Teaching a Child to Sew

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Teaching a child to sew is a very rewarding experience and provides them with a skill they can use for their lifetime. This is a page about teaching a child to sew.


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You can teach a child as young as six years old to sew with supervision.

  1. Get a piece of regular ruled school paper.

  2. Take all the thread from your machine including the bobbin.

  3. Put the paper under the needle and drop pressure foot.

  4. Simply have them sew the lines only (the needle will make holes). Do this until they can follow the lines exactly, or really close to it.

  5. Draw slightly curved, long flowing lines on a blank piece of paper, not too many to a sheet. Have them sew the curved lines until they can follow them exactly.

  6. Draw right angles on blank paper (you can use old paper sacks for this). This will teach the child to go right up to the corner, leave the needle down, pick up the presser foot, turn, put the presser foot back down, and sew the other side. Do this until it starts to get too easy and they get bored.

  7. When you feel like they are ready, proceed to a piece of scrap material and draw the same lines.

  8. Thread the machine (don't try to teach them that yet) and have them sew either a straight stitch on the line or a narrow zigzag (they can't go real fast or they can't follow the lines, and they have to pay attention). When they get bored, I change projects and leave this one as is until later.

These are the first basics I teach for those who have no idea how to use a machine or sew. It's very easy and if you sew, your boys and girls will adore this. After you get them comfortable with sewing, draw a simple outline of a picture and have them zigzag inside until it is as full as you want it. You'll have a simple picture you can cut out and applique or glue to something they like. I love to see their faces when they're through. Sorry I don't have a picture, everyone has taken theirs home.


Note: Please understand that children learn at different levels, so don't expect them to be the same. This has to be fun learning. Frustration in the child or adult will usually bring about a bad outcome.

By gbk from GA

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I am looking for a beginners sewing book for children. My granddaughter has shown an interest and she has been doing some hand sewing. Even though I sew, I would like something to help put things into her perspective. Any input will be appreciated. Thanks


By Nelwyn M.


September 21, 20110 found this helpful

I have been sewing for many years...everything from home dec to wedding gowns. I began in 4-H. The wise leader started us out on a sewing machine with no thread and lined notebook paper. We were so proud when we could produce a page with our needle punches in perfect lines. It was fun and taught us patience and perseverance in our sewing projects. Hope this helps.

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September 21, 20110 found this helpful

Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids - can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. I have used this book to teach 7 and 9 year old girls. It starts from naming all of the most important sewing machine parts to sewing on paper and then fabric.


They learn to sew straight and even pivot. There are plenty of sewing games to keep them interested. Plus an added benefit is learning new words to add to their vocabulary (pivot). I have really enjoyed using this book as much as the girls have.

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September 22, 20110 found this helpful

The sewing pages at about.com have loads of info on teaching children to sew.

LOL, it's been so long ago that I learned I can't even remember how I really started, but I'm thinking it was hand sewing on paper templates like Sandy writes about. I also vaguely recall being allowed to try quilting with my grans to get used to using a needle and thread. They taught me to embroider and needlepoint too.


I do recall clearly learning to machine sew, my first project was a half slip at around aged 8. My sister and aunts walked me through the whole process from start to finish-beginning with how to wind and load a bobbin, thread the machine, etc, and they made sure I was supervised on the machine use until I was around twelve. Then I got my own machine and was permitted to use it on my own.

I taught my son by teaching him to sew buttons onto scrap fabric that I also used to teach him hemming and straight stitching. He did alright with those skills for years until this past spring when I was visiting him in the US-I bought him a small simple machine and taught him to use it, he was thrilled!

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September 22, 20110 found this helpful

Here is an idea that I hope will help. When my brother and I were aged 5 and 7, we were expecting another little brother very shortly. Our mother was in no shape to chase after us, so she put us to work embroidering baby quilt blocks in red thread. We only had to learn one stitch and it kept us occupied for a lot of hours. I've wondered if that is where my love of sewing came from.

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September 23, 20110 found this helpful

check out: "Simply Sewing" by Judy Ann Sadler
and "The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids" by Nancy Smith & Lynda Milligan

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