My daughter is a maker by nature. She makes at least one piece of art daily and if her artwork is a gift, she fashions an envelope to put it in. When she is outside, she weaves twigs and leaves into boats or she makes homes and yards for her rolly polly friends. She is happy for hours creating with paper, tape, glue, and yarn.
She started asking me to teach her to sew when she was three and I would reply that I thought a girl had to be six before she knew how to sew and then I would tell her about the dangers of sharp needles.
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Mostly, I hoped that she wouldn't want to learn to sew when she turned six, because I really didn't know how to sew myself. My inability to sew can be attributed to a lack of Home Ec requirements in school and a mom who didn't really like to sew herself. My husband was the button sewer and stuffed animal doctor in our house because he had Home Ec and a mom who was very talented at sewing. Two months ago, I could thread a needle and sew a clumsy running stitch. Those were the only skills that I brought to the table when I decided to teach my girl to sew.
When I began asking around about teaching my daughter to sew, someone recommended Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make, I checked it out on Amazon and bought it.
Sewing School was one of the best investments I have made in a long time. My daughter fell in love with the book the minute she saw it and immediately asked to write her name in it ...with a permanent marker. That girl knows how to make sure a book is not taken back to the store.
She was so sad that she couldn't start with a project right that very minute because I didn't have the right sized needle and thread that were recommended for the small hands of kids. But that turned out to be a blessing because it did give us time to read the preliminary sections together we could go over the very important rules of sewing, like always know where your needle is and be careful of people around you!
When we did gather our materials, we started with a project or two a day. Since, I don't know much about sewing, I have been doing every project alongside of her. I've been impressed that every project in the book has been useful for work or for play. The first two projects we did, a needle book and pincushion, that we use for future sewing projects. After the first two projects, we made a quiet mouse and pillow, which she uses for play.
We have also made a doll's skirt, a small drawstring pouch, a couple of pillows where she designed the pattern, and many, many more quiet mice.
So far we have only done hand sewing projects, because we don't own a sewing machine. Luckily for us, most of the projects in this book are hand sewing projects. The sequel to Sewing School is mainly projects that require a sewing machine. Someday, when she's ready for a sewing machine, I'll get her Sewing School 2 to go along with it.
Sewing School has taught us everything we need to know. We have learned how to do a running stitch and whip stitch, how to use a needle threader, how to make a bobbin, how to sew two kinds of buttons on, how to add embellishments, how to sew a casing, and how to stuff a toy or pillow.
(One thing that Sewing School doesn't teach as well as my husband taught me is how to tie off a knot at the end of a project. This video will help you tie a knot right where you want it to be.)
What You Absolutely Need to Get Started with Sewing School
What you have in you sewing box may not be appropriate for little hands. These are the materials mentioned in the book that I had to gather together or purchase to get started teaching my daughter and myself to sew:
Chenille Size 22 Sharp Point Needles
Lo Ran Needle Threaders
A Selection of Felt Pieces
Some Fabric (I like buyingpre-coordinated quarter samples)
A Small Pair of Scissors for your child and a Large Pair for you
Of course, don't forget to buy the book: Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make
One thing that was not mentioned in the what to buy section of the book that we have used a lot is a bag of stuffing! My daughter loves stuffing pillows and small toys! Another thing you may want to purchase is a bag of cute buttons.
I'm So Glad I Taught My Daughter to Sew
We both have a lot to learn when it comes to sewing and I hope that someday the student surpasses the teacher. I had a little conversation with my daughter that made me very, very happy that I took the time to teach my daughter to sew:
"Mom, do you know why I like to sew so much?"
"No, Sweetie, why?"
"Because when I sew, I feel proud."
Thank you for reading!
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