14th September 2015

ABC Sewing: How To Start Teaching Children To Sew

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With crafting ‘cool’ again, and the back to school days back with us, what better time to get children excited about sewing? There are loads of reasons to learn to sew, for adults and kids alike. As well as the practical benefits (being able to whip up your own clothes, accessories and housewares on a whim), crafting is an excellent way to improve fine motor skills, creativity and even patience!

 Start with hand sewing

The best way to start teaching sewing is by introducing the concepts in the simplest way possible – hand sewing. Small, hand sewn projects will help children understand the basic ideas behind sewing. It’s a great way to help them learn about using patterns and templates, different kinds of fabric and stitches, and how to create their own designs!

There are plenty of printable resources to help get started with the first stitches. We love this fun sewing sheet by U Create, with space to practice straight lines or swirls (these could be used for hand sewing first, then again when you’re ready to move to the machine!)

Teaching Children to Sew - printable by U Create

When starting off your first hand sewing projects, you want to make it as easy as possible for little hands: try using a large, blunt embroidery needle and some thick embroidery floss (and be ready to take over when it comes to threading the needle and tying knots!). Thick fabrics like felt or burlap will also be easier to work with.

For some extra sewing skills, we love this rainbow tree project by Amanda Formaro – what a perfect way to practice sewing buttons, and get to grips with embroidery hoops!


 For younger children, we love this hole punch and wool method of teaching from Whatever Dee Dee Wants. What a super way to practice the motion without any of the fiddly parts!

diy sewing card for kids


Fun machine sewing projects for children

With older and more confident children, the next step is getting to know a sewing machine! Make sure to run through how the machine works (and how to operate it safely) before any sewing starts. We love this smart animation by Design Squad Nation that explains what goes on inside!

It’s a good idea to start with some exercises similar to learning hand sewing – practice sewing straight lines, curves and shapes with paper patterns first. Hems, seams and other techniques can be practised on their own on scraps, before moving on to simple projects like tote bags and cushion covers. This fantastic play crown by Creative Green Living would be a great easy project to get started with!

Upcycled Denim Crown

If you’re looking for more creative and challenging projects, why not supervise some free motion embroidery sessions?  check out our free motion embroidery templates, or even try making your own! Although the technique is much trickier, it’s a very expressive form of sewing that should lead to a lot of fun!


If you have some fab projects by or for children, or are new to sewing yourself, we’d love to hear all about your experiences! You can email us at social@oekakiworld.com, or get in contact via Facebook or Twitter.


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