Sewing with children

30 Apr

Most days as soon as we get back from school in the afternoon a certain young lady asks if she can play on the Nintendo DS, often she is allowed 10 minutes to play and then her sister has a go and then it gets put away. One day last week after school I said ‘no, no screen time today’ which means no DS, no watching and no x-box.  I was not however banned from sewing and had been looking at something on line and Bethan started looking at Ayumi’s blog Pink Penguin and had spotted the lovely pincushions that she makes.  Bethan decided that she would like to make one, so we printed off the template and Bethan then spent a happy half hour choosing scraps from the blue scrap box.

We had a little time for sewing before dinner, so I showed her what to do as she had never used the sewing machine before (that’s right I hog it!), and she managed to sew straight lines without too much trouble.

The project then got left until Saturday morning and she decided she would like to finish it so she could take it to school for Show and Tell on Monday. So a few more pieces of fabric sewn together and we were ready to stitch the front and back together. Bethan managed this bit quite well, although she forgot to stop before the first corner so I had to intervene and get her back on track, but other than that quite competently done.

The pincushion duly trimmed and turned the right way out, Leah came to assist with the stuffing (using polyfiber rather than potentially very messy crushed walnut shells!), I handstitched the pincushion closed at Bethan’s request and here it is:



To say she was pleased with herself is an understatement:

Log Cabin Pincushion

She then went on to help sew her Treasure Pocket Pants and yesterday spent a lot of time asking if she could have a turn.  While I was pressing quilt blocks she quickly sat in my seat and sewed showing Leah how to do it and talking like a professional!  She raided my textile recycling bag and picked out some very worn vintage sheets, it’s her new project, she’s been making notes and measuring and tells me she’s making a dress!  Looks like we might have to invest in another machine or there might be arguments over whose turn it is.

You might be disappointed or pleased depending on your viewpoint that they spent a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon playing X-box while I sewed in peace!

So have you ever sewed with children?  Can you recommend simple projects which would interest a 7yr old?

STOP PRESS: Bethan said last night while getting ready for bed that she wasn’t going to take the pincushion for Show and Tell because it looked silly without any pins in, so she’s going to take her Treasure Pocket Pants instead!

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Sew Happy Geek

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8 Replies to “Sewing with children

  1. easy projects are:
    cushion/pillow cases (for the small ones on the couch)
    – cut big squares out of that brown thick parcel wrapping paper and let them fold it in half, diagonal and any other way and then colour in the shapes and then look for scraps that fit number pins (a little but of tape and a permament marker, so they know which scrap correspondences with which shape on their paper) .. maybe cou get what I’m trying to explain, that how my mom sewed the first patchwork cushions with me.

    aprons – though they are a bit boring as it’s mostly long lines that need sewing …

    something for the doll – though she might already feel too grown up for that. Skirts there, with a tunnel and a rubber band ..

    Let them repair their own clothing, sew patches over the kness and the like ..

    Have fun!

  2. Very sweet little pincushion – no wonder she’s proud! 🙂

    My little ones are already interested in sewing. I often find scraps on the machine with the foot lowered “ready for mummy to sew” according to my 4 year old! My 2 yo is easier, just sits on my lap with her hands on mine while I sew. Cute for 5 minutes anyways!

  3. My 4 year old always wants to sew with me, I line things up under the needle (don’t want his hands near it) then be presses the foot pedal for me to make it sew. He loves ‘helping’ but it does mean I have to sew at top speed!

    Amazing pincushion, your daughter did an amazing job.

  4. Well done Bethan! I think when I was 7 I sewed a Winnie The Pooh kit together. It looks like a bear, but I was most disappointed it didn’t look much like Pooh! (Right enough, neither did the one on the photo for the kit lol)

  5. Aw, the pincushion is great and the Treasure Pocket Pants are totally amazing as well! This is how a lifelong love of sewing and hoarding of fabric begins, you know … you’re going to need another sewing machine, and some really good fabric store coupons. 🙂

  6. My daughters love sewing as well. My oldest (she’s 9) has recently started making doll quilts and mini’s. She even got in on the HST frenzy! I think quilts are good because the kids can make them as simple or complex as they want.

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