Little kids are naughty. They won’t listen to anything that you say. And when it comes to sewing, they will just hop around your sewing machine, begging you, to allow them to stitch a strand. But you know that it can be dangerous around the parts of a sewing machine and therefore have to scold them or shoo them away.
What if someone informed you that you could teach them sewing that too very safely? Of course, no one could be happier. So here we bring to you some of the things that your kid will love to learn and will remain safe too during the entire process.
Photo credit: http://www.shelikestosew.com/best-sewing-machines-kids/
If you are concerned about age, there is no age bar to it. Your kids can learn at any age when they are ready to handle it. However, don’t hurry that much. Let your kids reach the age of 6 years at least. Also, since a hand-eye coordination is needed so let your kid learn that.
Buy needles that have big eyes. Thus, your kids won’t have to struggle while threading them. Also, choose a needle that has a dull point. Thus, they won’t risk hurting themselves.
Ask them to use pencils and colors. Allow them to draw on the fabric and then give them these dull needles so that they can sew on the patterns they have drawn.
Another thing that you can give them to try is a Styrofoam. Thread the needle and tape the end of the thread at the back of it. Thus, even if they tie a knot in the process, it will easily pass through the foam without sticking anywhere. And the tape? Well, it secures the thread very nicely.
One more thing that you should allow is to let them do things on their own. You can also give them to rethread the needle.
When they have done this, draw pictures and give them to fill in. Gradually, broaden the scope and teach them the basic stitches. Show them how they can do a chain stitch, zig zag stitch and so on. Inspire them. Stitch in front of them so that they can look up to you for ideas. Tell them what all they can make once they learn to stitch.
Using a sewing machine
When the kids become a little adept in hand stitching, it is time to move on to the sewing machine. This is a little daunting step, and you should prepare them for it. First and foremost, how will you know if your child is ready for handling a sewing machine? Well, if they start to show interest in it, and they want to learn it, chances are they are ready enough for it.
So, you can start by buying a sewing machine that comes specifically for children. However, these are usually of very low quality and will break soon. Therefore, allow them to handle a real sewing machine from the beginning itself so that they get a hang of it from the beginning itself.
First things first, give them the safety talk speech. Teach them what they can do and what they should not do with the sewing machines. Tell them how they can stay safe even while stitching. Enlighten them with the grave experiences people have had due to their carelessness and ignorance so that they do not repeat these.
Photo credit: http://www.villagesewing.com/kids-summer-camps/
Next, allow the child to start working with the pedal. Meanwhile, you should be handling the fabric. Thus, your kid will be taking baby steps yet feel completely in the go. As your kid gets more and more comfortable using the pedal, allow them to control the fabric. But do this very slowly. Don’t push their limits nor scare them.
Also, tell them that speedy sewing does not necessarily mean good quality sewing. It will only lead to injuries and should be avoided at all costs until they become proficient.
Now, start with giving them small patterns to sew. Initially, if they can complete a square in one day, they are going right. Appreciate them on their accomplishments. Thus, they will also feel motivated and encouraged to keep going.
When they get a hang of all of it, start giving them more varieties of patterns fabric, thread and so on. Allow them to pick up and choose what they want to sew. Always remember, sewing is about having fun. Do not let your kid feel bored. He will slowly lose interest then. He should always feel in the move.
However, if your kid chooses a really complicated project, and you know he cannot complete it, it will only discourage him. So provide him with an alternative which he can create successfully.
While practising, you should guide your kid so that they make the maximum use of all the fabric. Teach them how to put designs on the cloth so that maximum area is covered and there is minimum wastage. Also, your kid, by nature, will love to cut. So teach them how to do it without wasting anything.
Give them a demonstration of the threads. Teach them how they can thread a needle. They cannot always stick to a kid’s sewing needle. So, as they become more and more proficient at sewing, give them more and more thread varieties to experiment with.
Next, teach them about the various parts of a sewing machine. Tell them how they can take care of the machine. They should know what to check for and where to look in case of any issue with the machine.
Having done this, brush them up on the safety tips. Tell them how they can stay safe. Teach them the various tips and tricks they can try to make their sewing easier and faster.
Lastly, everyone learns by example. Be someone they can look up to. Give them real life examples from which they can learn not just via theory but also by learning.
Kids have an urge to learn and therefore, anything taught to them in the early formative years will stay with them forever.