I answer a lot of questions from people asking what the right age is and what other factors will tell them their child is ready to sew. Keep in mind that sometimes the question is difficult to answer because every child is different.The very first indication will be that they will want to sit in your lap and control the fabric going into the sewing machine, or they may want to try pressing on the foot pedal. They may also ask to make something using your sewing machine. Here are some other indications you will want to watch for which will tell you that your child is ready for this hobby.
Normally, a child will have the patience and passion for sewing when they are around 6 or 7. Yet some children can be as young as 4 if they have the confidence and coordination to control both the fabric, needle and pedal foot all at the same time. They will need to be supervised at this early stage as you will just be teaching the very basics.
What Skills do They Need?
With your help and time, they can learn how to thread a needle and push on the pedal to control the speed at any age. Yet it is ideal that they have a few cognitive skills to complete simple sewing projects. If they can trace an outline on a piece of paper with a pencil, can manage fairly well with a pair of scissors, and have basic reading skills will allow them to trace sewing patterns on fabric, cut the pattern out, and read the different stitch settings on the sewing machine.
When Should They be Supervised or Unsupervised?
Any child under 7 should be supervised. A child who is 8 years of age or older can go without supervision. Yet the thing to keep in mind is that your child may learn faster than other kids and be ready to sew on their own at a younger age. You will have to study your child and choose the right time for this.
What Type of Sewing Environment Should They Have?
The first thing on the list is buying the right sewing machines for kids. While they can practice on your larger machine, it might be a bit too complicated for them to handle at this beginner stage. There are tons of sewing machines just for kids and at the perfect price for your budget. If you have the room in your home, then dedicate a spare room as a sewing room for your child or share your sewing room with them. If you don’t have a spare room, then see if you can dedicate a small space in the living room or in their bedroom as a small sewing nook.
They should have a table that is perfect for their height when sitting so they can reach all the sewing machine settings and control the fabric without straining their arms. Often, the pedal will simply be too low for their feet to reach. Stacking an empty box or books underneath will let them control the pedal easier.
Lighting is also important. If you can put the table by the window, it will give them the perfect natural lighting. Also invest in a floor lamp that renders true colors so they can pick the right thread and fabric. Lastly, look for an easy storage system for all their sewing items. A small craft cabinet with clear containers and labels will let your child see the items and fabric they want.
Getting Your Child into This Exciting Hobby
There are tons of ways a child may indicate that they are interesting in sewing. Yet you may be hesitant because it seems like your child is simply bouncing from one hobby to the next without committing to any of them. Horseback riding, ballerina lessons, soccer, and painting are just a few hobbies the may have tried and eventually grew bored about doing.
Well, sewing is that one unique hobby that your child will be able to really get involved with and can use the learned skills for the rest of their life. Remember, there probably isn’t a time now when you haven’t had to sew on a button that has fallen off a jacket, fixed a loose hem, or whipped out the perfect costume pattern for a school play. Whether your child turns sewing into a lifetime hobby or just one they occasionally come back to now and then, your child will be grateful to have learned how to sew and can make wonderful crafts for themselves and their family.