As I mentioned previously, I learned to sew making Barbie doll and Cabbage Patch Kid clothes. My first sewing machine was one for kids. It was plastic and apparently not very good although I don’t recall having too many problems with it. Eventually my parents decided to get me a “real” sewing machine. My mom and I went to a local store where they sold used sewing machines. I got this Singer. I did a lot of sewing on it! I taught my brother and neighbor to sew too (my neighbor was forever calling the bobbin a bobber – her family did a lot of fishing).
When my eight-year-old daughter wanted to learn how to sew, I had just the machine for her. Even though I had gotten a slightly more complicated machine, I still had my old Singer. I had to figure out how to make my old Singer machine go slower. I definitely didn’t want her running over her finger (I did as a kid…not fun!). My dad had put a screw in the pedal to keep me from being able to push it down all the way. As I had gotten older and better at sewing, they took it out. We fashioned a similar solution – a screw into a small piece of dowel.
I needed something simple for her to start sewing. She wasn’t into Barbie dolls at that point so I went with really basic – her first project was to make pillows. Pretty simple – cut two squares of material, pin them together, and sew three sides. She quickly mastered that and was ready to make something else. So, my husband suggested sleeping bags made of sheets. We took an old flat double sheet, folded it in half right sides together and sewed two sides. It was a super easy project! She then wanted to make another one, so she made one for each of her younger brothers. About this time, my six-year-old son decided he wanted to learn to sew too. I tried putting him off – that he wasn’t old enough, that it would be too hard for him….he wasn’t having any of it. When he gets something in his head, he doesn’t let go!
Come back next Wednesday for more about teaching kids to sew.