As adults get older, we tend to think we’ve got it all figured out, meanwhile kids are the polar opposite. It’s important to challenge their minds and teach them skills that they can use as they grow. Kids are often even more likely to pick up and master skills when they are young, soaking up knowledge like a sponge, so why not teach them to sew? Sewing comes in various forms, so use my sewing tips to choose what type of sewing is right for you and the child you’re teaching.
How to Make Your Space Kid Friendly
Before you bring a child to a sewing machine, it’s important to make your area kid-friendly, to keep them safe, and to set them up for success as they learn.
- Bring the sewing machine down to a lower level
OR place the presser foot at a higher level
- Mark out danger zones (like under the presser foot where the needle goes)
- Adjust the sewing machine speed regulator to a slower speed
- As a guide use tape or rubber bands to mark the sewing machine allowance
Tips for Getting Started
- Consider introducing embroidery before sewing to practice techniques, patience, and precision.
- Start by machine sewing on paper (lined paper can be used to practice machine control) to help them become more comfortable with the machine.
- Establish the importance of following instructions but also encourage kids to problem solve when they make mistakes.
- Teach kids which tools they will need for their project (like shears, needles, thread, seam ripper, bobbin, etc.) and how to use them.
- Read through instructions with kids to make sure they understand what they’ll be doing. This will reduce frustration.
- Demonstrate proper techniques first, then do it together before letting children attempt steps alone.
Beginner Techniques to Master
Listed below are some techniques to teach children that will prepare them for future sewing projects. Many will be shown right in your machine’s specific user guide.
- How to thread the machine and the bobbin
- How to thread the needle (turn the machine off)
- How to pivot and adjust the presser foot
- How to identify the right/wrong side of the fabric
- How to cut cleanly and precisely with shears
- How to pin (quilting pins are easier to see and handle)
- How to use a seam ripper
Start with easy projects that kids will be excited about while making sure it is appropriate for their attention span and skill level. Below are some kid-friendly projects and additional materials needed to complete them (assume that each project needs fabric and thread).
Standard or Decorative Pillow Cases
Heating or Cooling Pad
- Recommended Fabrics: Flannel
- Supplies: Beans, rice, ice pack, or similar materials to place inside the project
Simple Doll Clothes (like a dress, skirt, or pajamas)
- Recommended Fabrics: Canvas
- Supplies: NONE
Simple Laptop Sleeve
Key chain Chapstick Holder
Sewing with kids sounds like a daunting task, but as long as you do the prep work and have as much patience with them as you expect them to have, it will be an enjoyable and precious experience. If your child or kids you know are expressing an interest in crafting or sewing, there’s no better time to teach them then now. Sewing is a practical skill that has gotten me out of a bind more than once and is sure to help your little ones in the long run.
What are some easy projects you have sewn with your little ones? Drop your comments below!