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Thread: Teaching a 10 year old to sew

  1. #1
    Member piccupstix's Avatar
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    Ordered a White Sew E-Z mini sewing machine for my granddaughter. Want to teach her to sew. Any ideas about the machine or pattern ideas that wouldn't be too difficult?

  2. #2
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    I started mine using a needle without thread following a line on paper until they were used to the machine and could "steer". They started with straight lines, then wavy. After that, it was a fairly simple matter to teach about thread and seam allowances. Quilts are fabulous learn-to-sew projects because of all the straight seams!

  3. #3
    Member piccupstix's Avatar
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    Thank you. That's a great idea!

  4. #4
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    start with a table topper or mug rug or wall hanging or even a quilted pillow. smaller is better so sense of accomlishment is immediate. Rail fence is the easiest one I know of and you just need 3 fabrics. Pardon my inability to recall the name but you can make a quilt like a brick wall with rectangles or squares. This way, she doesn't have to match up the seams perfectly.

    Once she gets going, if you see her regularly, you could do a sampler quilt. She could do just one block each time she sees you. No pressure for them all to look exactly alike. You can use scraps. Have fun.

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    a table- just her size is a big help too- when my granddaugters learned to sew everything was set up to fit them...made it much easier- and i did not critisize at all- if they were happy with it- i was happy with it- the first projects certainly were a bit rough (in my mind) but they were very happy and proud with their accomplishments and years later still have and proudly show off their very first sewing projects (the youngest made her daddy a quilt when she was 4- she layed it out did every stitch of sewing- cut with little safety scissors---some of those seams are 2" wide! didn't matter- it all went together---and went to iraq---so her daddy wouldn't forget her while he was gone)the only thing i ever do for the girls is---they are not allowed to use the rotory cutters---or the iron- so most of the time they cut with scissors once in a while one of them will ask me to cut something with the cutter- and if they want anything pressed they ask me---beyond that they do it all themselves- the oldest 2 have really become quite proficient- design purses for all their friends- and make all kinds of stuff- the youngest- she likes to play in fabric and buttons---and what ever.
    all 3 girls learned to sew on a brother machine with speed control- sitting at a kids table so they could reach every thing easily.

  6. #6
    Member piccupstix's Avatar
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    I have 4 days to see her. Only see her every 3 months. We live about 1500 miles apart.
    I like you idea though.

  7. #7
    Member piccupstix's Avatar
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    What a sweet story, it made me tearful. How wonderful you are there encouraging them. How old were the oldest when they started to sew?
    I'd love to get her a full size machine but I don't want to shop when I get there. I also know if I leave it there (which I will this little one) it will probably not be in working order when I return again.

  8. #8
    Super Member cmagee84's Avatar
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    I was taught how to sew when I was 10, by my step mom when I was visiting one weekend. I went home and taught my own mother. She will do just fine!

  9. #9
    Senior Member marscrafter's Avatar
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    I just started working with my son who is about that age, we did a mini quilt that was really simple to start. I agree with the others, something small that can be finished quickly helps build confidence. Just being able to pick out their pattern and fabric really helps keep their interest too.

  10. #10
    Member piccupstix's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement!

  11. #11
    Super Member Phannie1's Avatar
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    My mom showed me how to sew when I was in first grade. I made doll clothes for my baby dolls and Barbies. I think it is so neat to teach all children to sew. My boys learned to cross-stitch and when Mike was in the Navy, he knew how to sew on his own patches.

  12. #12
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    I'm just trying to keep the excitement for my DGD. She is only 3 y/o, but loves to be with me in the sewing room, cuts fabric, irons it (her iron doesn't heat up). I'm starting her with charm blocks to make a patchwork quilt.
    We'll see this weekend.
    I'll watching this post to see how others are doing.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mary M's Avatar
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    My grandaughter is 9 years and likes to sew along with me. I usually use my Juki for piecing so I let her start on my Janome 6600. First I taught her what all the buttons are for and how to operate the machine. She picked up on it very fast. She likes to do her own designing rather than a pattern. She has made purses, pillows, little blankets and other small things. Kids seem to pick up the electronics so fast what with using computers and all. I do have to watch that she doesn't get into my good fabric, for now. I like to see her be creative about her choices of what to make. I wish more kids had the chance to learn to sew/quilt for it is so rewarding and keeps them from bad things.

  14. #14
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    My mother taught me to sew on her Singer 15 91 when I was 8. I wanted to make doll clothes. She thought I needed to learn to do it right - I only sewed my finger once, but that was 3 years later. No big deal, she helped me get the needle up, stopped the bleeding and I was back at it in minutes.

  15. #15
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    A pillowcase.....easy straight lines and every night she'll think of grandma :)

  16. #16
    Member Omaquilts's Avatar
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    Just started my granddaughter this week with charm squares making coasters. We chalk-lined the sewing lines and it was amazing by the third coaster, she was doing quite well. So...everyone got coasters this week. Then I purchased some Debbie Mumm fabric on the clearance rack that had lines running through it. We just sandwiched it with flannel and another DM on the back. It was great for her. She got really good at following the lines. She made a "quilt" out of it. We just folded over the edges twice instead of binding.

    She lives 1000 miles away and was so sad to leave. We had gotten her a child's sewing machine and it worked okay, but within a couple of hours she was ready to move on to the big machine. FYI...I don't know about other makes, but the Bernina has a "safety attachment" that can be added to the machine. I just happened to come across one when I was out in CO last winter. It keeps the fingers safe. Our granddaughter is just 8, and is so in love with sewing...too bad her mom isn't interested. All she wanted to do growing up was bounce a basketball. Guess that was okay since it got her a college scholarship.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Maire's Avatar
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    Sorry to be a downer but you asked for opinion-I looked at that sewing machine & there is a good chance that it won't work very well & just frustrate her & be turned off sewing forever. And you don't want to spend your little time together trying to get a decent stitch.
    I would suggest letting her use your real machine, at 10 she is capable & you will be surprised how quickly they catch on.
    Just last week I showed my 7 yr old granddaughter & 11 yr old next door neighbor how to cut out & sew a simple tote bag-no lining, more like a grocery bag. They both loved making it & were so proud, after they were finished, I didn't do any of the sewing-just showed them where & when. I gave them each a new spiral notebook to put it in. (20 cents on sale at Walmart). They each used my computerized machine & loved the scissor cutting button.
    Maire

  18. #18
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    I also started my DGDs sewing without thread on paper to follow the lines. Then we made pillow cases. Easy and they were able to use them right away. Kids seem to do better with instant gratification. At least mine do.
    Sue

  19. #19
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    I'd start her with a pillowcase. Then I'd move on to just a 4 or 9 patch pillow. :) I'd make the project(s) small, something easily attainable like an instant gratification thing. If you start too big it might turn her off.

  20. #20
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    You must have had a wonderful step-mom like I was!

  21. #21
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    I started my 9 yr old GD sewing 1/4" seams on scraps. Then let her sew some little square pillows. She made her first quilt using some of my leftover 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" strips sewing them in sets of three (let her pair them up). This is her first quilt:
    www.quiltingboard.com/t-139936-1.htm

  22. #22
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    I taught my daughter to hand sew when she was 4, and then when she was 9 she wanted to go to the quilt store for one of their childrens machine sewing classes. She learned to sew on one of their regular machines. The first thing they said--"Never put your fingers in front of the needle, only to the sides when sewing".
    They used the Milligan/Smith book on Sewing Machine Fun, and my daughter spent part of the first class using an un-threaded machine following the lines in the different pages of the book. Straight lines, pivoting, curvy lines, etc.
    I don't remember the order, but during this 4 session class she made a draw-sting bag using 2 fat quarters that she picked out, a hamburger with bun, pickle, onion, etc., and a Halloween tote. Maybe other things I can't remember. All from the book.
    This was 15 years ago, and the book is out of print, but they have a "best of sewing machine fun" available. Here is a link that includes photos of some of the projects. The hamburger is there!


    http://books.google.com/books?id=_Hh...itesec=reviews

  23. #23
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    My grandaughter was only 4 when she made her first small quilt about 24 x 30 inches. We started with a quilt as you go with just strips sewn straight down, folded over and pressed. When all the strips are finished, there is nothing left to do except the binding. If you cut the backing large enough, you can just fold it over the top, press and sew. Or you can teach the binding method and I think at 10, she should be able to do this pretty well.

  24. #24
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    My 8 year old grand daughter visits twice a year. We have been sewing since she was 6. I let her use my sewing machine. Her first project was pillowcases. We used the edge of the presser foot as the seam guide. A year ago, we made an elastic waist skirt, and this year we made pillows and drawstring bags. The second year, her older brother said he would like to sew too. Well, Sarah said that she would teach him since she already knew how. Have fun!

  25. #25
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    My GD who just turned 9 middle of July started sewing a few months ago and she made her first laptop quilt this summer.

    She has learned using a regular sewing machine. She started out on my mini Janome and now uses my Brother 88 stitch sewing machine which has the start/stop button and also the foot pedal.

    Start your GD on straight stitches. My GD wanted to sew squares so I cut her a bunch and her lap quilt is what she got out of it.

    Most kids I think find it easy to sew staight stitches and squares, rectangles and such and feel they have accomplished something.
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