Sewing With Kids

I have a job teaching sewing as an elective at the Middle School. I am working with two classes of bright, enthusiastic 9-12 year old girls. Their experience level ranges from “NEVER sewn before” to “gone to stitch camp last summer”. I learned a LOT in this first year and I am happy to share some of what I learned.

Do’s and Don’ts
Do not start working with knits. Feeding two stretch fabrics under the needle at once is a lot to manage.  Stick to woven fabric.

Do not start with a garment that needs to fit a body (if possible). Pick a pouch, or a sack, or a pillow case first, so that small differences in seam allowances and anomalies will be absorbed gracefully.

Do not lay projects out on loop carpet (such as industrial school carpet.) The pins will stick into the carpet and stick the pieces down down to the floor. What happens then is when they cut, the tip of the new fabric scissors will catch in the carpet. Find a place with lots of clean linoleum floor or lots of bright big clean tables and do your cutting and pinning there.

Do not attempt to have the kids share patterns. Do what you can to get each student their own pattern to work with.

Do some practice sewing before you start on the fabric. There are books with practice sheets that have you sew on the line, but that does not help them practice keeping the seam allowance straight. Take the thread out of the needle and use a sheet of paper (even scrap) and sew 5/8 of an inch away from the edge of the paper.

Most of all, do have fun. My goal is to create new converts!
Happy Sewing!

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9 years ago by in Crafty Mom , Needlecraft , Sewing | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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