Sewing With Kids: What You Need to Know
Sewing With Kids: What You Need to Know
Sewing with your kids can be a fun learning and bonding experience. Here is what you need to know to do it safely and still have a blast.
If you're a sewist and a parent, chances are your kids have expressed interest in your sewing. The idea of letting your kids near so many sharp tools may be daunting, but you could be missing out on a great chance to spend time with your children and foster their creativity.
Sewing with kids can be an excellent learning experience for you and your kids. As long as you're following proper safety procedures, you and your kids can enjoy this productive and fulfilling hobby together.
Keep reading to learn more about sewing safely and enjoyably with your children.
Appropriate Ages for Children to Sew
You might be wondering at what age it is appropriate and safe for your child to start learning to sew. Experts suggest that children can start learning to hand sew as early as age 4. They can be introduced to a sewing machine as early as age 6, and could potentially do some unsupervised sewing starting at age 8.
As a parent, you know your child's capabilities better than anyone. They may be ready for any of these milestones earlier or later than the recommended times. You should allow them to learn at their own pace, keeping these general guidelines in mind.
Best Practices for Safe Sewing with Kids
The most important thing to consider when teaching a child how to sew is their safety. Before the child starts handling any of the materials, demonstrate proper procedure yourself. This will allow the child to begin to learn in a safe, distant way.
Start with the Basics
Children should learn some hand sewing basics before they start using a machine. The risk for injury is lower, and learning hand sewing will help them learn the fundamental principles of fabric construction.
Consider having your child sew over patterns you've drawn on fabric using an embroidery loop or construct simple items like small pillows. This might also help you brush up on your own hand sewing skills if you typically only use a machine!
Safer Equipment Choices
Consider each piece of equipment you introduce your child to and whether there is a safer but similarly effective alternative. Think about having your kid start by using scissors rather than a rotary cutter and clips rather than pins to hold their work together.
When you do introduce your kid to pins, make sure to teach them how to keep track of them by always keeping a pincushion nearby and using a magnet to find any that may fall to the floor.
Safe and Simple Needle Threading
One of the most frustrating parts of learning to sew for a child is threading a needle. It is also an easy point in the process for accidental needle jabs to occur.
When your child is threading a hand sewing needle, it can be helpful to stick the needle in a pincushion first. This gives your child a larger surface to hold on to and also covers the pointy end of the needle.
When your child is threading a sewing machine needle, make sure that the machine is not only turned off, but completely unplugged. This ensures that it won't be turned on accidentally. It can also be helpful to teach your child on a machine with an automatic needle threader to help prevent frustration at this early but complicated step in the sewing process.
Consider investing in some basic safety equipment when your child begins working with a sewing machine. At a minimum, you should clearly mark the dangerous areas on the machine where fingers shouldn't go, such as around the presser foot and the bobbin case, with tape. You can also think about getting a finger guard, a little piece of metal or plastic that encloses the area around the presser foot.
If you want to be extra cautious, you could also have your child wear safety glasses when they are operating the sewing machine. This will prevent any eye injuries in the event of a broken needle.
As long as you follow these as well as the standard sewing safety tips, sewing with children will be enjoyable for all.
Choosing a Sewing Machine for Kids
After they've gotten the hang of hand sewing, your child will probably want to learn to make their own garments and other projects that are best done on a machine. There are a few different factors you must take into consideration when choosing the proper sewing machine for a child rather than for yourself.
A machine for sewing for children should have good, consistent speed control. It is better to choose a push-button machine than a foot pedal machine, as the speed will be more consistent. It is also ideal to choose a machine that has several different speed settings so that your child may start slow and begin to sew faster as their skills improve.
You will also want to make sure that a sewing machine for your child's use is lightweight so that they can move it without injuring themselves.
A variety of stitches, but not too great of a variety, is also something to look for. You want your child to be entertained and have several things to learn, but not be overwhelmed. Five to six different stitches are about right for a first sewing machine.
It can also be nice for a child's sewing machine to look exciting. A fun color or pattern may make your child more likely to want to use the machine.
How Do You and Your Kid Get Started?
Now that you know all the safety tips and best practices for sewing with kids, you're ready to get started. This can be a great bonding experience for you and your child. It can also help your kid improve reading and drawing skills and exercise their creativity.
Think about getting some sewing kits for kids to help your child start learning. The kits are already designed with children in mind, and your child can learn both through following instructions and flexing their own creative muscles!