Questions I’m asked about teaching sewing classes to kids or running a sewing club at school.
How many students should I have in my class?
How long should the class be?
What supplies do I need?
Where do I begin?
What age should I start from?
What should their first project be?
What if one of the kids keeps sewing wonky stitches?
What stitches should I teach?
Whats my favourite tool?
One last piece of advice
The other day a mum stopped to tell me that her daughter was going to her best friend’s wedding that very weekend. She wanted to remind me that the girls had met each other in my sewing workshops many years before and had stayed the closest of friends ever since.
That story summed-up for me the things I love most about teaching sewing to kids. The workshops are very social and relaxing. The girls sit in circles and chat as they work on their projects. They show each other their work and oftentimes, they will work together and design their projects together, they ‘copy’ each other but always in their own way…and I love that.
Those kids are working in a supportive non-competitive environment, an environment that’s usually very different to other learning contexts they’re used to, they make their own decisions and they are the ones who have to decide what their project should look like. And I love that in my all-day-workshops when it’s time for the kids to have a break and eat some morning tea or their lunch the most common question after 5 minutes is…can we go back inside and finish our sewing. That’s been my enduring experience as a sewing teacher to young kids and that’s what keeps me teaching kids sewing.
Don’t forget to join the Sew a Softie facebook group. If you’re looking for more tips and tricks on how to teach kids to sew you might like to look at my Pinterest board.
Do you usually start kids out with felt projects or do you use woven fabrics? I see that a lot of your projects are fairly big, so felt could be more costly. I haven’t tried teaching kids to hand sew but I love the idea! I like to make small items, but they might be harder for kids to hold onto when they are learning? My local library offers projects for chlidren and I’m friends with the lady who runs the program – I know if I volunteered to teach a class she would be thrilled!
I usually start on felt projects if I’m teaching a short workshop (one to one and a half hours).
Felt is easy and quick to work.
Projects are about 10-12 inches because this gives the kids time to practice their sewing skills as well some kids have difficulty sewing small, even stitches and a small project wouldn’t work.
Felt should be fairly inexpensive. You can use acrylic but please pretest to see how easy it is to sew or wool blend felt is another great alternative.Pure wool felt is expensive!
Libraries all around the world have joined into Sew a Softie and the Global kids sewing party in February to sew softies. The most common project they’ve made is my ZENKI tutorial.
Please let me know if you need any more help.
If you do use Zenki for any of you’re workshops I would appreciate a link back to Sew a Softie and Coloured Buttons to help spread the Sew a Softie message that kids love to sew!!
Wondering if you can share the exact name and brand of the chinagraph pencil you use? I too have tried a lot of the fabric marking pencils from sewing supply stores, with no luck on dark fabric.
Thankyou! Love your ideas.
Hello. I live in Iran. I am a primary school teacher. I have sewing and embroidery workshops for children 3 years and older. I have a 5-year-old girl who has been embroidering with me for 2 and a half years. I enjoyed your site very much. Like you, I’m really amazed at being with the kids and sewing and sewing and sewing
I love that you are teaching such young kids to sew!! It is amazing to see how much kids love sewing and how good they are at sewing. Please join our Global Kids Sewing party in March if you can!!!