Teach Kids How To Sew – Here’s Why You Should

Nowadays, kids seem to be so caught up with advanced technology and social media.  And those young ones who are interested in really productive hobbies like sewing seem to be diminishing.  Some might think that it’s ok, I mean some video games are educational after all and many games can stimulate the brain too.  However, there are still some pretty significant benefits that traditional vocational hobbies like sewing have that modern pastimes, like video games, don't.

Here are my reasons why you should teach kids how to sew…

Sewing Develops Creativity

Teach Kids How To SewCreating a pattern, choosing color combinations, adding details and accents are just a few things that are required when sewing a project. These small activities teach kids to be creative or if they are naturally creative already, then this will enhance their creativity even more. For starters, you can find them some easy and fun sewing projects.  If you're looking for a good list of easy sewing projects for beginners, please check out this list.

Sewing Teaches Perseverance

Teach Kids How To SewWhen kids start sewing a project, they already know the outcome or finished product they are working for. This is what motivates them (really just like adults) to persevere and continue making progress because they know that there is a goal they are going to accomplish in the end.

Everyone makes mistakes and mistakes in sewing are pretty common.  Like with most mistakes, however, the best strategy is often just to persevere and carry on.  What better way to learn perseverance in life and how to deal with little mistakes than with sewing?

Sewing Builds A Sense Of Fulfillment

Teach Kids How To SewAgain, this also applies to adults but even more so for kids. Once they tie that final knot and hold up their finished product to inspect it and show it off to the rest of the family, it will give them a sense of accomplishment and a deep sense of fulfillment. This comes from being able to create something that they, and everyone else, can see and appreciate.

Sewing Develops Confidence

Teach Kids How To SewAside from giving a sense of accomplishment, being able to create something will also help kids gain confidence.  Imagine how a really young one would feel, starting with only a piece of fabric, thread, and a needle and ending up with doll’s dress or cute little purse. This will definitely develop and boost confidence every time they finish a project. This will only increase as they gradually advance to a more complex project as they go.

Sewing Fights Depression

sewing fights depressionWhile depression isn't common among young people (thankfully), it certainly is becoming a problem as people age.  Teaching kids useful and enriching skills like sewing will give them something to lean on as they get older.  Please read this important article on How Sewing Fights Depression if you would like to know more.

Can you think of other good reasons to teach kids how to sew?  Please add to the conversation in the comments below.  We'd love to hear from you.

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33 Responses to Teach Kids How To Sew – Here’s Why You Should

  1. Joanne M Dougherty says:

    Thanx sooo much for this !!! My 6 year old granddaughter is going crazy wanting to learn to sew like gammom………….

  2. Inky09 says:

    In addition to all things mentioned already, I feel there’s another reason why learning to sew is increasingly important today. With the fashion industry being completely out of control and all its effects on our environment and so many people, too many people have no idea what it takes to make a proper garment. From the sources for fabric and stuff all the way to the skills and time needed to construct it. Sewing also makes one realise the importance of being careful with one’s wardrobe and teaches us we don’t really need heaps of clothes that only kind of fit. It makes one prefer a few well fitting, well made garments. This is what I’m trying to teach my children….

  3. Carolyn Combs says:

    I learned to sew on a treadle machine. I would say about 7 or 8 yrs old. With 11 kids in the family it was the best way to have up to date styles to wear to school. My granddaughter who is 4 wants sew like GMA. She has a toy machine for now. When It comes time to really learn to sew. I have a treadle machine to teach her on.

  4. Elisa says:

    Sewing also builds math skills, reading comprehension, and engineering.

  5. Deborah Atulomah says:

    My mum taught me to sew when I was very young- I remember her cutting a doll’s coat out of an old sheet for me to sew when I was maybe 6 or 7. I sewed, embroidered and all sorts when I was young up to when I left home, dresses, skirts , soft suits, shirts, bags etc. Sadly I lost touch with it all once I moved out, worked long hours and had very little time to do more than turn up new trousers, repairs and minor alterations. Occasional soft furnishings, but the usual story was a bolt of cloth stored for 5-6 years waiting for me to find time. I tried to teach my girls when they were young, but although creative and artistic they had zero interest in learning to sew, and they rarely saw me sewing or making things for them.
    I made my elder daughter’s prom dress, a complex multi layered skirt with a boned bodice, which was the first dressmaking I had done in maybe 20 years.
    I was surprised how easy it was to pick up again, even with a complex pattern and new techniques ( I’d never done boning before)
    Imagine my delight when some 4 years later said daughter started showing keen interest in the clothing designed and made by a fellow student, and then a few years later she requested a sewing machine for her birthday this year , and has been very busy upcycling charity shop finds. I can’t express how excited I am by this! I have also taken up crochet again myself, ( another dormant skill not done since I was a child over 40 years ago).
    Thank the Lord for all the You tubers out there making video tutorials. I think folk are sick of the mass produced throwaway society and are keen to rediscover a more grounded, considered and self produced way of life.

    • Marlette Louisin says:

      I’m hoping my granddaughters will reach a point when they would like to sew. The younger one,15, I think will as she enjoyed what I started teaching her when she was 8-9 yrs old.

      Funny how the saying goes, When kids are young they think their parents don’t know anything and when the kids are old, said parents are genius!”

      I too began sewing at 5 with my grandmother and continued with my mom so that I made a plaid suit for eight grade home ec. I’ve never given up sewing, it’s saved my sanity really! I added quilting, a very different skill I found, about 25 yrs ago and love it too.

  6. Barbara Sullivan says:

    Sewing also teaches problem solving and decision making. I don’t sew clothes as much as I used to, but will when I retire. I do a fair amount of sewing for the home and that’s a good thing. I can have what I want and I can afford it.

  7. Bob says:

    Great post, as usual, Mayra. And so far some great comments. I will add to some of the comments with the skill to make things exactly to your specifications. For kids, making items with their school colors, their favorite color, or adding patches that make it their own. I like that sewing teaches kids that sometimes there is no easy way, sometimes there is only the hard way but the reward makes the effort worth it. You cannot get that from a book.

    I was also happy to see comments with boys learning to sew. It is a life skill that will always come in handy. When I was a teenager, I bought a Frostline kit to make a down vest. It looked terrible, my seams were not straight, but I did not care. I loved that vest and wore it until it fell apart.

  8. Patricia Pfeiffer says:

    Learning to sew teaches productivity. We are losing the sense of being necessary. Who needs us when everything is so easily available cheaply, with no effort on our part. Feeling useless, and unneeded is depressing. Being productive can cure that.

  9. Sheryl says:

    Great post Mayra! I started sewing when I was six. I would take my mom’s scraps and make Barbie clothes.

    My four year old granddaughter loves to “help” me when I’m using the embroidery machine. I take her artwork, digitize it, then she likes to choose the fabric, threads, and push the buttons. I already picked out her sewing machine when turns five. And of course it’s pink!

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Sheryl, great to hear from you. How all is well. What a fantastic pic of your granddaughter. It’s wonderful that you’re teaching her to sew. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  10. Penny says:

    Thank you for this article. I am a retired educator who has worked with people from ages 8 on up! I believe that we all have creativity within us and that the variety of activities that the term sewing covers encourages all of us to use our talents. I love seeing the proud look on people’s faces when they show off their projects. I do believe sewing can pull people out of depression, especially as we grow older. Thank you again!

  11. Kris Born says:

    Here’s another benefit I haven’t seen anyone mention: kids gain eye-hand coordination.

  12. Mo says:

    Hi. Sew what is a grest starting machine for a 7 yr old?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Bernette 37, you can adjust the speed of the machine, it is strong and has a great buttonhole. Any machine with adjustable speed would do really.

  13. Andrea W. says:

    I started teaching my 5 year old granddaughter to sew this fall just after her birthday. Her first project was a skirt for her 18″ doll, and she did it entirely on her own, with only demos and then coaching from me, as we moved through each step of the process!

    I re-learned a few things along the way too: such as making sure to use a child height table for ironing so the steam is not at her face level, as well as for cutting out. Cutting out can also be done on the floor. We found out she needs to be well above the scissors and cutting surface for proper leverage to have them work properly. Also a speed control on the machine is a must! If you don’t have that feature on your machine, rig up an eraser or similar in the foot controller to act as a governor so it won’t go too fast. We also had her sit in a junior chair and had the foot controller on a bench so everything was at the proper height for her.

    It is crucial to know how well your young student is likely to listen to you, and to follow all the safety rules you lay out. If they aren’t ready yet, give it some time! Even a few months can make a huge difference in their ability to focus. Also it is very important to choose projects that they want to sew, not what you think they want to make!

    She has gone on to sew Christmas Placemats for her family to use. Already she has a long list of all the things she wants to sew in the future, and is drawing pictures of dresses she’d like to make for her doll.

    My three daughters all were introduced to sewing at age 5. Only one sews now as an adult, but now her daughter has begun and there are 5 more grandkids who will also be given the chance to learn if they are interested.

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Andrea, thanks so much for sharing this valuable information. Love the picture too! Merry Christmas and happy sewing!

  14. Vanessa Taber-Robinson says:

    I am a sewing educator who teaches dressmaking/garment construction to adults and teens. I also used to teach children from age 8. I am happy to say that the store I teach out of has a waiting list for places in the children’s classes. My teens create some beautifully made garments and are so proud of their accomplishments even when the journey to completion usually includes a few sessions with the seam ripper! They learn that perseverance pays off and there is no “reset” button.

    • Kathy Burke, Tampa says:

      I am getting ready to teach pre-teen foster children how to sew. Do you have any suggestions how to get started with them? I am thinking that I should teach him about the sewing machine first. But not sure if we Should just jump right in on a project. Also do you have any suggestions of first projects? I make quilts and purses but not clothes! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  15. Karen J says:

    If you or a family member are teaching a young person to sew, it is an opportunity to bond with the child. In today’s society too many families don’t do things together and the sense of family is eroding. Sewing together give you both a chance to talk and even learn together. I find because of the internet and sewing sites and pages, I learn something new everyday.

  16. Eileen says:

    A classmate back in 1960 did her Science Fair Project on the science of sewing. Her project spoke about measuring, angles, yardages. I remember she had a very impressive display. Her mom taught sewing in the adult night school.

  17. Lou Anne says:

    I am a firm believer in teaching the younger generation to sew and do all sorts of hands-on creative crafts. I am a 4th generation seamstress (that I know of). It was quite a surprise to me to find out that all women didn’t know how to sew. I was doing mending at age 8. Now, at 64, I feel like a dinosaur. I’ve seen many cloth stores and sections go out of business, over the years. My 9 year old grandson made his own messenger bag in school. It is good !! I am so proud of him. My son, his father, sews upholstery for boats and RVs. Sewing is my therapy. My happy place. I am willing to help and teach anyone who is interested. Great article !!!

    • Dee says:

      I didn’t have anyone to teach me, but my interest is peaked enough that I’m starting to learn. Of course, the first time I try a new project, the mistakes are atroscious! but as long as I keep learning from my mistakes, I guess I’ll do okay; although it can be quite frustrating at times.

  18. Carlene Greene says:

    I wish depression were not so common in kids, but that is, sadly, not the case. Between 15 and 20 percent of middle and high school kids report mild to severe depression. The social media storm means that things like bullying follow them home, and the pressure to succeed is intense for so many. Maybe we need to relabel Home Economics as Intro to a Creative Home Life and make it mandatory.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I agree with you 100%. Today instant gratification = depression. Self-actualization = confidence + happiness. I think I will print this on a t-shirt.

  19. Sally Bruska says:

    Kids need to know how to sew on buttons because mom or grandma won’t always be there to do it for them.

  20. Dianne Padich says:

    Sewing helps to teach self sufficiency. Not everyone can afford to go out and buy something new when a seam splits or buttons are lost. Our lives are not guaranteed to be easy and ours pocketbooks full of money. Knowing how to sew enables one to make repairs where necessary and to perhaps provide for that prom gown we can’t readily afford.
    My mother made most of our outer clothing and i learned to sew at her side when I was 8 years old. Before mom was a long line of women who called themselves “seamstress.” My son begged me to teach him to sew for years. I resisted because I knew he wouldn’t listen to my instructions before moving forward. I paid for lessons so he could learn. He is a capable sewer and likes to design and sew quilts.

  21. Connie Swanson says:

    It can take a child out of the “herd mentality”. Ever notice how ALL Jr Hi girls dress alike?? Sewing give you a chance to wear similar styles, but in colors YOU like! Standing out from the crowd is a good thing. Sewing for boys allows them to do their own mending and teaches them how to iron. I forced both of my sons (now 37 & 39) to learn how to sew. The youngest sons knowledge of sewing got him a job in college working at a car interior shop doing seatcovers and refurbishing. HE was the youngest person in the shop by nearly 50 years! LOL

  22. Sara Light says:

    Decision making … I am SO bad at it but with sewing it’s pretty much inevitable…. I mean you can’t use ALL the buttons…or ALL the fabric…you have to use your own sense of style and judgement to decide 🙂

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