Do you want to spend more quality time with your kids? How about sewing a cute toy or refashioning a T-shirt together?
Sewing with your family is a truly precious pastime. Teaching kids how to sew fosters independence and creativity in them and helps them work on their motor skills. You don’t need to be an expert to teach your kids, either, if you resource well. Enjoy your fabric crafting together and learn as you go with these ten super handy tips.
1Let the Kids Use Real, Quality Tools
Besides your fabric, you will need needles in different sizes, different colors of thread (gray is a good catch-all color), scissors, pins, a pincushion of some type, an embroidery hoop if you plan to do decorative sewing, scissors, and a seam ripper. Use a real seam ripper and straight pins as well as real scissors and needles, as blunt ones will inevitably lead to disappointing results.
2Put Your Sewing Kit Together
The next thing is to put all of this together. Try an old suitcase or a sturdy picnic basket as your kit container. You can also try lidded boxes which come in many materials, from plastic to wood.
3Find Someone to Teach Both You and Your Child
A mentor is a really important part of learning to sew. You can learn to sew in so many ways. The right mentor will teach you not only faster than you would learn on your own, but they can show you more style than you might discover by yourself.
4Find Some Great Books and Read Them Together
The books Fabric, Paper, Thread and A Kid’s Guide to Sewing come highly recommended from bloggers, but you may find more books at your local library or craft store as well. It’s important to consider the skill level of the book so that you don’t have projects on your hands that you are unable to finish.
5Pick Up Your Needle
Whether you sew with needle and thread or a machine, just start on the project at hand. Some common basic projects are drawstring bags, pillowcases, and pincushions. Picking up and powering through self-doubt and the “I don’t know how’s” are the surest way to improve your sewing skills and set a great example for good effort. Don’t worry so much about the details at first. Mismatched thread colors, wiggly stitches, and small puckers are no reason to stop sewing or become discouraged!
6Let Go of the Negative Self-Talk
When you’re sewing with your family, it’s so important to teach being gracious to yourself and others. Just imagine what little ones will copy when you are tempted to get down on yourself about your newly learned skill. Perhaps more importantly, remember to respond well to the learning process of your child since they are picking up a new skill! So, put on your best smile and keep sewing!
7Find Something for the Little Ones to Do
You may have a tradition in your family for children’s sewing, or you may just need to find something to keep them occupied. Some ideas for them if you don’t already have a tradition are thread trimming, fabric sorting, or ruching and gathering by hand.
8Let the Fun-Sized People Create
Letting your kids create is a wonderful thing for their childhood memories and growth. Let them do things on their own, even if the sewing isn’t perfect or it seems they make a zillion little bags.
9Learn as You Go and Build Your Skills
The more you learn, the more you can show your kids. Check out online tutorials and YouTube as well as paper patterns to develop skills.
10Cherish the Moment
Give yourself permission to enjoy each project, even if it’s not a perfect memento. You and your family will treasure the memories, not just the objects.
Crafts large and small bring a family together. Since adults tend to learncrafts faster than children do, don’t worry so much if you don’t have a lot of sewing experience. You can research a little bit before you lead a craft or get help from a mentor to fill in the details. Enjoy each moment!