Teaching My Daughters to Sew
Crystal Miller

One of my goals as a mother has been to make sure all my daughters know how to sew by the time they leave home. However sewing can be hit and miss around our house. We will finally have some time to sew and then sew like mad only to not pick it up again for a few months. But as long as we are making a little progress in the goal, I am pleased.

When I begin to teach my daughters to sew I start with some pretty basic things. I show them how to thread the machine, name the parts and let them sew scraps of fabric to get the hang of how it works. After the basics are mastered I move on to simple projects.

One simple project that my daughters make is skirts. We measure around their waist and multiply this by 2 then added 10 inches. That is the width of the fabric and then we cut it to an appropriate length. They sew up the side seam, put casing in it for elastic and hem the bottom of it. No pattern is necessary!

Another project we have done is potholders. These can be as simple as 2 pieces of fabric and some sort of filling in the middle like batting or an old towel or more fancy like a quilt block on the front. After this it is time to move onto patterns. For patterns, I began teaching my oldest daughter with a simple jumper and then move onto other jumper styles, shorts and even t-shirts.

I have followed this same process with the rest of my daughters. My youngest daughter also learned to make simple doll clothes, which she enjoyed quite a bit.  We have also made things like denim skirts out of jeans and various craft projects. They are just now learning with patterns.

 I am not sure if there is an appropriate age to start sewing, it depends on the child. I have heard of children starting as young as 8, I start my girls around 11 or 12. They seem to have more dexterity and ability to move on to the next steps without a lot of frustration. Sewing is a skill that builds as you go. If you do not know how to sew consider it a great opportunity to learn with your daughter! Take it one step at a time, each time trying something more challenging.

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