How To Teach A Child To Sew: Best Practices

Sewing is one of the most creative and engaging activities to take up with young children. Kids of any age can learn sewing (of any form!), and it is very beneficial for their developing their dexterity and overall coordination. So, how to teach a child to sew? Patience is a trait you should have to teach children, especially if you are an experienced sewer. With proper techniques, you can successfully teach your child to sew and enjoy yourself while doing so.

Some important steps to take while teaching a child to sew include:

Refer To Books On How To Teach A Child To Sew

how to teach a child to sewThere are various books available in stores and online platforms that you could refer to while you teach your child to sew for the first time. These books offer comprehensive picture guides that will take you to step by step through various fun projects and teaches the kid the art of sewing.

A personal favorite is the “Complete Photo Guide to Sewing” by Janith Bergeron and Christine Ecker. This book has several creative and fun projects that are great in terms of likability and safety.

Other books on sewing include “A Kid’s Guide to Sewing: Learn to Sew With Sophie And Her Friends”, “See And Sew: A Sewing Book For Children” and “Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make”.

Pick Fun Projects

Children tend to lose focus and interest fast when they are small, so it is prudent that you pick interesting and fun projects for them. Make sure your child loves every moment of the activity, no matter what your creating.

Begin with the basics of hand stitching before you introduce other sewing techniques.

Teaching the basics of any new skill is essential while teaching young kids. Safety is of the utmost importance while dealing with young kids. As a parent, you need to be cautious while teaching your kid how to sew as there are chances; they can get hurt with needles, pins, scissors, and seam rippers. So, going slow is the best option to avoid any sort of accident and ensuring that the child gets the basics right. With time they can take up bigger projects and develop more advanced sewing skills.

Keep In Mind The Child’s Age

janome hello kittyWhile planning how to teach a kid to sew, you must consider the kid’s age as it can directly correlate to their fine motor skills.

A general timeline of what and when to introduce sewing into a child’s life includes:

  • 2-4-year olds: Lacing cards and threading of large beads.
  • 5-7-year olds: Basic hand stitches, sewing with felt, crochet, cross-stitch, and more.
  • 8-10-year olds: Sewing machine handling, advanced projects, and patterns.
  • 11-year olds and older: Garment construction and advanced techniques.

But this is not a hard and fast timeline as every kid is different and tends to develop concepts and skills in their own time. So, let the child take the lead and do as they please to figure out where they stand.

Break Down The Project Into Segments

While learning the art of sewing, it is important to cultivate patience, as sewing can often be time-consuming and frustrating. So, it would be best to break down the project into small stages to boost their confidence and make sure that they get to feel like they have accomplished their task without getting overwhelmed.

Choose short projects, that they can complete in a few fours so that they can finish their task easily, thus encouraging them to try out more complex projects if they wish to do so.

Practice Makes Progress Not Perfect

children sewingMastering the art of sewing takes a lot of practice, and children need a lot of practice to get better at it. Give them multiple projects of the same type until they master the skill.

With humans, mistakes tend to happen and this is why seam rippers were invented in the first place. While teaching children how to sew, it is important to teach them how to correct their mistakes. If your child faces some issues during the project, help them in resolving the issue and make sure they do not get discouraged. Mistakes are just a part of the learning process.

Ever heard of the saying “It’s better to be safe than sorry”, while sewing ensures that the child follows all safety tips to prevent any type of injury. Teach them to take proper precautions while using a sewing machine, pins, or needles.

Guidance Is Key, But Give Them Some Freedom

Guide the child to ensure that they master the concept. Draw lines and patterns on the fabric to guide them and make sure they understand what they are doing. Demonstrate time and again the right way and encourage them to follow.

Allow the child to pick the pattern, thread, and fabric they will be working with; this will allow the kids to have more self-confidence and encouragement to accomplish the project. This will make the activity more fun and exciting for them. Help them make informed decisions and give proper alternatives to ensure they succeed.

Every child is unique. Once your child learns the basics encourage them to create and explore new ideas and patterns. Let them try their learning on other materials and create new things.

How To Teach A Child To Sew: Final Thoughts

The art of sewing is slowing making a comeback now, due to the current pandemic. Parents are looking out for new and fun things to engage their children as they are confined to their homes. This is the best time for parents and guardians to try and see how to teach a child to sew. It not only is a fun activity but does wonders for the child’s overall development by instilling in them creativity, patience, and confidence. We wish you good luck with your endeavor!

nancy jenkins from get sew

Nancy Jenkins

Nancy is a retired seamstress who loves everything about crafting and sewing. When she is not at her sewing machine, you'll find her coming up with new patterns and designs for her sewing projects. Nancy likes the outdoors, meeting with friends, and cooking.