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Sewing with the little people

I have had several requests to teach sewing to children who are 5, 6 and 7.  It’s wonderful that they have an interest in learning how to sew, but frankly, most children that age have short attention spans and wouldn’t have the patience to learn how the sewing machine works; they just want to create something!  (Keep in mind as well that it is a machine, and can be dangerous for such a young person to use.)

When I first took my grandson who was then 4 on my lap, he had his hands on mine as I guided the fabric under the needle.  This past month, now that he’s 5, I let him guide the fabric, but with my hands on top of his.   (He does know how to raise and lower the presser foot and turn the machine on and off, but being the budding engineer he is, he would disassemble my featherweight if I wasn’t with him every minute!)  Of course, letting your child pick the project and the fabric goes a long way to making him happy; so if you have a little sewing experience, you can do the same.  Whatever it turns out to be is extra special because you sewed it together!

There is a series of sewing books by Winky Cherry (you read that right) that got 5 star ratings from those who bought them from Amazon.  The very first in the series deals with hand sewing, and is written clearly for the very young child.   It’s entitled My First Sewing Book, Hand Sewing.   The second in the series is called My First Machine Sewing Book, which covers the sewing machine and has several projects that you can make together, even if you’ve never sewn yourself.

On Target’s website, I found sewing kits that looked interesting.  One was labeled:  Alex – My First Sewing Kit.  There was also Alex – Knot-a-Quilt, which includes fleece squares.  (Once you do one of these, you’ll want to do more).  On Amazon you will find a book that I bought for my own use called Sewing Machine Fun for Kids. And finally, Land of Nod (www.landofnod.com) has a sewing kit for small children called And Sew it Goes, which also got rave reviews from those who ordered it.

This year for Christmas, I’m putting together a simple sewing kit for my grandson; it will include plastic canvas (and plastic needles) with yarn, buttons with embroidery floss and felt shapes with holes already punched for sewing, fabric scraps (a John Deere print comes to mind), and a few “grown up” tools like a measuring tape, measuring gauge, and a small pair of scissors.  He’ll even have his own sewing tin to carry it all in – John Deere, of course.  (I’ll bet you wouldn’t be surprised that I made him a John Deere quilt, would you!)

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