With so many families stuck in their houses under COVID-19 lockdown, I’ve seen a significant increase of traffic to this website, and I’m wondering if parents are taking this opportunity to teach their children to sew. My site has lots of great tutorials for the beginning sewist.
For example, perhaps you’ve seen my video that shows “How to Sew a Snap on Fabric“. The video at the top of this post is another basic tutorial, showing people how to sew a straight stitch. This would be an ideal video for teaching a young child how to sew by hand.
When sewing with children for the first time, I recommend a few things:
- Have young children begin sewing with felt. It’s much more forgiving than cotton and inexpensive when they make mistakes.
- Begin with a needle and thread. You may need to thread the needle for them, but they are usually less intimidated by a needle and thread as opposed to a sewing machine.
- Instead of using buttons or snaps, try having young children tack on ribbon as a closure. Some doll clothes garments can even be sealed with a ribbon that isn’t attached. Snaps and buttons can be added to the project later, after they’ve gotten their feet wet.
- Keep projects simple and short. Ideally, you want them to finish the project in the number of minutes double their age. So if the child is four, they can handle an eight minute project but not much more than that. (This week’s felt shirt is probably about that long.)
- Avoid making the child hem their first garment. This is one of the reasons why felt is such a great fabric for children learning to sew. It doesn’t require hemming!
The key is to start them off easy-peasy, and build on their knowledge as they grow.
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