The twins have asked me fairly consistently the last couple months to teach them to sew. They love that I make some of our clothes - and they love that they're custom fitted. I didn't think this would be enough to keep these two active boys busy - I was Well, now that it's summer, and we have some extra time that's what we're doing!
I let them go through the fabric trunk(one of them anyway) to pull fabric they liked, and their grandma decided to send a box of fabric full of fun prints. In case you're wondering - they haven't used my machine yet. I'd rather not have to head to the ER with a needle sticking out of a body part! Besides, I think sewing by hand teaches a better understanding of the process of sewing.
They learned a straight stitch, a whip stitch and how to do appliqués on things. I even showed them that if you put a little pillow batting under the appliqué before it's sewn on completely it can look three dimensional. That's been fun for them!
They've also learned to make pillows. Neck pillows, rectangle pillows, little angry birds pillows and triangle frog pillows(with the frogs strategically placed on the pillow). While I'm a little concerned that the pillows appear to be breeding like Tribbles(Star Trek fans?), I'm thrilled that they have found joy and peach in the simple act of making something with their hands that doesn't include mud.
I fully expect to be laying on a bed of handmade pillows sipping my coffee and reading my books this summer.
Anyone else need a pillow? I think we may have a few extras...
Here are a few ideas for teaching your kids how to sew:
- Let them pick fabric they love. My twins are 9, and have some very strong opinions on what looks good and what doesn't. Don't fight that impulse, because they won't do their best work, and this is supposed to be fun!
- You should tie off the thread at the end, and help them get it started. The last thing you want is having it come apart later because they just didn't know how to tie off properly. If they're older, they can learn - mine are, but prefer that I do it for their own peace of mind.
- Let them be creative with the fabric. I have not forced a single pattern on them - just gave them ideas on how best to use the resources. Too small a piece of fabric and it's not useful, too big and it's too much to work with(for now). Pillows are a piece of cake to make, and who cares if they're not perfectly rectangular or square?
- Wait until they're asking to make a shirt or something that requires a pattern before you push that issue - and even then it's not so much pushing as it is stating the fact: In order to make a shirt, you must use a pattern. Without one you may wind up looking rather odd in that shirt with one sleeve too long and the collar sideways.