Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beginning Sewing Lessons

Summer is right around the corner! Have you made plans for what your daughters will do with their time? Perhaps they're ready to learn to sew? Here's another reprinted post from my old blog that may give you an idea of how to get started. Start gathering supplies and resources now so that you'll be ready in June!

Years ago I taught my oldest daughter how to sew. Now that the two younger girls (Annie, 11 and Moira, 7) are old enough, I decided to give it a try. Fortunately, we are blessed to have three sewing machines around the house, so everyone can work on one at the same time. This certainly makes it easier, but of course, it's not necessary.

When Kate was little I used Nancy Smith and Lynda Mulligan's book The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids. I still had her copy and picked up an additional one at the local library. This book is so well laid out that it makes it a breeze to progress from step to step. Besides learning the parts of a machine today, the girls began to actually use the machine by sewing on lined notebook paper without any thread - only a needle. This allows them to practice guiding the paper and sewing in a straight line while learning how hard to push the foot peddle. A real challenge for a beginner, but lots of fun!

Great directions and layout that makes instructions easy to follow...

Annie deep in concentration as she stays on the lines...

Moira on my mother's old machine that I learned on years ago...

This was our first session. Next... sewing on curved lines on paper, then we'll progress to sewing in a maze. By next week, we should start learning to thread our machines and practice changing colors while learning to sew dot to dot! After the girls make some paper ornaments out of brown paper sacks that are stitched and stuffed, we are going to skip to a pillow case project that I have planned before going back to the book to work on more curved lines.

Charlotte Mason believed children should learn real skills that are useful in life. I couldn't agree more. And they are eagerly soaking it up! This is the kind of activity that builds confidence and a sense of accomplishment.


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