Sewing in Childhood Years
10 years ago
I am washing and repairing blankets for the horses, pony, and donkey! Nothing glamorous but very necessary with these arctic blasts we have had. Another arctic front will settle in tomorrow so I will finish up with them, then on to doll clothes, much promised to the resident 7 yr old along with first sewing lessons in basic little girl doll clothes making. I was 5 when I learned to sew on buttons(still legally blind), then age 7 my best friend and I cut out doll dresses, straight dresses or gathered with string at the neck, cut from scraps from “real” school dress sewing, all hand sewn with little girl raggedy stitches . we were proud of those wardrobes. Age 8 meant we could join 4-H (my bestie’s mom was the leader as well as the high school home ec teacher) and start to sew on the machine and enter our items in the summer fairs. Do little kids sew anymore? Mine did, my sons and daughter and my little cousin here can’t wait till tomorrow to start. Remember those first home made doll clothes or pot holders or bean bags anyone?10 years agojuliamom2009 @juliamom2009
My daughter (4 years old) had “purchased” about 1/3 of a yard of sequin fabric that she’s been wearing around as a scarf. Today, she took the scissors and said she wanted to cut it. I told her no, then re-considered….she promptly cut up sarong type outfits for some of her Barbies, and a lovely ensemble for her Ken as well. She does know how to sew a button, so I may think about some small handsewing projects that would be age appropriate.
I do think sewing is less geeky to kids now. I know several tween kids who do some sewing. I think it’s on us to pass the sewing bug down to the little ones.10 years agoRobin @Robin
My daughter is 7 and likes to sew, but isn’t really thrilled about pinning or ironing or all the other things that go with it. She sewed 10, 5″ squares into a row over Christmas. It’s a scarf. She has no desire to back it with anything.10 years ago
Bravo for encouraging the little ones to sew. In my case, we were never critiqued on our sewing efforts before age 8. We sewed for our own enjoyment, I don’t remember even showing off my creations to anyone other than my best friend. When we started our formal sewing at age 8 in 4-H, our leader (and teacher) was wonderful, instructing and expecting us to do a good job. We learned to use a seam ripper early on, but also to take time to get it right. The older girls always helped the younger ones and we participated in local summer fairs, earning ribbons as well as premium money and a fashion show for our sewing creations. Still I remember spending plenty of time sewing doll clothes, and other fun projects for my own enjoyment and I did not always use “proper ” technique, just had fun creating. My own daughter was not too excited about sewing clothing until she was in her late teens. Before that time she was more interested in sewing as a craft experience and playing with fabrics and not for creating apparel. Yes, I do agree that there is more respect for the sewing arts. When I was young, we were considered nerds or out of step with the times for sewing our own clothes. Thankfully, these days there seems to be more respect for crafting of all sorts and the home art skills.10 years agoMaggie @Maggie
My six year old daughter is working on a green stuffed bunny– a bunny- shaped pillow really. Yesterday she sewed it. Today maybe she can add a face.10 years agoMasha RichartKeymaster@roundtheworldgirl
Last week my 4-year-old sewed a blanket for her doll. I drew the lines on the fabric and she cut out a square without any other help from me. I ironed the edges over, and worked the pedal on the sewing machine, but she guided the fabric through all by herself, and did a pretty good job! She is so proud and has been showing the blanket to every visitor we have!10 years agoNicole @motherof5
My girls have a very nice basic machine each (Daddy did a deal with a sewing shop) but their interest varies.
My second youngest loves to ‘play’ with fabric and makes ‘outfits’ for her younger sister that are ‘dress up’ quality. They have a lot of fun and she is learning to allow for movement and sleeve shapes with out even realising it.10 years agowith love Heidi @with love Heidi
I have distinct memories as a young child sitting at mum’s feet working on an embroidered house, on a bright blue off cut, while she sewed on the machine. Mum would draw the next line or few, show me the stitch and then I would sew the next bit. The house and surroundings got more elaborate over the years as we added more things. I don’t remember learning to sew on the machine or how to use patterns, but by the time I was an early teen I was choosing patterns, helping to modify them and helping to sew them up. I think I learnt a lot about patterns just by watching and having it how they worked explained.
I now try to expose my nieces I and nephews to sewing. Most of them have had a turn on a machine. I try to let them help on real things as well a just sewing lines. Last week I was sewing a dolls head back on and all of them came to have a look and the 4 year old owner wanted to help. So when I finished securing the head I gave her the needle and she sewed a number of stitches, yes large and ungainly but we all start somewhere, and hopefully in years to come she will rember and be able to say, “I sewed those stitches!”10 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
Didn’t sew as a kid, and my mother didn’t sew, nor my grandmother anymore by the time I was born — which I hugely regret, hearing all these charming stories. Very jealous of scouting, 4H, craft camps, and similar groups that did such great stuff.10 years agogy17 @gy17
I only learned how to sew 2 years ago, though I think my mother sewed when I was too young to remember. My daughter (just turned 6) is very interested in sewing, and has used her Sewing School book to make several things, including a stuffed toy for her younger brother. She also likes to use my machine to make pouches, bags and pretend skirts (no elastic! and bear-sized!) without patterns. My son (3) sits behind me while I sew and climbs into my lap to cut threads for me at the end of each seam. It definitely slows down the process, but I love sharing my sewing time with both of them.10 years agoDeb @Mynorth
When I was 4, I watched my mother sew curtains for our new home. When she wasn’t looking, I took some scrap fabric and started sewing with her machine…which I managed to jam up. At any rate, I became hooked right away with the concept of sewing and have never stopped.
I encouraged my children when they were youngsters and later as teenagers to sew but they weren’t slightly interested.
Just the other day my eldest called me to say she needed an additional closure on an outfit and said “next time you come over could you bring a button and a thing that makes the holes?”
Ah, yes my dear… that “thing” would be a sewing machine.
~Deb~10 years agoMama_Knowles @Mama_Knowles
How funny Deb! Sounds a bit like my sister, three out of four of us “kids” know how to sew; my brothers and I. I do remember watching my mom making doll clothes and raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. I would love to help turn the legs and arms and Love to help stuff them. Great memories!
Sarah love to help me cut out pattern pieces and pin things. She has not done much sewing yet but she did just turn 4.10 years agoPreemieMomma @PreemieMomma
My daughter is 4 and when she was 3.5, she desperately wanted to sew. She begged me every day to let her sew and begged every day for her own machine (she’d seen a toy machine at Joann’s) so after several months, I bought her a 3/4 size Janome Hello Kitty machine. She practiced sewing for a couple of months. She’s lost interest in the sewing aspect. She loves to pick out her own fabrics and cut them up but in general, she just wants to tell me what she wants me to make for her! She still asks to sew frequently but what she really means is she wants to sit beside her sewing machine cutting and pinning fabric in the hopes that 5 minutes later, Momma will have turned said fabric with pins into a delightful twirly dress with lots of ruffles…lol!10 years agoscgoble @scgoble
We have that Hello Kitty Janome, just got it for Christmas actually. My 5 year old is very into sewing scrap shapes onto other scraps – pretty much just an art project as opposed to anything usable. She insists on using only zig-zag stitches. I helped her make a pajama outfit for her doll, but I think that was too advanced. Right now, I’m just encouraging her to play around and learn how to work the machine.
Even if she doesn’t sew in earnest, I think it’s such a valuable skill. Just being able to hem pants or mend a seam, and there are so many more possibilities for home decor when you can make things yourself.10 years ago
I am so enjoying these stories and I will order the Sewing School Book to use with the resident 7 yr old, thanks to gy17 for mentioning it, just the very type of book I have been looking for.(so sorry for not knowing your name!). Wouldn’t it be nice to have Liesl design a child’s sewing book, with her gift for instruction and a resident child to guide her in project suggestions? I would also enjoy seeing these new creations (using O+S patterns) as completed (at least in part) by our junior sewists, mixed right in with the adult pics. I can only imagine the pride a child would feel to see his/her sewn creations being recognized right along with ours in the flickr site. I often have 7 yr old Meena look at a pic when I come across a child sewing and she is quite interested to see what they are doing . Yesterday it was Rebecca on the wonderful http://www.fuoriborgo.com/fuoriborgo/ blog. She was so excited to see a 7 yr old in Italy doing just what she herself enjoys and tomorrow I will have her do some simple outline stitching in a hoop like she saw Rebecca doing.
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