Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Pick the right pattern and a fabric you love, and with a little time and effort, you’ll be creating a wearable item and there will be no looking back!
Make this beautiful dress for her to wear to the Easter Egg hunt. Just think of the photo opportunities to go along with it!
I remember as a child being fascinated watching my mom sew on her sewing machine. I couldn’t wait until I got a chance to learn myself. I was thrilled when I made it to 8th grade and had Home Ec class with sewing! Through the years, sewing has been both a beneficial skill and an enjoyable hobby. Not long ago I noticed my 7 year old daughter Emma watching me sew with that same fascination I remembered having. When she asked me if she could learn I decided to do a little research for tips and suggestions to teach her!
A great first project for any beginning sewer is a stuffed pillow, which is simply created for two pieces of fabric cut the same size in a square or rectangle shape of any size. An easy option is to purchase fabric panel with a pre-printed project on it. For Emma’s first sewing project we found a pre-printed panel with pillows in a favorite character. I loved the idea of using the pre-printed design because it gave her a clear cutting line that she could follow, allowing her to cut the pillows out herself. Emma used a pair of Precision-tip Kids Scissors to cut her fabric. They are sharp enough to cut a single layer of fabric easily while still being safe.
After the two pillow pieces are cut out, place them right sides together and pin them in place. As I explained about pinning right sides together, I realized that instruction really needed to be in terms that she would understand and remember. She didn’t understand what “right sides” were, however when I told her “pretty sides together” she caught on quickly.
At each step in the project I tried to plant good habits that hopefully she will continue to use, like always pointing her pins in the same direction (head on the left, tip on the right) and to remove them and not sew over them. As she was pinning, she put a pin in her mouth. I told her that wasn’t safe and to not do it. She told me that she learned it from seeing me do it. I was reminded that as I work I must keep good habits and practice safety myself because she is watching and learning from me even when I don’t realize it.
Because I prefer really sharp thin pins, I bought Emma pins of her own that would be a little more friendly. I chose pins that were long and with a large decorative head so that they would be easy to see and handle. I also bought her a magnetic pin dish. Magnetic pin dishes are great in case of accidents (less spillage and easier clean up) and also encourage the habit of always returning a pin to the dish after it is pulled.
When sewing a pillow you need to leave an opening for turning and filling. To make it easy for Emma to remember to not sew that section, we marked the beginning and ending of the opening section with red pins (because red means stop!).
Many of the sources for teaching children to sew suggest having the child start by sewing over lines drawn on paper or on striped fabric. I stitched a few lines on striped fabric to demonstrate sewing to Emma while telling her about the different parts of the sewing machine and what they do. We discussed machine safety, stressing finger and needle safety.
During our first few practice runs, I controlled the foot pedal and had my hands near hers to help direct the fabric. It didn’t take long before she asked me to move my hands because she was comfortable with that part on her own. I imagine it will be several more lessons before she takes command of the pedal.
After pinning, it is time to sew! For a beginner, it is recommended that they sew one straight line from the top to bottom edges of the fabric, sewing each side separately. As the sewer becomes more comfortable they can be taught pivoting and turning corners.
Using the edge of the presser foot as a seam allowance guide is simple and easy to remember for a beginning sewer. When they are ready for more advanced projects that call for a wider allowance, a strip of painter’s tape on the machine at the desired measurement is a great way to mark the allowance. The tape is easy to see and follow and is removed easily with no sticky residue.
With Emma I continued to control the foot pedal. The longer we sewed together the more she started giving me voice commands, like slow down, faster, and stop. Doing voice commands helped her feel like she had some control while not having master the pedal.
After sewing all four sides, turn the pillow right side out through the opening. Fill the pillow with fiber fill. Work the filling into the corners first and then into the center.
After filling, pin the opening closed and whip stitch by hand.
Pre-printed fabric pillow panels or other fabric
Magnetic Pin Dish