Of the many lost life skills, sewing is pretty high up on the list. Thankfully it is making a comeback, and now we have the chance to give a younger generation this knowledge early on in life. For anyone else who learned to sew as an adult, you probably also spent many hours agonizing over why no one taught you how to handle mischievous sewing machines!
Some parents, older siblings, and other involved adults do have concerns. I mean, are we handing four-year-olds scissors and needles? Yes, we are, which leads us to our very first tip…
Okay sure, 18 months may be too young, but you can start teaching your child well before they’re in kindergarten. The best way to introduce sewing is to make the materials available. Let them play in your fabric stash and let them see you sewing.
It may seem like they’re underfoot at first, but when they show an interest in taking on their own project, you’ll be glad for everything they already kind of know.
So, the concern mentioned above has a very simple remedy, you’re letting a very young child handle sewing tools and materials because you’re supervising them. We allow children to play in pools because we’re right next to them, and this is very much the same concept. If your child is old enough to try to use the tools themselves, let them try, under your watch.
Toy sewing machines used to be all the rage, and then there's the "my first cross-stitch" kits and these are just poor ways to diminish what your child wants to do. You don't need to buy them a Juki industrial sewing machine, but there are kids sewing machines that are the real deal but also have finger guards, work at very slow speeds and come in fun colors.
Let them use a machine that uses real needles because then they create high-quality projects. Toy sewing machines are more likely to discourage children than to encourage them.
Fun habits will fuel your child's creativity and productivity all through their life — schedule short sewing sessions where you can work with your child on something that they want to create. When you create a schedule, it will feel less like a class and more like time with mom.
Short sewing sessions will also help them understand routine and schedules while avoiding project burnout.
When you see frustration building, offer help. They may not always take it, and you may get a wave of sass with an “I can do it” eye-roll. That’s fine. But it’s likely that you’ve been frustrated with a project before and felt like giving up, and you don’t want to let them get to that point.
If your little one gets so frustrated that they want to give up, it’s because they needed help and didn’t ask. Children hardly ever ask for help when they actually need it, so it’s important to be attentive and recognize when it’s the right time to offer.
Adult crafters know what's up. They know how to read a pattern, and that ironing can be crucial. However, little ones don't care if your aspiring fashion designer wants to make a trapezoid shaped blanket. Sure, let them go for it!
Part of the fun in learning how to sew is getting a gauge on the rules. Some rules are set in stone, but many have a lot of room for creative expression. As children build their skill in sewing and gain more confidence, they may find areas where they want to develop further and take classes.
Here at Goldstar Tool, we have everything you would need to get your child ready to start learning about sewing and creating their own project.