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Thread: Oh dear I have no idea where to go with this

  1. #1
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Oh dear I have no idea where to go with this

    DGD will be 10 in January. She has had a couple of sewing lessons from me using my Janome Jem. Her Mom (DD) told me that she had circled-many times!!-a small 'play type' sewing machine on her Christmas wishes list. I checked it out and decided that it really was a 'play' sewing machine using felt and yarn, and popoohed the idea. DD came back with a couple of more 'real' inexpensive small machines. Long story short, DGD will be getting this machine for her birthday.

    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0749DY27X/...709270_TE_item

    Now, Mom is a sew-a-phobe. She failed home-ec!! Dad is much better at reading directions but! We live 2 hours away and I cannot realistically offer a schedule to help DGD learn to operate her new 'toy'. But there are You tube videos to help DGD learn to use her machine.

    Okay enough back-and forward-story. I need a few very easy projects that I can put together for DGD to try. I have been haunting Google but have not found anything absolutely basic and my brain is not coming up with anything that does not require more than very simple written instructions.

    Help!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  2. #2
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Why don't you see if there are any beginner classes offered in her area? I have a friend who teaches sewing to a group of 4H girls. Joann's might have classes also. Pay for a few classes and your gift is complete - and will be a joy to her for years to come.

  3. #3
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    pillowcases?

  4. #4
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    I have that machine but never sewed on it. I collect little machines. I feel at 10 years old she is ready for a grown up machine. I would cut up some 4" squares for one quilt, maybe 6" squares for another one. Then I would cut up an Ohio star and show her how to do the triangles. These are fun projects. If she is into dolls, cut some smaller pieces like 2" squares. You are starting something that she will have for the rest of her life.

  5. #5
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    The most important thing to get is a "real" sewing machine. I've tried those $50 ones and they are only for occasional patching. They are not fun to use for sewing. A good used one would be better than a cheapo.
    Good luck. I hope she can have many years of fun sewing.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    Why don't you see if there are any beginner classes offered in her area? I have a friend who teaches sewing to a group of 4H girls. Joann's might have classes also. Pay for a few classes and your gift is complete - and will be a joy to her for years to come.
    Ditto! ... no knowing where your DGD is, but if she is outside of TO, she can probably join into 4-H clubs in her area. The next problem though, is whether they are offering any sewing clubs at the time. Also, many of the LQS's and sewing machine store offer sewing camps to help the young people get off to a good start. Triangle in Guelph does, but I am guessing she isn't anywhere convenient to them, if 2 hrs away from you. Another possibility ... they may be able to connect with someone in their community that could help her learn to sew, to supplement Grandma's help.

    Or what about planning a girls sewing weekend with her every month (or whatever works!), that might help bridge the times between. She may come along quicker than you think!

    About the machine .... I would go with a good regular machine. The scary part to me of the machine you have shown us is that with it being so low cost, and not a name brand, how long will it last? I would think that if she has problems with the machine, that could totally turn her off sewing. Check where you buy your machines, as many of them can sell you a good used machine, that by the time they service it, it will seem just like new, and you can save a lot of $. It very likely could be a machine that could last her for years. Again, I know that Triangle does have those sorts of machines as what we all have outgrown, are perfect starters for kids.

    As to how to help her ... can you Skype with her some?
    Maybe find some youtube videos that would be appropriate and give her the links?
    Perhaps even kit up the project requirements to go with those links?

    Good Luck! I'll look forward to hearing/seeing how she progresses!
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  7. #7
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I vote regular machine too--have been through this before with a niece and after lots of issues with "play machine" figured an inexpensive real machine was much less frustrating for all involved. Definitely check out if there is a 4H group that includes sewing. If not there may be a LQS/sewing center near her that has a youth class. In our area there is one that has an ongoing youth group--those kids do some amazing work! Kids that age are all about the internet and my bet is she can use some YouTube videos to coach her along on a project, so you might check those out to see if there are any that would have a complete project. Also, C & T Publishing as a bunch of sewing books that are aimed specifically at kids sewing. So neat that she's interested! Nurture that well,please!

  8. #8
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    Why don't you see if there are any beginner classes offered in her area? I have a friend who teaches sewing to a group of 4H girls. Joann's might have classes also. Pay for a few classes and your gift is complete - and will be a joy to her for years to come.
    The $25 I spent on sewing lessons at JoAnn's for my teenage daughter is the best $25 I have ever spent.

  9. #9
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    At her age, they need projects they can finish in a short amount of time so they feel that sense of accomplishment.
    I say have her make a doll quilt that's only a 9 patch of charms (5" squares). You do the rotary cutting for her, or provide cute pre-cuts. Could you let her have a 'sewing retreat" at Grandma's house where you could complete this little project in one weekend?

  10. #10
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    Yep, I was sewing on my Moms "White" when I was 10. I remember my dad fixed some kind of doo-hickey on the foot feed so I could not floor board it. I made doll blankets moved to simple aprons and on and on.

  11. #11
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    I vote for a real machine too. I learned to sew on my mother's Singer 15-91 when I was 8 years old. My mother would not let me use it unless she was home. My main sewing projects were doll clothes and then I started making my one clothes too.
    The little machine that you show is very much one that I bought many years ago and it does not sew well. The stitches are huge and it rattles like crazy.

    It would be great if you could find her a sewing class.

  12. #12
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Noticed that is a battery operated machine.... I would get her more of a real machine. When I was ten I was sewing dresses for my kid sister on my Momís big battle tank Kenmore.
    How about an Eversewn machine? The Maker 100 model is for beginners. It has several dec stitches and a built in buttonholer. On Amazon it is $119 with free shipping.
    Last edited by sewbizgirl; 12-11-2018 at 09:56 PM.
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  13. #13
    Super Member notmorecraft's Avatar
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    I’ve let my grandaughter loose on my Ruby Royale, with my supervision, she likes to make tote bags to carry her bits about in, small ones are just two layer cake squares, she could start with those, I agree with others if her first machine of her own is in the least bit troublesome it will put her off.

  14. #14
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    i also suggest a "real" machine.


    i have several singer 237s - the feature list is short - straight stitch, zigzag, three needle positions, forward and backward. mechanical. hard to mess up.

    suggested projects

    pajama bottoms
    totes/bags
    pillow cases
    swimsuit cover -up

    things that are forgiving and usually successful.

    projects to avoid:

    pot holders - because of the thicknes
    garments that require "exact" fitting - frustrating when the garment does not fit or looks unattractive (is "dorky" still being used as an adjective?)
    slippery fabrics

    you might also include some basic tools/accessories like scissors, pins, .measuring tape, seam ripper, etc.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 12-12-2018 at 02:15 AM.

  15. #15
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    As a former Home Economics teacher I recommend a simple, lower end, name brand machine that has a good track record. Too many bells and whistles will only confuse her and a machine with inherent problems will discourage her. I also recommend classes or 4-H if available. Otherwise, I think you should schedule 'sewing together' times and teach her yourself. It would be good times besides. Projects should start out being simple and done quickly. But, don't discourage her by giving her a machine that is not reliable and no guidance.

  16. #16
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    I like the idea of a sewing class as others have suggested.

    I would consider buying her a pattern from a pattern manufacturer, since they tend to have very thorough directions that have been tested out. Some instructions on the internet are good, but some are unclear or have significant errors.

    For projects, I would suggest:
    pajamas
    Christmas stocking
    pillow
    apron

  17. #17
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    Amen to a real machine. It will cost more but it may last her a lifetime, too. You might consider looking at a thrift store or an online trade site. Of course, that has some risk as those sometimes are being sold because of problems. Consult with your local machine store, explaining your situation and they may have a simple, used machine perfect for your GD. As to projects, I think one of the easy projects is lounge or pj pants or an apron. Something simple with straight seams that she can quickly see the reward of her effort. With the pj's she'll get the hang of that curved seam as well. Now to the cutting........ A kit that you have put together is probably a safe suggestion!

  18. #18
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    I was using my mom's Featherweight when I was 10 or 11. How about one of those? I'd buy her a bunch of sets of charm squares to use as quilts or pillow covers.

  19. #19
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    Real machine...Singer.com always has sales...I just did a first sewing lesson w/nieces 11 and 13...I started with coasters with precut charms...then went onto a small drawstring bag...They loved both and we spent 6 hrs making both. They didn't want to stop.
    Craftsy has some free classes...And what abt skyping with her and doing projects together.

  20. #20
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    If nothing else check out the inexpensive Brother machines from Wal Mart, or the Singers from JoAnns. I too vote on a real machine. I made my first skirt and blouse at age 9 in 4-H. and have been sewing ever since. I fell in love with sewing then. Used my mother's Singer treadle she had converted to electric. I still have that machine - being the only daughter it came to me when mother passed away. I bought an inexpensive portable machine several years ago now from Nancy's Notions, that does a few zig zag stitches and would be good for a beginner. Sewing classes would be great for her since you apparently don't live close by. Your daughter and mine have the same idea it seems when it comes to sewing. My daughter has a new machine, she will never use I ask what her was going to do when I pass away, "I'll find someone to sew for me" lol. She has NO interest in learning how.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl View Post
    Noticed that is a battery operated machine.... I would get her more of a real machine. When I was ten I was sewing dresses for my kid sister on my Mom’s big battle tank Kenmore.
    How about an Eversewn machine? The Maker 100 model is for beginners. It has several dec stitches and a built in buttonholer. On Amazon it is $119 with free shipping.
    This is my vote, too. I have 7, 8, 10 & 11 year old granddaughters - they all use this - I love the simplicity and reliability.

  22. #22
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Well, the thing is ordered. I will take a look at it when it comes and then make a decision. BTW, the one I ordered also has an adapter and 'presumably' can be used for lightweight projects. I don't think she or her household is ready for a 'real' machine. If we lived closer, maybe. I checked with their local Fabricland (equivalent of Joann) and they do not have any classes at this time. Maybe in summer.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  23. #23
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    I agree, a real machine. If you want her to learn and have the full experience, I would start with a Singer that goes on sale at Jo Ann's. During the Christmas season, you can get a good deal, especially using their coupons. As far as projects, in Home Ec. (you can tell how old I am - HA), an apron was the first thing we made. Also, flannel pajama bottoms, a sewing machine cover, and pillowcases are what I started with my granddaughter many years ago.

  24. #24
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    I wouldn't purchase anything less than what you have in your Jem? Janome machines are great machines with a good track record. If you purchase the one shown on your posting, it will be a frustration. This machine is cute, but not a machine for serious sewing. It sounds like your GD is wanting to be a serious sewist. Perhaps she thought that asking for a "grown up" machine would be too expensive. A quilt guild member would be more than happy to give your GD lessons on a machine like this one.. https://www.kenssewingcenter.com/jan...g-machine.html ....remember, this is an investment in her life long hobby that she will reap many happy hours of creating. I will gladly send her fabric if you will PM me. Pillowcases are a great start along with the simple tote bag. Buy her a good "grown up" machine.

  25. #25
    Super Member SuziSew's Avatar
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    There are a lot of good beginner sewing books just for kids, I would add one of those to go with the machine or see if mom & dad would purchase it. I also have a lot of good memories learning from my grandma and love the idea of a sewing weekend every month or two...that will be the biggest gift of all..

    Here are some ideas for the books: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...=2XHEMHBQ4PC6D
    Sue

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