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Teaching Your Child How to Sew: 5 Easy Tips

Hey fellow Crafters! If you're a regular here on our blog, you know that we're strong believers in teaching children how to sew. If you're new to this page, here's the scoop:

By teaching kids how to sew, you're not only giving them a lifelong skill they can use for years to come, but they'll also be learning how to:

  • be patient
  • follow a pattern 
  • develop fine motor skills
  • creatively solve problems
  • think critically
  • and so much more! 

It might sound easier said than done to teach your child how to sew, so how do you actually do this? Like anything new, sewing needs to be broken down into steps so that it's easy for your child to learn and not get overwhelmed.

We've broken down the craft of sewing into five easy tips for you to try out. Let us know how it goes!

Tip 1: Know Your Child

No matter what age your child is, there are always different levels of sewing that you can teach, whether you're using a needle and thread or yarn and beads. This step is about understanding your child and what level of learning would best suit him/her. Below we have listed some general project suggestions based on age range:

Put This into Action

  • Children ages 2-4: use a thicker material like yarn to bead or run through hole-punched projects.
  • Children ages 5-9: Try hand-stitching projects to practice cross-stitch or embroidery. As they grow, increase the skill level. 
  • Children ages 10-13: Offer more complex hand sewing or embroidery projects and introduce the sewing machine.
  • Children ages 13+: Teach tailoring techniques and alterations once they're comfortable with the sewing machine.

Tip 2: Break it Down

Like most of us, kids learn best when things are broken down into steps and properly explained. Kids can (and will) get easily frustrated when they are not able to complete a step. Depending on your child's age and temperament, they will learn and master skills at different rates. We recommend teaching younger children concepts that can be mastered within 1-2 hour sessions, whereas older children can follow longer projects over days or weeks.

Put This into Action

At this stage, teach and challenge your child so that they are learning a new skill at a pace that is appropriate to their learning level:

  • Sewing newbie: Provide a demonstration, photographs or images of what the steps should look like. 
  • Comfortable sewer: Let them search for projects that appeal to them. Gather the project's necessary supplies, allowing your child to think critically while choosing how to proceed with the project.
  • Sewing wiz: Let them search for a project or create their own sewing project ideas. Let your child have more independence to gather the supplies him/herself. 

It's important (and exciting!) to let them learn, grow and take a true interest in the craft at their own pace.

Tip 3: Show Them How to Fix Mistakes

Sewing is a beautiful craft once you figure out the steps, but it can also be frustrating when you miss a stitch or sew the wrong pieces together. For children, this can be a major roadblock if they don't know how to proceed.

Put This into Action

Instead of waiting for your child to make the mistake, build the process of following instructions into each project. You can practice:

  • Stitch-ripping for when they get carried away
  • Untying knots that were unintentional
  • Properly read over instructions for when they skip a step

Remind your child to fully read the instructions, allot more time for detailed work and know that mistakes are ok - we all make them! This stage will teach your kids patience through the process, and make them a better sewer in the long run.

Tip 4: Tailor Projects to His/Her Interests

Now that you've learned three ways to help your child sew, all you've got to do to hold their attention. As fellow parents, we know this isn't an easy feat. If your child isn't as excited about sewing as you are, there are different ways for you to incorporate their interests into their projects:

Put This into Action

  • Choose an interesting project, like an animal stuffie, a pair of pyjama pants or a superhero cape.
  • Pick a fun pattern, whether it's their favourite color or characters. 
  • Add personal textiles, like fur or sequins. 
  • Make a seasonal item, like a trick-or-treat bag or a costume for Halloween.

Tip 5: Encourage Them 24/7

Whether your child is excelling in sewing or struggling to thread the needle, it's our job to be their cheerleader. 

Put This into Action

  • Allow your child to take the lead on projects. 
  • Allow them to work on their own.
  • Be available if they have questions. 
  • If you have multiple children, get them to bounce ideas off each other and help each other out. 
  • Give your child time to present the finished project and tell you about the process. Recognize and celebrate their creative work!

So, are you ready to teach your child how to sew? These five tips are designed to provide your child with step-by-step processes in learning how to sew, whatever age or skill level they may be.

Looking for more ways to help your child learn and get off screens? Download our 35-page screen-free kids guide here!

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