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Teaching children to sew

Teaching children to sew

Old 07-05-2012, 02:14 AM
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I'm working with our 5 year old granddaughter. I gave her lined notebook paper to 'sew' on first, to get the feel of the machine and to practice sewing straight. She was with me when we went to JoAnn's to get some room-darkening drapery lining. As it was being cut, she asked if can get some material to make a skirt! So we got a piece of green fabric with butterflies and we had to make her skirt as soon as we got home. She sewed all the 'straight' seams after I pinned them and pressed the hem and waistband in place. I threaded the elastic thru the casing. She was so proud of her skirt! The clerk at JoAnn's asked her to please come back in and show them her skirt!
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:02 AM
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I learned how to sew at 8 when I started 4-H. I remember sewing on the lines to get the feel of the machine and being told to sew 5/8" seams because that is what garments have.

The big bags are the big rage - that is what I would start a beginner w/ making.

I would be careful w/ the girls on the pajama pants because if the girls are not all avg size - then the pants are going to need altering. - if they're short or tall, crotch length will need to be shortened or lengthened. If they're butt is too big, it'll need to be altered. If they don't fit right, it'll be a disastrous..
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:48 AM
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Here is a fun project right on this board. I had my 11 year DGD here on the 4th and She sewed this.

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Old 07-05-2012, 08:07 AM
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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!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:41 AM
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I've taught beginners of all ages. For children remember to plan a simple project with a great appeal and immediate results. Hand sewing isn't going to meet this goal for most children. The best project I've found are the popular "hot dog/burrito" pillowcases to get them "hooked" with instant gratification. There are youtube videos- something they are familiar with. Working with a pre-cut kit I've had even 6 year olds thrilled with their completed project (Spiderman, Little Mermaid, etc fabrics). Depending on their age it might be simplest to have them sew one using a seam guide and an adult helper. At another session start to discuss threading the machine, measuring, seam allowances, etc. They can practice sewing along the lines on a piece of paper. It's wonderful to get them sewing at a young age!
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:04 AM
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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.

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Old 07-05-2012, 09:52 AM
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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.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:52 AM
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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!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:19 PM
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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.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:35 PM
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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***
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