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Topic: My 6 year old neice wants to learn to sew...  (Read 2145 times)
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heini
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2007 01:20:51 PM »

I think it all depends on her/you. If you & her parents think she is mature enough to listen and follow the rules (NO PUTTING FINGERS UNDER THE NEEDLE!) I'd say go for it.
I agree.

I work in a craft center, and everyone in our craft schools use sewing machines. The youngest kids are only five years old, and of course they need a lot of help, basically someone has to tell them what to do next and keep an eye on them all the time. But every kid doesn't learn that young, usually they learn to sew with machine at school at age of nine, 7 and 8 years olds hand sew.

So you can teach her to sew with machine, but hand sewing could be easier for first project. More complicated shapes are easier to hand sew, she could make a glove puppet or something.

I remember when I was on third grade at school, almost 20 years ago, and we started to sew with machines. At first we didn't use thread and sew only holes onto paper. The first thing we had to practice was straight lines and after that we got other kind of lines that were drawn on paper, curves, loops etc. One paper had a picture of a car and a road that we had to sew. If the "car" got out of the road, we had to sew backwards back to road. After several papers we started sewing on fabric.
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emmalemma
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2007 03:04:43 PM »

My daughter just turned eight and I gave her a machine for her birthday (an ancient montgomery ward metal beast for $5 at a charity shop!).  She just did her first t-shirt recon yesterday.  At six she made a few basic square pillows on my machine.  This is all with heavy supervision and intruction--but she did great.
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peariso
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2007 03:17:12 PM »

I know that I was very young when my mother let me,"Play with the Scraps"  She had a child sized sewing machine that she would set up for me to play on.

some thing similar to this
http://www.amazon.com/Mini-Rex-Cordless-Sewing-Machine/dp/B000687I2Y/ref=sr_1_13/103-2741984-1386261?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1182377536&sr=8-13

I found a better one
http://www.amazon.com/Singer-Antique-Style-Chainstich-Sewing-Machine/dp/B000N11ORE/ref=sr_1_2/103-2741984-1386261?ie=UTF8&s=generic&qid=1182377945&sr=1-2
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007 03:20:46 PM by peariso » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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xx_Kellybean
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2007 03:29:44 PM »

hand-sewing definitely. That's the way that I first learned. Hand-sewing a little quilt in fourth grade. Once she's really good at handsewing, and she's still interested in using the sewing machine, than i'd say give it a try.
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HorrorCraft
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2007 03:51:25 PM »

Wow.  Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. 

I will probably go the hand sew route with the plastic needles and perhaps felt.  I think she would totally love the idea of doing her own teddy bear or something along those lines. 

If anyone else has suggestions, please feel free to post. 
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2007 04:02:35 PM »

I don't have more suggestions but I would say start with handsewing too. I learned to handsew first, and I think my mom let me do some "decorative" stitching on the sewing machine. But if she wants to continue sewing as she gets older knowing how to handsew will be much more beneficial. A lot of the people I know that learned how to hand and machine sew later get comfortable with the machine quickly, but have a hard time with handsewing.
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2007 04:40:28 PM »

So my question is she too young to learn on a machine?  I was probably in my pre-teens when my great-Grandmother taught me. 

Any suggestions on simple projects to help her learn?

I started early, hand sewing a printed cross stitch at 5, maybe 6. I started early on machines too, but not a regular one for a long time. I had the 'toy' Singer sewing machine (saw one in the store recently & was exstatic to see they still make them, albeit it was pink plastic) this sewed only straight stitch, ran on batteries and was a nice size for small hands. I made pillows, doll clothes & at least one very simple top for myself with mom's help.
Then when I was about 8 I graduated to the Treadle, great grandmothers antique that still works just fine. My Dad took a turn teaching me the technical side of how sewing machines work (he's a self proclaimed Tinkerer) and I used that machine as my own well into high school. My dad used it occasionally for heavy duty projects as it really could be controled so well on things like leather & upholstry (he made a new top for a convertable Triumph car). Nothing beats the speed control you have on a treadle, can give you nice calves too.

As my skill increased so did my desire to use finer fabrics and my mom's 1940's Singer. In college I would use the assorted machines available in the art & fiber classrooms but they were crummy by comparison & I kept driving the 50 miles home to finish projects. Senior year I broke out the credit card to buy my own machine-  a Husquavarna, worth every penny of that 21% interest.

So now it's ten years later & the gentleman who services my machine (same one) said "ma'am, if this were a car it would have 200,000 miles on it. I think you need to get a comercial machine". Sigh, you know how much those cost? But the arms are so deep...and the gearing is all metal...and that cool knee pedal to drop the presser foot...
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heini
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2007 01:53:00 AM »

Plastic needles have been mentioned many times in this thread. I have only seen one plastic needle in my life, I bought a bag of plastic beads from thrift store and in the same bag was a plastic needle too. I don't understand how anyone could sew anything with it, it's very big and definitely not sharp enough to go through fabric. I think it could be used to cross stitch fabric with big holes, but this little girl wanted to sew, not embroider. Are there smaller and sharper plastic needles too? Anyway, I suppose sewing with real needle is easier than with plastic one. If 4 year olds can use felting needles, why a 6 year old couldn't use sewing needle, you're much more likely to hurt yourself with felting needle than sewing needle.

I think you should always give kids decent tools and materials, if needle/paint brush/whatever is crap, crafting won't be fun. And if it isn't fun, the kid doesn't probably want to do it again.
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« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2007 09:48:42 PM »

Plastic needles have been mentioned many times in this thread. I have only seen one plastic needle in my life, I bought a bag of plastic beads from thrift store and in the same bag was a plastic needle too. I don't understand how anyone could sew anything with it, it's very big and definitely not sharp enough to go through fabric. I think it could be used to cross stitch fabric with big holes, but this little girl wanted to sew, not embroider. Are there smaller and sharper plastic needles too? Anyway, I suppose sewing with real needle is easier than with plastic one. If 4 year olds can use felting needles, why a 6 year old couldn't use sewing needle, you're much more likely to hurt yourself with felting needle than sewing needle.

I think you should always give kids decent tools and materials, if needle/paint brush/whatever is crap, crafting won't be fun. And if it isn't fun, the kid doesn't probably want to do it again.

You can get tapestry needles (dull metal and plastic) from yarn stores in addition to general craft stores, and you can sew things like burlap easily.  But I do agree: I was more than capable of sewing with a real needle at the age of 7 safely, and part of the reason I enjoyed it so much was because it WAS challenging. 
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HyakuYenKnitter
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2007 02:47:23 AM »

I learned to sew at around 7 or 8 on my grandma's old hand-cranked Singer. My mum let me use her electric machine once but I was actually a bit frightened of it - I didn't really feel in control with the foot pedal, sometimes it would go faster than I wanted and I'd start to panic - not a good thing to do around moving pointy things!
Hand-cranked (or treadle) machines do turn up in junk shops - maybe keep an eye out?

(mind you, my textiles teacher went ballistic at me when I was 11 when she caught me feeding fabric through the school electric machines one-handed, middle and index finger either side of the needle - she couldn't understand that that was how I was used to doing it!)
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