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Thread: Teaching children to sew

  1. #26
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    You might want to meet the girls and then decide if you should teach the younger ones separate from the older ones.

    It may well be that the older ones would be kind and help the younger ones in their learning ... and by doing that the older girls will really learn how to sew.

    If you have samples of 3 different things they could make ... like a nap quilt, a pillowcase, or a tote bag then you could let the choose which they would want to do. If they do something the like then they will have better memories and probably be 'hooked' on sewing more easily.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  2. #27
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    I read that you start teaching kids by having them stitch on wide lined paper with no thread. They can get some practice and control. I started my grandaughter this way she is 7 yrs old. We made a little blanket which we sewed some strip on the base fat quarter. So I steam a seam down the edges at the start and finish of the strip so no pins.
    She love it. But it is hard standing over and letting her do it. I so wanted to just do it for her. Which isn't the idea.
    ruthie

  3. #28
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Age depends on the child. By 5 I was using my Mom's sewing machine, with a phone book under it so I could reach it!!

  4. #29
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Age of the child learning to sew is not the issue...interest is! And they must be both interested in sewing and interested in the project. It is also important to have something that they can finish quickly and see results to be proud of.

    The suggestion to have several choices of initial projects is a good one. It is also helpful to have several fabric choices as kids have their own color and design preferences just like we do...sometimes very definite thoughts on such things at a very young age.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  5. #30
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    I agree that young children will learn to sew if the lesson is engaging enough to catch their attention and simple enough to manage. All my grandchildren now sew because of spending time with me during summer holidays. Like many others, they all started with a threadless needle and paper following first straight, then curved lines. The love to sort through my fabrics, so I cut a bunch of squares and let the kids arrange them into a quilt to sew. They even use my good machine because I can turn the speed down to make the foot pedal more manageable.

    I learned to sew on a treadle and sewed my own clothes by age 10. By 13, I had stopped buying clothes and loved to make things like tailored jackets. Today, I have trouble sewing a zipper in and have it look decent. ***sigh***
    Barbara

    Samuel Johnson - Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed, not by strength but by perseverance.

  6. #31
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    Okilovequilts34,have ya made any decisions on how ya are goin' ta proceed? Be sure & show us some picts of what they make!
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  7. #32
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    You can really tell about motor skills when teaching a young child how to sew. If motor skills are not developed early the kids have a hard time with dexterity later on. In the past very young girls learned to knit, boys sharpened knives and wove nets developing skills early. My generation it seemed every girl played Jacks and cut paper doll clothes very carefully. Boys played marbles and used sling shots. I was surprised that my DGD was the only girl in her 3rd grade class that knew how to play Jacks and could play through the rounds with out missing. Her teacher played with her at recess and all the girls gathered around to learn. Very few could could bounce the ball and pick up a jack. Many got mad they couldn't do it so the teacher had to stop playing with the kids that could. No child could is allowed to have low self esteem feelings these days.
    Got fabric?

  8. #33
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    I remember the first sewing project I made was an apron. It was in my Brownie class (1 st. grade ? ) and it was hand sewn. Don't know what ever happened to it. I do still have 4 cobbler type aprons my Mom made for me when I was a little girl. I also learned to sew on a treadle machine...wish I still had it. I want to teach my grandson (5 1/2 yrs) how to sew on my FW, but I don't know if he can sit still that long. LOL

  9. #34
    Senior Member rrhaigh's Avatar
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    I have been teaching my 11 year old GD to sew. She started with paper and following the lines and dot to dots from color books. However, I felt that made her watch the "needle" rather than where the pressure foot is. So, once she started sewing on fabric and needed to make accurate seams I taped painters tape to the machine bed and had her use that for a guide. First she made a pillow case, then a blanket just putting two rights sides together and sewing around, turning it and then top stitch around. Next she made a bag.

    Her all time FAVORITE is making STUFFED ANIMALS. She uses coloring book pictures for patterns. Puts the pattern on the fabric and cuts them out and sews them. I am amazed at how accurate her seams are and her corner turning is great. Doing these stuffed animals has taught her soooo much about details. Once she has sewn them and stuffed them she uses permanent marker to make their faces and sews buttons on by hand for eyes. She has made dozens of these and gives them to friends. She is so proud of stuffed animals and never seems to tire of making them!
    Robin
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  10. #35
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    You can really tell about motor skills when teaching a young child how to sew. If motor skills are not developed early the kids have a hard time with dexterity later on.
    Isn't that akin to saying a child, who doesn't walk early, will never win a marathon?
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
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  11. #36
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    I don't like to use the sewing machine, so I taught my oldest son (6 at the time, now freshly 9) how to sew by hand. He doesn't like to do it now but he likes to tell me what to make. The youngest (when he was 6, now 8) can do his own thing with sewing and it looks more like fabric art than real sewing, but it's wonderful. My goal, though, was not utilitarian, it was to get the pleasure I get out of needle, thread, and fabric. My mother taught us first on plastic canvas... we made tissue boxes for our teachers every year for Christmas. Then we did printed fabric, and trapunto. (I think that's it, we made pillows but the top part was puffy to make certain things stand out, stuffed with stuffing.)

    You will give these children memories that will last a lifetime, that I promise you.

  12. #37
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    I just bought my granddaughter the new Elna Lotus. She's turning 7 in about a week - this was an early BD gift so she could start working on stuff to enter in the county fair in August.

    Her first project that fed her ego in a BIG way was a simple sundress. I'm talking SIMPLE! Walmart sells that puckered sundress fabric that also already has a ruffled hem done. So we're talkin' one side seam and a set of turned shoulder straps. . She pinned on a fabric flower ($2 at Walmart) ... And she was soooooo proud of what she made!

    Our most difficult issue was finding REAL scissors that she could work with her little hands. After really crappy experiences with Fiskars & a few other brands ( all chewed fabric instead of cutting) , I finally found that Gingher sells a 4" pair of rounded tip scissors - so they look like typical school scissors, but are heavy and have that glorious "dressmaker shears" feel of true Ginghers.

  13. #38
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    PS... I get to "borrow" that Lotus for toting to classes, etc.

  14. #39
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanamoms View Post
    I'm teaching my 5 year old DGD to sew and she is eating it up. Last week, she "cut out" her pillow pattern and did an excellent job of it. This week, I began teaching my 7 year old DGS to sew. With just a few explanations, like how to "read" a 1/4" seam, he sewed his first small strips together. Man, that was the straightest stitching I've ever seen. He operated the foot pedal with machine on slow speed and held his fingers just so. He actually used the 1/4" line on the needle plate. I was quite impressed. He was then ready to move on to making a pillow out of a baseball panel but Mommy came early to pick him up. I am so proud of both of them!!

    As you should be. Pass along a big WTG! to both of them.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  15. #40
    Super Member Momma_K's Avatar
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    I admire any child willing to learn a new "home" project. I have my grand children on the machine now and again and they love it. There is so much undesirable things to find to do on the streets these days. Keep the youth home teaching them a family trade and you'll always know where they are.
    Thank You Lord for answering my prayers, in this I am truely blessed!

  16. #41
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    I am currently working with my 7 year old granddaughter. She sewed 5 inch sq together for a quilt. She lives in Texas and next visit she will put the back on her quilt. She was so excited. Just remember their attention span is very short. We took several breaks. I have taught several others to sew and it is so rewarding. I have signed up to teach beginning sewing at 4H here. Sharing helps pass our craft on.

  17. #42
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    This pillow case project is a good one to start with:http://youtu.be/NLnrC9yo8tY

  18. #43
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    I worked with my grandchildren from an early age. One, now at 14, has 3 bed quilts and sews with our wounded soldiers quilt group.

    I started them on pillowcases, simple totes and then a simple block quilt.

    For clothing, we started with pajamas. simple pull on pants and over the head top. Didnt matter if the seams were not perfect, they could wear them with pride.

    another pair of pajamas they made with pull on pants, and a T-shirt from Joann's machine embroidered with a design that was in the print of the pants.
    Jean in MI

  19. #44
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    I think its great everyone is teaching their grandchildren and others this age old art. I have been sewing most of my life, and my daughter was never interested. But my granddaughter is, and I have begun to teach her. Last year we worked on little quilts, with her Girl Scout troop. They took them to the elderly for lap cover ups.
    Amythyst

  20. #45
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I'd say pillowcases, maybe rag quilts, or small doll quilts or blankets. Maybe those self binding receiving blankets, or simple tote bags.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  21. #46
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    I teach Home & Careers skills to 8th graders at a local public school. In my sewing section, I start by teaching them how to thread a needle and do hand sewing stitches like running or gathering stitches, hem stitches, small quilting type stitches, etc. Then I teach them how to sew on buttons, both types, with and without a shank. (This will come in handy for the rest of their lives). From there we go on to make a hand sewn quilted potholder -- this takes about 8 days of 40 minute class periods to complete. After that we move to machines. We start first by stitching on paper. There are mazes, curves, angles, etc that you can probably find online to use for practicing stitching (needle only, no thread). This will gain them control with electric foot pedal, etc. Next we move on to learning how to thread a machine and then we practice different size stitches on a scrap piece of muslin. After they learn some of these basics a small pillow or apron or bag they can carry stuff in is good. We make a fleece hat using a pattern and it fringes up on top of head when we tie a scrap piece of fleece around it. I think girls would like a bag to carry to the beach! Since I teach almost 400 kids a year over a course that runs 10 weeks, including boys, the process is challenging. I think if you find something they will use they will have more fun making it.

  22. #47
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    Several years ago I taught a summer class for children through Home Extension. They each made elastic waist shorts and appliqued a piece of the shorts fabric onto a purchased t-shirt. Then each made a baseball-type cap with a bill. The outfits turned out well.
    To stabilize the bills of the caps we cut a bill-shaped piece from a gallon milk carton.
    Bebe McGee

  23. #48
    Junior Member Grama Chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovequilts34 View Post
    Last weekend a friend asked me if I would teach four or five little girls how to sew. Their ages are 5, 8 and three in the 8th grade. I taught first year 4-H sewing years ago, but I need some "modern" ideas of things for them to make. They are eager to learn how to sew, crochet, knit, and embroider, so I need some basic project suggestions. I will have two sewing machines for them to use and plenty of sewing supplies. I am so excited about helping teach these girls some lifetime skills Thanks for any comments and suggestions you might have to make this a successful experience.
    I have taught 3 grandkids already. I start out teaching them to sew on paper that (no thread) I make different lines, swirls, circles, etc on it so they get the feel & idea on how to run the machine safety 1st is always the issue. After they can do that then they can make simple pot holders I start 10 x 10, top, filling, bottom & a button in the middle they also learn to "whip stitch" the last hem by had not perfect but giving them the feel of things. Sausage pillowcases are very easy 2 seams & they're done. Funky bags to hold their treasures in made of whatever fabric scraps they want. Teaching them to iron I have 2 rules, 1. steam away 2. hands down or in the pocket my 5 1/2 yr old grandson iron scraps & loves it he can't wait to sew. Have fun & patience & they'll do fine :-)
    Live each day to the fullest as it was your last.
    Grama Chris

  24. #49
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neesie View Post
    Isn't that akin to saying a child, who doesn't walk early, will never win a marathon?
    Read what I wrote: 'kids have a hard time later on'. Not that they never will., Geesh.
    Got fabric?

  25. #50
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