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Topic: Invader Zim! -or-Teaching very small children to use the sewing machine (tut)  (Read 5238 times)
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« on: May 24, 2011 08:39:54 AM »

If you, like me, constantly surrounded by a variety of small children while you sew, you have probably heard them saying "Teach me! I wanna sew!" So, I taught my four year old brother how to sew. He wanted to make GIR from invader Zim. He did quite well, I might add.

Yeah, that's a waffle. "I put soap and peanuts in the waffles!"

First, we bought non fraying materials, such as felt and fleece. It's best if the base is made of felt, because it's less stretchy than fleece. we bought green and black and used fleece scraps for the details.

Then find a picture. Have the kid pick one of his favorite T.V. characters, or a piece of food. Try to get one with out too many different colors, because that makes it more difficult. Here's the one that we used:

Print it out as large as you have material for, and then cut it's main part out, leaving all the sticky out parts such as tongues and arms on the paper.

Kind of creepy, huh?

Cut your base out of the color that there is the most of. It will probably work best, depending on how old your kid is, if the adult cuts out the pieces.

Then get some paper that you can see through, like freezer paper or lined paper or tissue. Trace all the colored parts, labeling them clearly, and cut them out of the respective colors. put them all in a bag so nothing gets lost.


If necessary, get a box to put the petal on. set your sewing machine speed to very low. If your machine doesn't have speed settings, you can put a sponge under the pedal so it can't go very fast. Start out making a little pillow or sleepingbag out of scrap so they don't ruin their character. Or a waffle, or other easy thing that matches their character plush.

(sorry, no more pictures. I forgot to take more...)

Show them how to turn on the sewing machine, and how to thread/change stitch/backstitch or whatever you think they can handle. Hold their hands while they guide the material, and tell them when to stop and lift the foot and turn.

Important!  make sure you stress safety, such as not putting your hands in the way of the needle or sewing while the foot is up.

For sewing on the details, have them go to zig zag stitch. then just sew around the edges. set your zigzag stitch with really short stitch length to do details such as GIR's stitches and pupils, or just do them with a sharpie if your kid gets bored quickly.

When you have all the details on, sew on the sticky out-y bits. use a strait stitch and sew them on the back.  

Then stitch the front to the back using a wide zigzag stitch. make sure there are no holes and you leave an opening for stuffing.  

Then have them fluff up the stuffing and stuff thier toy. Then zigzag the opening shut and trim off threads.

And now celebrate his achievement! Cheesy

I hope this was at least a little bit usefull to you, and hey, at least you got to look at pictures of invader zim!

 This is a bit harder than what you usually start kids on, but I thought they would be more interested in making their favorite food or TV character than a pillow case, which you have to admit is a bit boring.

Does anyone have any more help for teaching kids to sew? Or you can post pictures of what your kid made!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011 09:22:45 AM by KnightTemplar » THIS ROCKS   Logged

To be a saint is the exception, but to be upright is the rule. err, falter, sin, but be upright.

I craft, and live in my spare time.
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011 09:00:58 AM »

This rocks!

I give your little one props on not only his sewing (which is better than a lot of people 5 times his age) but on his awesome character choice.

Way to go little dude keep it up!

Getting my life together. Going to have to take a break from Craftster for a bit.
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011 12:17:30 PM »

Thank you for this! I don't have a child I'll be teaching to sew, but I did find a cute drawing of a raccoon I wanted to turn into a plush so this tutorial actually helped! Thanks again!

Message me if you're interested in buying custom costumes.

Sometimes I blog here: http://jillrbassett.wordpress.com/
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