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Thread: How young is too young???

  1. #1
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    How young is too young???

    My granddaughter is 5 and she loves to help gramma "quilt". so far she has sewn buttons on fabric and glued fabrics together. She really wants to sew like gramma but i say she is too young. How old do you think she should be before she uses a real machine?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I could have been using a machine at age 5 - with supervision, of course. If she has good coordination, I would sit her on my lap to help feed fabric through. Might also get a safety attachment for the presser foot - helps keep fingers away from the needle. Try having her guide lined paper through at first.

  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I sat on my mom's lap at around four and helped guide the fabric for hemming cup towels for my grandmother. Hand stitched doll clothes out of my mom's scraps for several years after that. Made my first garment all by myself at 13.
    That being said if she is interested go for it!

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    My granddaughters started sewing at 4. I purchased an inexpensive Brother machine at Walmart ($89) the reason for that machine was because it had speed control ( important feature for kids) I set the machine up on their little round care bear table- table & chairs just their size.
    I didn’t stress over seam width, or anything like that. They could cut fabric with scissors. I ironed for them. My youngest granddaughter wanted to make a quilt for her daddy when he was being deployed, didn’t want him to forget her ( she had just turned 4) I printed 2 pictures onto fabric for her, him holding her, her arms wrapped around his neck- big smiles. I let her rummage through fabrics on the shelves, she picked out what she wanted, laid everything out on the floor, sewed it all together with the picture block in the middle. Some seams were 1” wide, some were wavy, but she got it all together the way she wanted it. ( the second picture I used to make her a hot pack pillow, so she could warm it up & take it to bed with her— warm hugs from daddy)
    after she finished her quilt top we turned a tall dresser on its side in front of the longarm & she quilted the quilt herself- walking back & forth on that dresser. Then she folded backing to front & stitched her ( binding) she really wanted it to be just from her. 13 years later it is still his favorite quilt- it has traveled around the world and she still has her pillow on her bed. All 3 granddaughters loved to sew and were adventurous, I just let them. Only rules, can’t just cut up Fabric and not use it and no ironing Or rotary cutter until they were much older (16-18)
    they have become quite good seamstresses, they make purses, clothes, toys....only a quilt for special gifts they like making other stuff.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
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    that is an awesome idea--where can i find the safety attachment for the presser foot? googled it an nothing came up!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjwaggoner040 View Post
    that is an awesome idea--where can i find the safety attachment for the presser foot? googled it an nothing came up!!
    Google needle guard.

    Cari

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    She will be okay as long as her finger doesn't go past the end of the presser foot.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #8
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    At 5 I was already sewing on the old Singer 201. I had several older siblings that also sewed, so they taught me. It had a knee control, so it didn't matter that my feet did not touch the floor. I would hook my foot around the stool leg to get enough "traction" to be able to operate that knee lever.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  9. #9
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    i think it depends on the child.

    i have " heard" about very goung children doing factory sewing. I do k ow if that is true oe not.

  10. #10
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    I too was taught at a very young age on a Singer 201 by my Grandmother. I don't specifically remember using scissors, but do remember pinning patterns and using a seam ripper. I'm grateful to Grandma for the early lessons and cherish those memories with her.

    When I was about 13 she gave me that old Singer, and when I moved out on my own, the machine stayed with my Mother. Mom passed away a few years ago, and that old Singer now is the star in my sewing room. It has served three generations of women well, and someday I hope my granddaughter will want her grandma to teach her to sew too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member tallchick's Avatar
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    Every child is different, so it depends; I learned to sew when I was 9 on a treadle machine, I had so much fun, and I also managed to put the needle through my finger at some point. No one was home, so I waited patiently for my father to come home and he took a pair of pliers and removed it from my finger, and I went back to my project. I say the earlier the better to begin stirring the creative juices in a child’s mind, so much better than electronics and video games!
    Lisa

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Found this website featuring a 4-year-old:
    http://www.made-by-rae.com/2011/10/t...ewing-machine/

    I have ordered from this website before, and they were good. It's easiest to look up your machine first, then search for a finger guard attachment that fits your machine:
    https://www.sewingpartsonline.com/?g...xoCJy0QAvD_BwE

  13. #13
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    if she sits on your lap, you will control the foot pedal. some people find things to wedge in it so the pedal won't go down as much.

  14. #14
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    Such a beautiful story and how clever you were to think of using the dresser so she could easily use your LAM.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  15. #15
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    My granddaughters started sewing at 4. I purchased an inexpensive Brother machine at Walmart ($89) the reason for that machine was because it had speed control ( important feature for kids) I set the machine up on their little round care bear table- table & chairs just their size.
    I didn’t stress over seam width, or anything like that. They could cut fabric with scissors. I ironed for them. My youngest granddaughter wanted to make a quilt for her daddy when he was being deployed, didn’t want him to forget her ( she had just turned 4) I printed 2 pictures onto fabric for her, him holding her, her arms wrapped around his neck- big smiles. I let her rummage through fabrics on the shelves, she picked out what she wanted, laid everything out on the floor, sewed it all together with the picture block in the middle. Some seams were 1” wide, some were wavy, but she got it all together the way she wanted it. ( the second picture I used to make her a hot pack pillow, so she could warm it up & take it to bed with her— warm hugs from daddy)
    after she finished her quilt top we turned a tall dresser on its side in front of the longarm & she quilted the quilt herself- walking back & forth on that dresser. Then she folded backing to front & stitched her ( binding) she really wanted it to be just from her. 13 years later it is still his favorite quilt- it has traveled around the world and she still has her pillow on her bed. All 3 granddaughters loved to sew and were adventurous, I just let them. Only rules, can’t just cut up Fabric and not use it and no ironing Or rotary cutter until they were much older (16-18)
    they have become quite good seamstresses, they make purses, clothes, toys....only a quilt for special gifts they like making other stuff.
    Such a lovely story! Thanks for making me smile. And thank you for the tips. I like the way you taught them. I think I might do the same with my daughter's when the come of age.
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

    1912 World's Rotary Treadle (White Company), 1942 Singer 66-16, 1952 Pfaff 130-6, 1954 Singer 15-91, 1956 Singer 201-2

  16. #16
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    My boys were sewing with a real machine at ages 6 & 8. So I think a 5 yr old girl could learn to do so safely. Of course, depends on the individual child...
    Warmly, Maia

  17. #17
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    I am 74 and learned at the age of 4. I was an only child and my mom made all my clothes, staying up late nights to do doll clothes for Christmas, etc. I was nosy, and had to help, so she set me up with her Singer Featherweight (I still have it) and lined paper, no thread. As soon as I mastered that she had me draw shapes, hearts, circles, etc. I made my own clothes at 11, jr high I helped teach the other home ec classmates and was putting in zippers, using the buttonhole attachment and doing set in sleeves. By high school I made all my own formals and lots of summer clothes. I won lots of prizes in home ec. Teach them young! My first two DGDs love to sew, 12 and 10, and the 8 year old made her first quilt all by herself.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    My Brother SQ9000 has a slow speed. I think if you kept an eye on her she would be okay if the machine is not going too fast.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  19. #19
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    my great nieces love helping their mom and myself. Started when they were 3 and 6 - they are now 5 and 8. Of course an adult is always with them

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    Last edited by meyert; 01-03-2018 at 05:59 PM.

  20. #20
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    When we moved from KS to WA I was 8 years old and my best friend, Judy, was 9 - her mother had her sewing doll clothes and I thought it was the greatest thing to do. She had one of those red children's Singer toy machines - it worked great. I wanted one so bad but my mother said if I was going to learn to sew I needed to learn on a real machine and she had me use her Singer 15-91. It had a knee control so I didn't have to reach a pedal. I loved using Judy's machine but my mom never thought I needed the little machine. I have the 15-91 now - still going strong 55 years later. No idea how old Judy was when she first learned to sew. Neither of my older sisters learned to sew until they took Home Ec in school.

    I did sew my left index finger once - my mom's reaction was, "Well, now you know why I told you to keep your fingers out of the way." It did;t slow me any - wasn't a big deal since it went next to the nail but all the way thru - she helped me get the needle out of my finger, and I kept on going.
    Last edited by quiltingcandy; 01-03-2018 at 05:59 PM.

  21. #21
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I was sewing about that age. I had a little old hand crank Singer child's machine that had belonged to my father's bachelor uncle. He used to mend his clothes on it. I made blankets and saddles for my plastic horses.

    I doing hand embroider about 10 and using the machine soon after. I can't really remember, but I know I had already made a couple garments when I took sewing in 8th grade home ec.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  22. #22
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I started my young friend when she was 6. We did string blocks all summer, once a week with swimming after. We had a BLAST. She still comes over in the summer. She will be 13 this month and I am gifting her a quilt. Last summer she made a back pack and the summer before shorts.

  23. #23
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I taught my boys how to use my machine when they were really young- younger than 5 or maybe around 5. They were fascinated by it. It brings back cute memories thinking about those little ones.
    The girls in these photos are adorable!

  24. #24
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    I learned to sew at about 8 by making doll clothes. I sewed through my finger more than once. I never told anyone, as then they might not let me sew.

    bkay

  25. #25
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    My baby started younger. It's actually pretty easy to teach them how to control speed with the pedal. Just get a finger guard and sit with her
    Last edited by Dolphyngyrl; 01-03-2018 at 08:26 PM.
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

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