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Teaching a Kid to Sew

Posted by on May. 24, 2013 at 10:49 PM
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Sewing is a skill that few children learn adequately in school. If you love to sew and you would like your children to gain the skill, you can teach them how to sew by hand and with a sewing machine as they grow up. You can start with toddlers or teach them once they've grown into adolescents. The project should be chosen based on their hand eye coordination and the level of fun. Consider very simple projects for children aged 1 to 8. Find out how to teach a child to sew.

Toddler Sewing Projects
  1. 1
    Place uncooked tube pasta shells in 3 to 4 different plastic bags. Add 10 or more drops of liquid food coloring to each bag and shake them thoroughly. Choose a different color for each bag.
    • Lay the pasta shells on paper towels to dry. They will dry quickly outside in the sun.
    • Pick your child's favorite color of yarn and cut off a long piece. Knot 1 end of the yarn.
    • Give your child a plastic needle with a large threading hole. Teach your child how to put the yarn through the hole to thread the needle. This is excellent practice for threading needles in the future.
    • Show your child how to place the plastic needle through each pasta shell to make a necklace.
  2. 2
    Make a yarn card. Save cardboard images, such as those on the back of cereal boxes or on greeting cards.
    • Use a small hole punch to make periodic holes in the image, so that if you string yarn around the edge it will follow the shape of the cartoon character or other image. You will need more holes near curves and edges than on straight lines.
    • You can use this to teach a child about a straight stitch or a back stitch. You will need a few holes in the same spot to do a straight stitch, so your child doesn't undo their stitch when they go back through. Once they've mastered the straight stitch you can teach them how to go underneath and stitch back through a cardboard image.
    • Give your child a piece of yarn, some dull scissors and a plastic needle. This time, ask your child to cut a piece of yarn and knot it. Let them thread the needle on the other end.
    • Give the child a starting point and show them how to start in the back on the first hole and stitch around the image. They will have a sense of accomplishment when they finish the outline and knot it again in the back. Cut out the image and frame it or hang it up.
    • For very young children you can use a shoelace instead of yarn and a plastic needle. In this case, they will not need to thread a needle, because the shoelace ends are already intended for threading.

Older Children's Sewing Projects

Make a banner. This can be used as a child's room decoration or a seasonal decoration, depending upon what fabric you use.

      • Pick your fabric according to the use of the banner. This is great for scrap fabric. For younger children, cut many different types of fabric into triangles that are the same size. For older children, let them cut cloth shapes for their own banner.
      • Show your child how to thread embroidery thread through an embroidery needle for this project. This may take several tries.
      • Show them how to start making a banner, by pulling the needle through 1 corner of a triangle from the back and then pulling it through the other corner of the triangle through the front. Move the triangle to the end of the thread length by gently pulling it through.
      • Have your child continue this with the remaining shapes until the thread is full. Hang the banner where everyone can see.
    1. 2
      Teach your child to sew a button. This practical tool can be used to mend clothing, or to decorate some fabric with many colorful buttons. For the first project, give your child a large piece of felt and many different colored buttons to place anywhere on 1 side of the felt.
      • Help your child to knot a piece of thread through a regular needle. It is a good idea to choose a large needle that is easier for your child to see.
      • Show them how to bring up the needle from the opposite side of the fabric through a button hole and down through another hole. Continue this 4 or 5 times until the button is tight but not too tight.
      • Have your child knot it at the back. Then, find 2-hole, 4-hole and other types of buttons to practice on. Once the child has practiced with many buttons on the felt, turn the felt into the front side of a pillow. Once buttons have been mastered in this setting, you can teach them to sew a button to a shirt and match it up with a hole.
    2. 3
      Buy your child sewing books made especially for children. In order to encourage a passion for sewing, they may enjoy completing the simple sewing projects inside. Many of these books are structured like coloring books or story books with projects inside.
      • Good book choices include: "Sewing Projects for Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects to Help Kids Aged 3 and Up Learn to Sew" by Emma Hardy, "Mary Frances Sewing Book" by Jane Eayer and "See and Sew: A Sewing Book for Children" by Tina Davis.
    3. 4
      Make stuffed felt shapes. You will needle embroidery thread, an embroidery needle, some felt and some batting.
      • Cut a shape, such as a heart or a circle, into a piece of felt. Fold it in half and cut the shape through 2 pieces of felt. This will be your front and back parts of the stuffed shape.
      • Punch holes every 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) apart with an eyelet pliers. Do this through both pieces of felt.
      • Help your child to thread the needle with a very long piece of thread. Instead of knotting it, have your child keep some extra length in order to knot it at the end.
      • Instruct your child on how to do a straight stitch, back stitch or blanket stitch around the edge of the felt shapes. When they get near the end, help them to stuff the shape with batting to make a stuffed shape.
      • Help your child to finish the last edge and knot the thread. Once your child has mastered all 3 stitches with different felt shapes, move on to sewing felt letters onto 1 side of a felt piece before doing a larger stuffed shape.
  • Once you feel your child is good with hand sewing, teach them to thread a sewing machine and learn a straight stitch. Your child should learn good safety skills before attempting to use a sewing machine.

by on May. 24, 2013 at 10:49 PM
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