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Thread: Teaching my granddaughter to sew

  1. #1
    Member 749janet's Avatar
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    I'm wanting to teach my granddaughter how to sew only I'm at a loss as to where to start. She's nine years old. Do I get her used to operating the sewing machine first? Practice on learning how to sew two pieces of material together? Please help any advice would be helpful. Thanks so much.

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    Based on my experience teaching my boys, ages 8 & 10, to sew, I'd say to start with hand sewing if you want her to learn that. My boys prefer machine sewing (except when they can't). If they hadn't learned hand sewing first, they might not do it at all. Either way, start with quick and easy projects that build confidence and give a satisfying reward. We made four patch pin cushions and quilts for their stuffed animals. They make clothes and contraptions for the animals too (hanglider, tents, backpacks).

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    Quote Originally Posted by 749janet
    I'm wanting to teach my granddaughter how to sew only I'm at a loss as to where to start. She's nine years old. Do I get her used to operating the sewing machine first? Practice on learning how to sew two pieces of material together? Please help any advice would be helpful. Thanks so much.
    :thumbup: I am sure that everyone will have a different opion, but what I did was: I had my DGD (who also is 9) sit at the machine and explain to her it was not a toy. Tried to explain to her some safty rules, then showed her how to thread the machine. Told her the different parts of the machine. Gave her some scraps and told her she could do what she wanted with them. She then spent the rest of the day sewing pieces together. She learned how to thread by herself. When she made some mistakes I gave her a ripper and told her that was part of the process. I made up a scrap box and gave her some tools. I told her, she was responsible for keeping the area clean and she had to put everything away when she was finished. I sew on the living room table so the table is used for many things. Told her how to sew a seam and just let her go at it. If I would have given her too many rules at one time I think she would have baulked. It is a lesson in patience and she made a few things that exicited her. She keep saying thank you Gammy for teaching me to sew. Of course she has a long way to go but she is having fun. I don't have to say we both were having fun. I am sure you will find a way that works for both of you. Just have fun and God bless. BrendaK

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    a regular here sisLH's Avatar
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    My mother let my granddaughter sit at her old Singer treadle as she had it in her head she wanted to make Barbie doll clothes. Well, guess? That's exactly what she did! No pattern. No-one helping pushing the treadle pedal and she made what she had envisioned! Now mom has told us all the DGD will inherit that machine as neither my sister or I have yet to get the pedal action right! lol

  5. #5
    Senior Member SnowQuilt's Avatar
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    I got a sewing machine for kids at JoAnn's when I taught my DGD to sew. Showed her how it works explained everything to her and she made a little quilt for her dolls, but she was 7 at the time, she is 9 now. She moved away and is coming for a couple of weeks and is already talking about wanting to make some quilts for her dolls again. I got rid of the sewing machine when she left, so I will let her used my mom's old machine. She had a great time learning and we had a blast sewing together. :)

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    Senior Member VickyS's Avatar
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    BrendaK has great ideas. Why not just ask your granddaughter what she wants to do and show her the steps to do it - just the basics.

    My son and daughter learned by watching me sew, then later sitting at my old Featherweight and stitching straight seams to make teddy bear blankets. From there they progressed to middle school/ junior high and learned how to sew fish and pencil pillows. They became hooked.

    My daughter is now quilting baby quilts for her best friend. It only takes a couple of minutes to stoke the flame of creativity and look out! You may find yourself the recipient of a quilt from her some day.

    Let us know how she does.

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    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    I taught my DGD to sew about 7yrs ago, so she was 8 at the time. I showed her how to thread the machine, do an accurate 1/4" and if it wasn't then we both ripped out her seams together. She started out by making a cotton 9 patch toss pillow for her Mom and a flannel log cabin for herself. They still have those pillows. My DGD still sews with me occasionally and she is now 15yrs, only not as often as I would like. I miss our sewing time together, but, atleast she can sew.

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    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    OOPS...sorry for the double posts...my internet is too busy hiccupping this morning!

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    Super Member Carrie Jo's Avatar
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    I was taught to learn to control when my mom would draw a line of circle on a piece of paper and I would "sew" around it with out thread, the she would draw a different design and I would sew around it. It taught me to comtrol where I would sew and that sewing fast wasnt always good. I can still remember that to this day. man how time flies.

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    Super Member Carrie Jo's Avatar
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    oops sorry ..pushed the button twice.

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    As a 4H sewing teacher, I say teach them to hand sew first. Neat hand sewing is very important when constructing garments. I have a very hard time getting the girls to do any hand sewing because they think everything can be done on the machine. My mother started me out about age 5 with embroidery. That's more fun than just hand sewing but you will use kinda the same stitches when sewing by hand. I still love hand sewing to this day, embroidery, quilting and the such. I also like the idea of sewing on paper without any thread. It makes the holes so you can sew where you've sewn but not the thread to get jammed. Just sew along the lines of notebook paper to encourage straight lines. There was just a thread not too long ago where she said she couldn't sew a straight line. Practice, Practice, Practice.
    And a good machine helps.

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    I taught a Girl Scout group to piece to help them earn a patch for their uniforms and I started them with a rail fence. They got to pick their colors, got a little experience with trying quarter inch seams, used (with a lot of supervision) a rotary cutter, and put the quilt together. We did it one evening a week for 4 weeks. The most important thing was to help them understand tha the tools aren't toys and that they can be dangerous if not used properly.

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    I have 3 DGD. They all wanted to learn and I told them when they were 8 we would start working on it. I was afraid they would hurt themselves before that. I signed 2 of them up at JoAnn's for a class to make a pillowcase. At times the classes are 50% off, so it was pretty cheap. They were very proud of their pillowcases and it gave them something to use right away. Then I bought a book that has 100 1 yard projects and they have all picked out about 80 of them. I guess I will be busy for a long time.
    Sue

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    Senior Member sue z q's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by susie-susie-susie
    I have 3 DGD. They all wanted to learn and I told them when they were 8 we would start working on it. I was afraid they would hurt themselves before that. I signed 2 of them up at JoAnn's for a class to make a pillowcase. At times the classes are 50% off, so it was pretty cheap. They were very proud of their pillowcases and it gave them something to use right away. Then I bought a book that has 100 1 yard projects and they have all picked out about 80 of them. I guess I will be busy for a long time.
    Sue
    Would like to know the name of the book.

  15. #15
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    The name of the book is "One-Yard Wonders" by Rebecca Yoker and Patricia Hoskins. I got it at my LQS. The instructions are pretty simple, and it's got quite a variety of projects. Good luck finding it.
    Sue

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    Senior Member VickyS's Avatar
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    You may want to try "The Giving Quilt: Fast Quilts for Comfort and Healing" Edited by Kathy Cueva and Susan Ziegler available at Joann's. I've used the patterns in it to make charity quilts. One of their patterns I sent to my niece (a first time quilter) who managed to finish a quilt in one weekend for her English class project. I gave her the info to add to her quilt label for copyright purposes.

    Her teacher, her mom and I are delighted she could do it. If she can do it, your granddaughters can do it. Kristen didn't know how to sew before starting this project, but she's seen mom, grandma and I work on quilts for many years.

  17. #17
    Member 749janet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrie Jo
    I was taught to learn to control when my mom would draw a line of circle on a piece of paper and I would "sew" around it with out thread, the she would draw a different design and I would sew around it. It taught me to comtrol where I would sew and that sewing fast wasnt always good. I can still remember that to this day. man how time flies.
    Sounds like a good idea.

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