Top Tips For Teaching Little Ones To Sew

Posted on Sep 2 2014 - 8:00am by Charlie

Teaching your kids to sew can be beneficial to them in many ways. It encourages creativity, gives them a hobby and improves their dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Plus, eventually, they’ll be able to repair their own clothes and make their own costumes. But teaching little ones to do something so fiddly isn’t always easy. Sewing requires precision, planning and patience, three things that children aren’t known for. It’s not that difficult to teach them though. You may even have noticed them already completing small sewing projects at school. If you start off slowly, engage them properly and don’t push too hard your kids will be adept at using a needle in no time.

Photo by Ralph Hogaboom

Make It Fun

Whether or not your child wants to learn to sew at first, you need to make sure that the activity is fun enough to hold their attention. If you sew, they might watch you and want to have a go without prompting. However, if they’re not too interested don’t push too hard for them to try. If you make it a chore, they certainly won’t want to learn. Using fun fabrics from shops like will hold their attention. And so will making fun items like Christmas decorations.

Start with Small Projects

Don’t be too ambitious in what you want them to do. Just like someone learning as an adult, you wouldn’t rush into making a dress. Start with small, easy projects that only require simple stitches in straight lines. Whether you’re hand-sewing or using a machine, you’re trying to instill the basic skills in them to begin with. Simple square items are always easy, such as handkerchiefs, pillow cases or tote bags.

Be Patient

Sewing requires patience, but your child might not have a lot of it at first. Even if they’re getting frustrated, you should be the one who’s full of patience. There’s nothing that they’ll do that they can’t undo, and there’s no reason they can’t take as long as they like. You should know when they’ve had enough, and it’s time to stop. Don’t expect them to get everything right away.

Keep It Short

Children have varying attention spans. Generally, the younger the child, the shorter the attention span. But many older children will have trouble concentrating on one task for a long time too. Try to keep lessons or activities short for children who struggle to pay attention. Eventually, their attention span might improve as they begin to enjoy sewing and absorb themselves in a project.

Don’t Be Too Rigid

Try not to structure teaching your child to sew as actual lessons. It’s best to show them a technique and then apply it to a project. They can get on with what they’re doing, instead of you instructing them the whole time. Make sure they learn the basic techniques before trying their own thing. But don’t hamper their creativity to make sure they get it “right”.

Once your little one has learned to sew, they may or may not get a taste for it. If they do, it could give them a wonderful hobby and even increase their career prospects. But if not, they’ve at least learned a valuable life skill.

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