids Can Sew which I used with my own children as they were learning how to sew but I think the best advice is to just keep doing as you are. This way, he can direct which way he wants to go and you can provide the right technical help. So much fun to sew together isn't it?

  18. #18
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    Try letting him sew with thread and needle on notebook paper a few times to practice straight lines, then maybe gift him with a bunch of 3.5" or 4.5" squares of all different colors so he can make a fast pillowcase? Then pick him up a few solid color sheets (also known as HUGE, inexpensive pieces of fabric!) at the local thrift store, and a pair of fabric scissors, and turn him loose. Playing with his ideas is the most important thing right now!
    Mistakes are just opportunities to invent a new quilting technique!

  19. #19
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    When I started teaching my great niece to quilt, I told her there were two things I wanted her to learn: first, it has to be fun. If you don't want to sew that day or want to for only a little while, that is okay! The second thing: there are no quilt police. She loves both of these rules and loves sewing because it is fun!

  20. #20
    Super Member nancia's Avatar
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    your story brought to mind one of my most treasured memories. when my son was 7 our favorite aunt was in the hospital dieing from throat cancer. she couldn't talk. my son sat down at my viking and hemmed the edges of a red fabric square. the pattern was multi-colored hearts. he spelled out in letters,"dear aunt b, i love you! danny".
    he felt that she could hold the fabric in her hand and could feel the stitched letters and know that his love was with her. after she passed the square was returned to danny. i keep it for him, in a drawer, with other treasures. that was just the beginning of his sewing.
    The only bad days are the ones you don't get.

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