Teach Kids To Sew

Parent Guide: Tips to Teach Your Child To Sew

Is My Child Ready To Sew?

Do you want to teach your child to sew? Do you want your child to learn to sew? Maybe you are asking yourself, "Is my child ready to learn to sew?" These are common questions many parents have when it comes to sewing.  Historically, sewing wasn't for kids. Patterns were written for adults to sew and the thought of a child using a sewing machine just didn't exist. There weren't many patterns for kids and there weren't any patterns that kids could sew themselves, or even understand. This problem was solved over 35 years ago when Carolyn Curtis designed, wrote, and started the very first sewing program for kids. She developed patterns for kids, wrote instructions they could understand, and purchased machines so they could learn. She set out to show the world that kids can really sew! And that she did. Over 35 years later, kids of all ages are sewing, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Carolyn Curtis, CEO of Kids Can Sew. Carolyn proved that kids of all ages could learn to sew! 

When assessing whether your child is ready to sew, a good starting point is their age. We recommend six years of age when:

  • the child is willing and capable of learning sewing skills

  • the child has an adult to help guide their efforts and support their learning

  • the child can follow simple instructions and directions

Kids are already programmed for learning. Many take piano, dance, gymnastics, sports, or another type of extracurriculum activity. Sewing will become another discipline they can use to learn and grow.

 

Selecting a Sewing Machine

Choosing the right sewing machine is essential for your child to have a good experience with sewing. A machine that jams frequently or doesn't function properly can turn your child away from sewing .You don't want to venture into that territory. Look for the following when selecting a sewing machine:

  • Use a full size sewing machine. Do not be tempted to purchase a toy machine. 

  • If possible, choose a machine with speed control.

  • Select a machine with a finger guard. This is usually an extra piece you can install on the machine.

  • Select a machine with a drop-in bobbin.

If you are lucky enough to have been given a sewing machine, take the time to make sure it works properly. If not, your child (and you) will become frustrated and upset. You want you child's experience to be a happy one, and it can be.

Learn to Use the Sewing Machine

The very first thing your child should learn is how to use the sewing machine.  Read the sewing machine manual and teach your child the importance of the manual and how to find answers, if needed.  If you have an older machine that may not have a manual, you can do a search online for one.  Many mahcines have online manuals you can download.

You child should learn to thread the sewing machine and bobbin, select stitches, backtack, raise and lower their presser foot, change a needle, how to use the handwheel and foot pedal. This may take time, but repetition will help your child learn to master these important concepts.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

When something is out of sight, it's generally out of mind. Don't let this happen with your sewing machine. Keep your sewing machine out in the open so your child can easily access it when needed. You may wish to set up a small area for your child to sew, away from other active areas in the household. Always remember to supervise your child when they sew.

Don't Expect Perfection

As your child is learning to sew, be patient and remember, they are learning. It's ok if your child sews a crooked line (or many). In time, your child will learn how to control and steer the fabric through the sewing machine with precision. Sewing takes time and repetition to master important skills and concepts. Allow your child the time to learn these things.

Start With Something Easy

Your child's first project should be one that will help them get used to the sewing machine. A great project would be a bean bag or two. This will help them get the feel of how the machine operates and they can have fun with the project they made.  The Learn To Sew Kids Curriuclum includes clothing and craft projects for beginners, and will take your child on a step by step interactive journey as they learn to sew, starting with basics. If your child is wanting to start with a non sewing machine project, here are some great hand sewing projects.

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Girls Ages 6+

Boys Ages 6+

Teens Ages 11+