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Nini Makes
« on: February 24, 2008 02:37:51 PM »

I'm a primary school art teacher and mum. I recently learned through teaching my own 6 year old how to help kids master more than just a running stitch.

My six tips for hand sewing with children:

1. Let them use real tools, especially the needles. Ever tried to sew with one of the safety needles that have a blunt end for children? I can't do it, don't know how they'd be able to. I even bring real needles into the classroom - shhhh, don't tell. Same with scissors, let them use proper fabric scissors. If they are embroidering on cloth, give them a hoop.

2. Keep the thread or embroidery floss on the short side. Don't cut a piece more than about 12 inches or 30cm long (at the most.)

3. Wax the thread or embroidery floss. Run the thread along some beeswax to help keep it from tangling too easily (I do this for my own sewing too.)

4. Choose simple shapes. Keep to very simple shapes and simple stitches until the child feels confident.

5. Encourage the boys to have a go. Boys usually love to stitch and often are better at it than the girls. Every sewing project I've brought into the classroom boys managed easier than the girls.

6. Don't try a big project. Create small things then add to them if you want to. Children feel better about trying new things when they can finish it in a short amount of time - they love a quick pay off - so do I!

This really works. You can see a sample of what she created in a matter of minutes.


Making quick, easy projects - who has time for anything else? Love simple sewing, crafts, and kids stuff as well as creating tutorials and patterns. http://ninimakes.typepad.com
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2008 02:43:05 PM »

These tips are great!  I can't wait to try them.  Thank you!
Nini Makes
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2008 02:50:25 PM »

Thanks, they've worked for me - at home and in the classroom.

Making quick, easy projects - who has time for anything else? Love simple sewing, crafts, and kids stuff as well as creating tutorials and patterns. http://ninimakes.typepad.com
lucykate crafts...
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008 02:40:18 PM »

can i also recommend this book,


there is a 'how to' section at the front explaining a variety of craft/stitching techniques

and i wrote the how to cross stitch section!

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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2008 07:32:54 PM »

Great ideas- my mom taught me embroidery when I was 4, and we had so much fun together.
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2008 09:41:08 PM »

Thank you for the tips!  My 8 year old son wants to embroider a t shirt for his dad's Father's Day gift.  These tips came just in time!
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Let go of what's already gone..

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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2008 04:36:00 AM »

I totally agree about giving boys a chance to sew/embroider/cross stitch..my 10 yo use to resist any and all sewing but when I bought him some skull and crossbones patterns he was hooked..the next thing that I am going to teach him is latch hook..

thanks for the additional advice I would have never thought of waxing the thread..

its ME!!
Soap licking is dangerous..please dont try it at home

will trade some soap for a superhero cape which will be used by the kid in my avatar ^^
Nini Makes
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2008 01:47:05 PM »

Skull and cross bones - brilliant idea for a 10 yr old!

My (nearly) 10 yr old boy might be into stitching an electric guitar, think I'll draw one - summer holidays will be here in a few weeks, it would be a good little project for him to take his time on.

Making quick, easy projects - who has time for anything else? Love simple sewing, crafts, and kids stuff as well as creating tutorials and patterns. http://ninimakes.typepad.com
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