One thing I really wish I would have learned as a child was how to sew. It was never presented to me as something fun to do. So instead as a grown adult I struggled to use a sewing machine and when having to fix buttons on shirts or sew patches on my sons karate outfit it became a task rather than something fun to do. There is no specific badge for sewing if you are part of Girl Scouts, there are a number of fun patches out there which I shared a few in this post. As a leader incorporate learning how to sew into your troops plans. I promise you that your girls will thank you years later!
Before we get started, you may be thinking well what age should we introduce sewing into our troops activities. I would recommend the sooner the better. The professional opinion is that the appropriate age for kids to start using a sewing machines is six because at that age most kids have developed solid eye-to-hand coordination. For younger kids you can start with hand sewing or even sew free projects just to start getting the interest to sew out there.
Step By Step Guides On How To Get Started With Sewing
1. BE PATIENT
Patience is paramount to teaching any child to sew, and if you are a veteran sewer, you can teach your girls yourself. But, sometimes girls may lose focus with their parents, or troop leaders. Hence the training sessions should be shorter or if possible bring in someone to help teach your girls. Teach them at a slow pace and do not overload them with too much information in a day.
2. GET A MANUAL
Professionals that teach adults how to sew make use of manuals.
Apart from following the step-by-step guide, you need to use manuals while teaching your girls. To ensure you do not skip critical aspect of the learning exercise, and check progress.
The manual will teach your girls the safety precautions associated with sewing. It will also teach them how to avoid them.
3. NO SEWING CRAFTS
Sewing is a creative exercise. To stir interest, and to measure the girl’s level of focus, starting with no sewing challenges is an excellent way to go.
Examples of such challenges are;
- Creating simple clothing for dolls,
- Making fun pillowcase
- Creating felt finger puppets
- Drawing family tree with crayons
4. GET THE STARTUP SEWING KITS FOR GIRLS
Do you know getting the basic sewing kits for children is also essential? Sewing materials adults can handle might be too heavy for your girls, and they might even find it too big to handle.
Get small fashionable items. Such as,
- Mini scissors
- Pair of scissors
- Exacto Knife
- Thick embroidery thread
- Mesh from a bag
5. HAND SEWING
It is recommended for kids below age six that are yet to have great eye to hand coordination, to begin with, this. Cut patterns out for them and teach them the hand stitching basics.
I have also found video tutorials are a great way to get the girls excited about sewing. Debbie Shore on Youtube has a amazing channel of sewing activities to do with your girls. Here is one to get you started.
It is also the stage you teach them how to put a thread into a needle hole.
They might not get these basics on time; hence patience is essential. Allow them to take breaks and try again later. Then get them to complete basic sewing projects and practice different stitching practices.
6. ALLOW THEM TO USE THE MACHINE
You can be a little bit reluctant about allowing kids to use the sewing machine. Still, once they have been able to master the basic hand sewing with needle and thread. It is a strong sign they are ready to move to the next level of using a sewing machine.
Definitely, there is a sewing machine designed for kids. But they are inferior and can break down; this is why it is advisable to let them try their hands on a real sewing machine. Ensure to keep them abreast with the safety precautions.
They might get overwhelmed at the first trial. But make them understand that speed doesn’t equal quality.
In order not to run into the issue of getting an inferior sewing machine, Do well to search for reviews of the best sewing machines online. Brother xr3340 sewing machine review is an example of searching reviews.
If you are looking to get something all your girls could do together at a good price when just starting out with sewing a mini sewing machine might be perfect.
7. DECISION MAKING
Keep them active through learning, so they do not get tired. Let them make crucial decisions such as selecting the fabric. The product of the combinations might look awkward. But you will enjoy the feeling that they came up with it themselves.
8. REPETITIVE SEWING
Let your girls produce the same type of project over and over again, especially if they are having fun while at it. Doing the same task helps them to improve and get better each time.
9. DRAW THE GUIDELINES FOR THEM.
Make the sewing easier for your girls by drawing the sewing lines on the fabric for them. Younger girls might deem it difficult to hold a straight line when sewing.
Especially if it is imaginary; this is why it is recommended to draw the lines on the fabric instead for them.
10. GUIDE ON CUTTING FABRIC PATTERNS
The first instinct of most kids when cutting a piece of fabric is to start the cutting from the middle. To maximize the material and instill the habit of maximizing fabric in them.
Guide them on different ways to cut fabrics and position them when cutting. This way, they can make use of one piece of cloth for many purposes.
Teach them the generic sewing, which relates to what most kids style around them, while also understanding the uniqueness of troop sewing, especially for shirts. Compare and contrast both.
Give them troop vs generic sewing tips for them to have a complete guide for sewing any fabric. Beyond cutting, the blending of several forms and colors of material is essential.
It is the most important, although it has been stressed earlier in this article. Besides, the fun cannot be overemphasized. As much as you take frequent breaks in the duration of teaching them not to overload them with knowledge.
It is also essential to ensure you give room for fun both during and after the teaching. It is because they must unwind. As the saying goes, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Let the girls have fun. You will be surprised by the increased productivity and ability to understand better.
Enjoy every minute being a leader and continue to inspire your girls!