Teaching Children to Sew – The Parents Guide

Sewing is a fun and useful skill for kids to learn. There are a lot of great resources that parents can use to help teach their kids if they aren’t quite sure where to start. We have found the best websites with lessons, books for kids, free online videos, and even some recommendations for kids sewing machines.

sewing for kids

To teach children, it would be helpful for parents to know a bit about the basics, like how to thread and use a sewing machine and how to fix things if there is a problem. If you aren’t quite sure or need a refresher on how to use a machine, check this out.

The Best Sewing Books for Kids

An excellent place to start is with a great instructional book, and there is no shortage of books written just for kids. Here are some of the best:

  • Simply Sewing (Kids Can Do It)  by Judy Ann Sadler and Jane Kurisu has a good introduction to hand sewing basics, including all the stitches kids should know. It also has an easy to understand intro to machine basics. Then it moves on to simple but fun projects that kids will be able to complete. All of the projects are broken down into manageable steps with detailed illustrations.
  • My First Sewing Machine Book: Learn To Sew: Kids by Alison McNicol is an excellent choice if you are looking for a book with lots of information for kids who have a new machine. It has very clear illustrations that will help kids quickly learn to use and thread their machine. It also has fun projects for kids to try out.
  • My First Machine Sewing Book: Straight Stitching by Winky Cherry is a smaller book, but it is still a good choice for a child who is just beginning to use a machine. This book goes over parts of the machine, how to take care of it, how the needle works, how the bobbin works, how to do different types of stitches, and then finishes with a simple star project that kids can work on. It is part of a series of books that includes My First Sewing Book: Hand Sewing, My First Embroidery Book, and My First Doll Book.
  • Sewing School by Andria Lisle and Amie Plumleyis great how-to book for kids ages five and up. The authors have a blog here that has some info about the book. A lot of the projects in this book can be done using just hand stitches. Each project features step-by-step instructions written at a second-grade reading level, a close-up photo of every step, and a picture of the finished project. The book includes a full-sized cut out patterns and instructions for how grown-ups can help. There is also Sewing School 2 if you love this book and want more projects.

Online Sewing Classes or Lessons for Kids

There are plenty of wonderful websites with free lessons that can help you teach your kids. Here are some sites that we like:

  • Kids Sewing Projects has fantastic information for parents who are looking to teach their kids. We especially like their pre-beginner lessons.
  • Kids Sewing is another excellent site that has great tips on how to get started, primarily in the form of free online videos that you can watch. They also have a DVD series to teach kids.
  • Skip to my Lou has a great series of posts that have easy projects that kids can do and some great activities that can help kids learn how to use a machine.

Sewing DVDs for Kids

If you are looking for a DVD to help kids here are a couple that we found:

  • Kids Sewing is the first DVD in a 7 part series that is made for kids to learn how to sew. You can see a preview of it here.
  • Yes, I Can Sew!: Hand Sewing is the companion to My First Sewing Book(the hand sewing one, not the machine sewing book) by Winky Cherry. It’s a short video with only 32 minutes of content, but it has some useful info for a beginner (check your local library for this DVD). Part one of the video teaches children about the tools and materials involved in sewing, how to thread needles, and the process of sewing and stuffing the felt bird. They watch as a book is being read to them with live-action of children sewing inserted where appropriate to hold attention. Part two features a young boy hand sewing his stuffed bird, and part three shows children how to make their very own patterns for future projects.

Best Sewing Machines for Kids

If you already have a machine that you are comfortable with your child using, then there is no need to buy another machine. If you don’t have a machine, or just don’t want your kids using your machine and would like to get something small that is affordable and easy for your child to use, there are lots of options. Whatever you do, DON’T buy a ‘toy’ sewing machine, they are terrible and generally don’t work. Some of the machines that are often mentioned as good choices for kids include:

  • Janome 11706 3/4 Size Hello Kitty Sewing Machine is a fun, 3/4 size, easy to use beginner machine for kids. It has eleven stitches and a four-step buttonhole. Its 12-lb weight and carry handle makes it okay for kids to move around, yet it is a good quality, sturdy, and very durable machine.
  • Janome Sew Mini 2-Stitch Sewing Machine is a good, affordable, and easy to use machine that is ideal for kids. One of the neat things about it is that it goes at a slow speed, so if you have ever tried to teach a child on a regular machine, you will know that speed control can be a bit of a problem. This is also a very easy machine to thread.   The controls are basic and straightforward, and this is another machine that is light enough for kids to carry around themselves.
  • Brother LS2125i Easy-to-Use, Everyday Sewing Machine is another good quality machine for a low price that is so easy to use; it is perfect for kids. It is a full size, yet lightweight enough for kids to be able to move around.

Free online Sewing Lessons for Kids

Kids Sewing Videos

photo credit: Pinot & Dita via photopin cc