Perhaps you have bought a new sewing machine for your kids but are stuck for ideas to get started?
If so, you’re in luck.
We will look today at 7 simple tips to use when teaching your child to sew. Next week we will explore some easy projects perfect for kids.
Think carefully about the pointers below and watch your child embrace the creativity of sewing in a safe, stimulating environment.
1) Think About Age
A good rule of thumb is to consider teaching your kid to sew as soon as they start to show an interest. If they are asking about using a sewing machine, there’s a strong chance they are ready.
All children develop at different rates. There is no magic age but any time around 6 years old is a reasonable time to get them going with a machine designed for young sewers. At this age, clearly, supervision is extremely important.
Once your children hit the age of 8, they become more independent and you can leave them to beaver away alone.
There are no hard and fast rules so be sensible and get your kids sewing as soon as it feels right.
2) Avoid Toy Sewing Machines
Toy sewing machines are nothing more than a bit of lighthearted fun for toddlers. If your child exhibits an interest in learning to sew, skip these toys completely.
You need a dedicated sewing machine for kids.
There is nothing more frustrating for a youngster than a piece of equipment which doesn’t work properly. You’ll run into nothing but problems if you fall for the marketing hype and buy a toy sewing machine.
Don’t do it. Get the real thing instead.
3) Focus On Cutting Fabric Correctly
Children do not have the same methodical approach to tasks as adults. Think of how they roll and cut cookies, for example. Chances are, your kid will dive straight to the center and aim to cut one from there!
This same randomness extends to cutting fabric too. Make sure you teach them some discipline and show them how to cut material in a logical, orderly fashion.
Take your time. Show them clearly how to position pieces along the edges of the fabric. Repeat and reinforce. This is always a sound tactic with young learners. Get them started by learning how to do things the right way and say goodbye to those large pieces of cloth with a tiny chunk cut from the middle!
4) Make Fun a Priority
Fun and learning for kids should be one and the same thing.
The most effective teachers manage to stimulate their students and keep them laughing while they are learning. Use the same tactic when teaching your kids to sew.
Not only should the atmosphere be congenial to fun but the project chosen should be entertaining as well. Communicate with your child and ask them what type of things would interest them. Listen to what they want.
Concentrate on tasks which are manageable, age-appropriate and in line with what your child enjoys.
5) Keep Things Simple (teaching your child to sew)
Don’t overcomplicate things.
From instructions through to the sewing project itself, keep everything clear and simple. Less is more with kids.
Whether it’s basic shapes, straightforward stitches or easy-to-work fabric, make sure that simplicity is uppermost in your thoughts.
Your children have a lifetime in which to master the intricacies of sewing machines. Don’t rush into it and cause them to lose heart when things seem too tough for them.
6) Time and Focus: Patience and Short Sessions Are Key
Short, sharp sewing sessions win out every time. You should encourage your child and make them look forward to starting a new craft project.
When it comes to teaching the basics, be ready to repeat yourself time and again until your child can master these fundamentals. Never lose your temper, however frustrated you might get.
Don’t be surprised if your kid starts out on a project with total enthusiasm then runs out of steam and interest. This is natural. That discarded project will always be there if they want to revisit it later.
Be patient, be kind and you’ll be amazed at the results.
7) Sew Slowly: It’s Not a Race
More haste, less speed. This maxim applies to most things in life and sewing is no different.
Instruct your kids clearly that racing to finish is not the aim. The pleasure is in the journey rather than the destination.
Teach them to sew slowly, accurately and let them know that speed will come in time. After plenty of practice.
If you find that they are going rather too slowly for your liking, try to remember what it was like when you were just starting out. Praise your children and be patient. Sewing with precision is much better than trying to be first past the tape.
Once you have chosen the best sewing machine for kids, it’s time to introduce them to the basics right away.
Bear these handy hints in mind and your child will be up and running in no time.