Monday, November 15, 2010

Teaching Your Children To Sew

You readers know that I'm shocked by the lack of sewing instruction in schools -- and at home. While I've forgotten so much from my official home ec classes, I know how to do simple repairs -- but not many do.

Since I've been talking with artisan-crafter behind both I Sew Cute and As Luck Would Have It, I thought I'd ask her what she thought about it...

I realize as a crafter, you might want to sell finished product, but since you do sell those nifty patterns, I thought perhaps you could comment on this situation.

I grew up learning about sewing and knitting from my mom and Nana. My other grandma who didn't sew at all -- but she always encouraged me in my creativity. It was a good combination of watching and learning as well as being supported and encouraged. I was lucky to have that.

Since you have children, I'd also like to discuss crafting with children. Do you have an advice for teaching sewing at home? Any products, kits, etc., you'd recommend? For any/all ages.

To start kids off learning how to sew, I'd start them on lacing cards to get the hand coordination down as preschoolers.

Stringing beads is also a fine motor skill to prepare them for future sewing.

After lacing cards, I'd then move on to teaching them how to sew a button onto a piece of fabric, or sewing 2 pieces of fabric together by hand to make a simple pillow.

I don't believe sewing is just for girls either. My father and grandfather worked in leather and had heavy duty machines for sewing it. If my boy wants to sew, I'd encourage it!

What are the ages of your children? How many do you have?

I have a six year old boy and a four year old girl.

Aside from keeping them busy with creative activities (as opposed to passive entertainment like TV and video games), what other benefits do you see for children who make crafts and sew?

I know my kids are going to grow up to be happier people because of their love of working with their hands. The real benefits are they will never be bored, will have an outlet for expressing themselves, and will have satisfaction for contributing something to the world by using their creative voices, whatever they may be.

I think all children are naturally creative and it's up to us as parents to nurture that.

Not to mention, those kids will grow up able to sew their own buttons back on their shirts, mend a seam, or even hem a pair of jeans. And be able to teach their own children to do the same. *wink*

I'd like to thank June for spending so much time with me -- including sharing her vintage children's spoon collection!


PTPenguino said...

I was taught to sew by my grandfather and his sister, when they were left to watch over me while my grandmother, mom. aunt, and two cousins went out to do big girl things elsewhere. Mostly, I got to thread their needles! They were always needing new one while they worked, so I felt like a part of their team, helping out. Sometimes I would sew things from scraps & rags, but it was a while yet before my creations came out looking as I imagined...

Anonymous said...

Palmer/Pletsch has the Winky Cherry System for Children. Great set of books with wonderful illustrations and rhymes. :)

Am teaching a children's handsewing class now and they children love the books .. :)

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