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Teaching a Child to Sew

Teaching Sewing

This summer I had the joy of teaching a young gal from our church how to sew. K's desire was to make her own dress, so together we set out to do just that. When we started, K didn't know how to sew on the machine or how to hand sew. This post will explain how she went from no experience to successful sewist of both her own tote bag and dress in 5 lessons! We met 5 times for 2 hours each time. 2 hours was the perfect amount of time - it was enough for us to accomplish quite a bit, but when the 2 hours were up it seemed that while K could keep going, she was also happy to stop. Her mother owned a portable sewing machine, which K brought to her lessons and was the key to her successfully completing the two projects in the allotted time frame. She didn't work on either of the projects apart from our lessons, but I did send her home with "homework" after our first 3 lessons that was geared to help her become comfortable and accurate with the machine.

For our first lesson, we began by discussing safety and the basics of how the machine worked. I likened the machine to a car, it was her job to give the machine "gas" by stepping on the pedal, and to "drive" it by guiding the fabric, but she was to let the machine do the work of feeding the fabric through - no pushing or pulling - just like her mother let the car get them where they needed to go. We also discussed putting your needle down, lifting the presser foot and pivoting the fabric to handle curves. I used this