Getting Children Excited about Sewing

| 1/8/2009 4:59:37 PM

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Showing off a finished draw string bag.

Getting children interested in and passionate about sewing is more than just buying those huge plastic needles, colorful yarn, and throwing down some crisp construction paper. That just aint gonna fly next to all the other stuff competing for your child’s attention.

Having recently become foster-to-adopt parents, Josh (my husband) and I began working to come up with creative ways to get the children to take an active role in simple living. This is no easy task. Nope.

Helping make muffins

We started by taking baby steps: cooking, baking bread and cookies to give away, and making up a batch of homemade laundry detergent. The children loved each task and seemed to grasp the beauty of ownership when presenting their homemade goodies to friends and family. The words “I made these just for you” build so much confidence. Yet there was so much more to our lifestyle than simply cooking and creating household cleaners.

Just as any other thrifty and active family, we have a constantly growing mending pile. In fact, it expands to rapidly that one might think that it enjoys regular exposure to radioactive waste. As I pulled out my trusty sewing machine to tackle ripped jeans, torn sleeves, displaced pockets, split seams, missing or broken zippers, and countless button issues – I realized a huge department in our lives that we had yet to introduce to the children.


jim simpkins
5/20/2012 4:18:47 PM

very good information, would love to see articles available in a pdf format so I could save on hard drive for later reading and reference.

1/17/2009 6:10:32 PM

My kids all started with drawstring bags. Unfortunately, the youngest didn't as we restructured our lives before she came along and have not done sewing. I should say, I haven't done much sewing, but the oldest has done alterations to her clothes and we did do a sewing class in which the two oldest did some sewing. The youngest will get her chance soon.

1/10/2009 9:53:08 PM

Hey Miss Lacy! We lovvvve Grit! I am going to pour through all of my magazines again before spring to see if I can glean anything new before the new planting season begins. Which will begin about two months earlier than last year for us. You are one rockin' cool lady, Miss Lacy! How exciting that all those way-cool things that you learned can now be passed on to your dear children. Awesome!!

aly in ga
1/10/2009 7:23:35 PM

Sewing for kids? How about sewing for MOMMY?!! I can remember, as a kid, using my mom's (which used to be HER mom's,) ancient rocker-peddle singer, and 8th grade home-ec, where I made a pitiful, but adorable to me, robot pillow. I now have an 8 yr. old that is bigger than most 11 year olds, and he's forced to cuff pants that are too long for him because Mom can't sew worth a spit. Oh, what a horrible confession to make on your blog, Lacy, but there it is. I've also never given thought to showing my 2 sons how to sew. Perhaps I need to rethink this. Off to the blog. BTW, I haven't mentioned, but I'm doing the Amazing Digiscrap Race again this year. It's season 4 (hence the acronym ADSR4,) and it's my second time playing along. I'm telling you this because my (new) friend, Manda, is an Alabama girl living in VA. Our team name is G.R.I.T.S. - Y'all!, since we were both girls raised in the south. It's almost painful for me to admit that, too, but after living in GA for about 30 of my almost 43 years, I have to 'fess up to being "raised" here. Have a great weekend! ~Alya

1/10/2009 10:42:18 AM

Lacy-all great tips on getting the kids involved in sewing!

julie at elisharose
1/9/2009 9:01:12 PM

Once again, you have reminded me of something I need to be doing. I used to sew a lot, but not so much anymore. I need to introduce my children to something more than handing me something to be mended. My daughter would love to make little blankets and things for her animals. Thanks!

1/9/2009 5:38:21 PM

Fantastic! If only I knew how to get my sewing machine to work....

1/9/2009 2:23:19 PM

Oooh, I think my 4 year old could help me make a drawstring bag. That's easy enough! I just have to take her shopping to get some fabric!

1/9/2009 2:22:10 PM

Ok, you have definitely inspired me to use my sewing machine for something besides patching holes in our kids pants. Our son(college) still brings his mending home....maybe I'll have to teach him to do it himself :) Or maybe I should just be satisfied that he doesn't feel the need to go out and buy new pants just because his old ones are wearing out. Thanks for all the great 'DIY' articles!

1/9/2009 2:08:29 PM

As always, you have the best ideas! I'm hoping that my son will be able to cook, sew, and clean a house better than any other man when he grows up.

1/9/2009 1:00:41 PM

What a great idea! Seems like they'd definitely learn the pride of having done it themselves... The good pride, by the way! =P

1/9/2009 12:27:38 PM

Wonderful post, Lacy! I have 6 granddaughters and 1 grandson and I love doing projects with them. I'm headed to Iowa to visit 3 of my grandchildren soon and may just try one of these...most likely the drawstring bag...great idea! Thanks for sharing, Lacy! I love the pics of your lovely daughter in this post too! Blessings, Dianne

1/9/2009 12:06:12 PM

Great post! I second the drawstring bag - my kids' first sewing projects were little bags made out of silver lame to hold their lost teeth for the tooth fairy. :)

1/9/2009 9:56:46 AM

My Dad got me sewing by allowing me to cut up old jeans and use the legs to make other stuff...mainly bags to put my other junk in. Anyhow, a little destruction may be in order to get boys sewing (or girls too for that matter)?

1/9/2009 9:25:28 AM

I love sewing. I really have been sewing since I was 3 years old. My grandmother gave us a needle and thread and 2 squares of fabric. When they were almost sewn together we add beans and closed up our bean bags. We had hours of fun, making and playing with those bean bags.... by the next summer I was helping grandma make quilt squares for her never ending quilt projects! By the next summer, I was making clothing for myself. I actually made a pair of culottes and put the zipper in myself. Those culottes actually are now a part of a quilt I made! But the story goes on. I continued to sew. My parents bought me my own sewing machine at 8 years old. In High School, I was the seamstress for the drama dept. I made everything from rags to tailored linen suits for plays. When it was time to get married, of course I would make my dress. So I designed and constructed my wedding dress. I stopped sewing when my daughter was about 1 year old. We lived in military quarters and had precious little space. I would count pins in the beginning of the project and at the end. I was an ever diligent mom and came up missing a pin. Crystal had swallowed the pin ... luckily it was a glass head pin and she swallowed it head down. I still have the exray of that pin in her intestines. Fortunately, a couple days of waiting patiently later, the pin appeared and all was well. My projects went on hold for the time when I had a safe place to work. It was never the same. I still sew, but not like before. And I regret never passing that skill onto Crystal.

1/9/2009 8:55:00 AM

This would be great for reusable gift bags as well! Would be a great way to get kids into giving for Christmas and Birthdays :)

cindy murphy
1/9/2009 8:12:12 AM

Hey, Lacy. Yes, the bath-bags are darling, but even more adorable are the children! Best wishes in the New Year to you and your "new" family.

jeni hill ertmer
1/9/2009 8:10:22 AM

Although when my children were growing up, I sewed many of their clothing items but my girls -neither of them developed any type of interest whatsoever in sewing no matter how I tried to interest them. However, now that my younger daughter has two little ones of her own and she has watched me over the past couple of years as I got re-interested myself in sewing and crafting, etc., she is now slowly showing a bit of interest. Older daughter still associates a stigma with "hand-made" items particularly clothing but does now appreciate hand-embroidered things but I still can't see her trying to do any of this stuff. Perhaps after I am long gone, she might give it a try as I think sometimes she is more intimidated over the aspect of Mom teaching her anything! LOL

razor family farms
1/9/2009 7:40:11 AM

Very cool, Michele! I can't wait to see your handmade Christmas items!

razor family farms
1/9/2009 7:39:18 AM

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1/9/2009 7:34:23 AM

The little bath bags would be great filled with fancy soaps and lotions for gifts. Think I'll put some together throughout the year for next Christmas.

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