The photo above is my 4 year old daughter holding her first sewing / embroidery project. This post is about how I got her and her sisters started sewing, now my 8 year old has an Etsy shop, and her soon to be 7 year old sister is now joining her in sewing for it.
I had already started sewing with my oldest daughter (age 7 at that time) and I wanted to engage my just turned 6 year old and my almost 4 year old. They were ready to try, as they had both spent the past year watching sister sew and had been using sewing / lacing cards similar to these:
Stephen Joseph Lacing Cards-Garden
Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Pets
You can also make your own lacing cards:
- Get a medium thickness piece of cardboard.
- Glue a large, fun picture on the cardboard (we used kitties from an old kitty calendar).
- Cut out around the picture.
- Using a hole punch, punch holes about 1 inch apart around the edge of the picture / cardboard. Be careful not to do the holes too close to the edge of the cardboard or they will rip with a little tugging.
- Attach a piece of yarn to one of the holes. Make sure it is long enough to go around the card a little more than one time.
- Put a piece of tape around the end of the yarn at least 3 times.
- Cut the tape into a point.
- Show the child how to sew!
Children’s Beginning Embroidery
I came across some really basic embroidery kits in a catalog and realized that would be the best way to get them started and give them their first taste of real sewing. This is the kit we used: Stamped Embroidery Kit Beginner Samplers 6″X8″ 3/Pkg-Huggable Animals
Here is a very similar kit on Amazon that looks super cute – I just added it to our wish list: Jack Dempsey Stamped Embroidery Kit Beginner Samplers, 6 by 8-Inch 3-Pack-Outside Fun.
These kits come with a large needle (that isn’t too sharp), the embroidery thread, the design all laid out on the cloth, a hoop, and instructions. The designs are simple and something they really like.
I would sit with them and show them how to make the first stitches, then hold their hands for awhile while they tried it. They usually weren’t ready to go it on their own the first time, but after a couple of sewing sessions, they were ready to try their first solo stitch.
When they were done with the project, we ended up cutting out a piece of felt to match, turned them wrong side together, sewed the edges, turned them right side, stuffed them, and turned the embroidery project into little pillows. The pillows are still one of their favorite things!
Basic Things Children Can Sew By Hand
Once the children learned how to stitch with their embroidery kit, we moved on to a couple of sewing projects. We got the following book from the library, but I would recommend purchasing it because it comes with patterns: Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make .
Some things we made include:
- Garden apron
- Pin cushion
- Cell phone holder
Once my oldest daughter had learned to sew through a handful of the projects in this book, we then started her making little velvet pillows and opened an Etsy shop. We have just sold a couple of them, but it has encouraged her to keep wanting to sew, keep her productive, and show one of many ways she can earn money in the coming years. We are now adding larger, throw pillows and fun, drawstring bags to her shop over the next couple of months! Like or favorite her shop so you can be informed when she adds the products.