My 6 year old recently asked to sew with me. At first, I brushed him off because I was too busy! After he asked me a second time, I realized that I was being a total jerk. I love sewing and have often wanted my kids to sew with me.
During the pandemic we purchased a lot of kiddie inspired fabric to sew masks. We looked in my stash and he found a bunch of fun fabric.
Do you want to sew with your kids but struggle with what to make? Here are a few places to start:
- Mini pillows
- Little totes
- Items for stuffed animals – sleeping bags, pillows, blankets
- Simple blankets – great for daycare and Pre-K
One thing to remember is that most little kids have a short attention span. With Arlo, I knew that time was of the essence. We needed to start sewing asap and then make the project in under 10 mins.
We decided on a tiny bag. He loves little things, especially Squishmallows. So, a little bag was perfect to hold a few of his stuffies. After he made the first bag, he immediately wanted to make another one. He later told his 11 year old brother that he was now a “pro” at sewing.
Supplies for sewing the tote:
- 1/4 yard of fabric
- Sewing scissors
- Pinking shears
- Sewing machine
- 1″ polyester webbing
- Iron and Ironing board
- Sewing supplies – pins, thread and seam ripper
Places to Shop:
Looking for places to buy your fabric?
It depends on where you live, but Joann Fabrics has fun fabric. In the last few years, Joann Fabrics added state and regional fabrics to their assortment. If you are looking for an NFL or a College team inspired fabric, they have you covered.
Another place to check out is the Fat QuarterShop.com. They are an online store and do not have a brick and mortar spot. I believe that they have the best fabric selection around.
Let’s get started. Here are the easy steps for sewing a simple tote with your kids:
- Fabric – Cut the fabric into a small rectangle. Cut 1 piece that is 18″ x 8″.
- Straps – Cut 2 pieces of webbing into 11″ strips.
- Fold the fabric in half. Have your child sew the sides together with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
- Backstitch and press.
- Use the pinking sears and trim to a 1/4″ SA.
- Turn and fold the top edge under 1/2″. Press. Turn and fold again another 1/2″. Press again.
- Place into your sewing machine and sew around the top edge with a 1/2″ SA.
- Take the webbing straps and place about 1-1/2″ from each side seam. Place inside the tote down from the top edge about 1/2″ – 1″. Pin in place.
- Sew around the top edge again.
Things to consider when sewing with little kids:
- Make it easy – Straight stitches only.
- Parents do the cutting – Cutting straight and even can be hard even for an adult. Keep the sharp sewing scissors out of little kids hands.
- Using pinking shears for the seam allowances – While I almost always add lining to my projects, I suggest leaving out the lining with little kids. Sew the bag first and then trim the seams.
- Let them try it! He wanted to use the iron. Scary – yes! First, I reminded him how hot it was. I then put the iron on a low setting, stood right overtop of him and let him give it a go. I gently guided his hand when it got too close to the heat source I was able to pull it away.
- Tape is your best friend – Use masking tape as a seam allowance guide on your sewing machine. Put a colored tape on the sewing machine at the 1/2″ mark. Kids can then eyeball the guide, plus their project and sew a pretty even seam.
- Make it fun – Don’t get worked up about the small stuff. They won’t care if it isn’t perfect.
Looking for more kids sewing projects? Try these adorable projects:
Sew A Toddler Apron – Click here for link
Monster Facecloths – Click here for link