Sewing is an important skill that everyone should know how to do. It is needed for mending hems that come apart and reattaching buttons that fall off. Being able to do these simple things saves money, since a person won't have to pay someone else to do it for them. It takes years of practice to learn how to sew like an expert though. So it is best to start teaching children about it when they are still small. Read on for more information on how to teach your kids to sew in five basic steps.
Threading a Needle
Until a child understands the process of threading a needle, it is best that they practice with a plastic needle to avoid injuring themselves. Pick out a canvas needle that is used for needlepoint to get them started. Then, have the child measure and cut a piece of string that is a few inches long. Using your own needle and thread, show them how to push the string through the eye of the needle. After they understand the process, you can transition them into using a needle that is much smaller. If your child has trouble seeing because of vision problems, then show them how to use a needle-threader that has a thin wire that pulls the thread through the eye of the needle for them. Needle-threaders are very inexpensive. They usually only cost about a dollar for a pack of three. So don't worry if your child accidentally breaks one while they are learning to sew.
The Straight Stitch
Cut a thin strip of white material from some extra fleece fabric that you have on hand. Then, pick out some colorful thread that will easily contrast against it. Red thread is the best because it stands out so well against white fabric. Use a pencil to draw some lines in a row on the fabric where you want the child to sew. Be sure to do this with a ruler, so the lines will be straight. Have the child thread their own needle, and then show them how to do the first stitch on one of the lines. Let them finish the rest of the stitches on their own. Once they can do this easily, have them sew a line of straight stitches on material that doesn't have any lines drawn for them.
Cutting Out Patterns
Make a simple square pattern out of some cardboard from a cereal box. Then, have the child watch as you trace it onto the wrong side of a piece of fabric. Measure a half inch in for the seam, and mark this as well. Then, cut out the pattern. Repeat the process one more time, so you will have two pieces. Afterwards, let the child do the same thing on their own, so they will also have two pieces of the same pattern.
Pinning Seams Together
Match up the two pieces of fabric that you and your child cut out. Make sure that the marked seams line up. Then, push a stick pin next to the seam, so it comes out the other side in a straight line. Have them do the same on their own fabric pieces. Keep going until the entire piece is pinned together. Afterwards, have them sew their pieces together, but leave a small gap for turning it inside out.
Pick out two large plastic buttons from your sewing box. Have the child thread their needle with some colorful thread as they did before. Then, show them how to stitch the buttons onto a piece of scrap fabric. Once they have the technique down, have them cut and tie the thread in the back of the fabric.