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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: temom
Date: 03-06-2007, 08:57 AM (1 of 17)
I didn't know where to put this, so I chose here. Although I am a newbie at sewing (about 1 year), my 6 year old kindergartener is even newer. She sits with me at the machine, and takes care of choosing thread, bobbins, threading the machine (she can almost do it. The needle has her stumped), back stitching, running the pedal, and who knows what else. About 2 weeks ago I bought her a little sewing kit at the dollar store. It has thread, needles, thimble, threader, ittty bitty scissors that don't cut thread, and a measuring tape. The child loves to sew by hand! So far she has made by hand, without any help from me except knotting the thread, without any pattern these things:
A pocket with a button and button hole (it looks like a little lopsided purse)
A sheath for her itty bitty dull scissors,
A sheath for my rotary cutter

I'm trying to come up with a simple pattern of something she can do by hand. Since her stitches are not too close together, bean bags are out because all the beans would leak out. Does anyone have any ideas?
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: weezyrider
Date: 03-06-2007, 09:23 AM (2 of 17)
Maybe felt cookie cutter Xmas ornaments? Use sparkle glue and inexpensive trims?

User: weezyrider
Member since: 08-19-2003
Total posts: 218
From: MaryW
Date: 03-06-2007, 09:36 AM (3 of 17)
yo-yo's might be a good idea for her.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: my2girlies
Date: 03-06-2007, 09:43 AM (4 of 17)
My girls used to love to make things for their dolls. Pillows and pillow cases. Small cardboard boxes made great "beds" and then they could make bed spreads, etc. They made rugs, table cloths, etc. They enjoyed making items for their Barbie size dolls rather than larger baby dolls. My youngest DD totally redid her Barbie dream house with homemade accessories. Lots of fun and the smaller items don't take as long - you know, instant reward. Also sewing scraps of material and yarn onto socks for sock puppets. My oldest DD had a dress up "cape" that she was continually sewing (or gluing) something onto. Hope this helps - I will try to remember what else we used to do.
User: my2girlies
Member since: 03-25-2005
Total posts: 154
From: temom
Date: 03-06-2007, 10:12 AM (5 of 17)
I love these ideas! Thanks :bg:
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: DorothyL
Date: 03-06-2007, 10:28 AM (6 of 17)
I remember making doll clothes and I'll bet almost everyone here does too.
I'll add that to keep her interested you might want to upgrade the sewing kit so it isn't frustrating to work with. Just make sure there is some degree of supervision when she is sewing.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: Patty22
Date: 03-06-2007, 10:58 AM (7 of 17)

There are some ideas for doll quilts if your daughter has the American Girl Doll. The site is excellent because of the historical accuracy.

I know American Girl (when they first began in 86/87) had doll patterns that were designed by Nancy Martin (quilting book author) and were very easy to construct with excellent instructions. I know many of the outfits matched the details of the purchased clothing available in the catalog. My daughter and I would make them when she had girlfriends visit and the girlfriends loved getting outfits that matched. I checked the current patterns and I didn't see anything quite as wonderful as those old pattern sets, but maybe if you ask around maybe someone might have them. (found a url to what the patterns looked like)

If your daughter isn't into dolls..... you could always check out the patterns for purses and totes and she could make one to carry special gear or books.

My daughter is home from college and she is making postcards to send to her friends. Another good reason to save ALL your scrap fabrics.... those are a fun project and don't require any special skills.... just lots of fun and an adventerous spirit.

About the little sewing kit from the dollar store though, the quality of the equipment is so poor that I would be frustrated trying to use them and probably give up. When the notions go on sale, or you have a good coupon, pick up some of the basics and put them into a really cute container so she knows they are hers.

It is wonderful when you have a sewing partner; enjoy ever minute :) I know I'm always happy when mine invades my sewing room :shock: because it is too quiet when she is gone.
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: PaulineG
Date: 03-06-2007, 03:57 PM (8 of 17)
What about getting her to embroider something. Draw a simple picture onto some calico or similar (with a water soluble fabric pen) and have her stitch over the lines. All she would need to do would be a running stitch.

Then you could finish the edges on the machine and make it into a placemat or picture or the basis for a dolls quilt. Possibilities are endless.

Or cut out some squares of paper and show her how to tack fabric scraps onto them and whip stich them together. Called English paper piecing. If she has problems keeping her stitches small then choose fabrics where you could use the larger stitches as a design feature - in the way that blanket stitch is sometimes used.

I used to do both of these things as a child and enjoy doing the more complicated grown up versions still. You can get quite a nice looking result by letting colours or fabric do the work for you with very little skill required at all.
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 03-06-2007, 06:28 PM (9 of 17)
Back in the dark ages when I took Home Ec (1948-1949), our sewing teacher taught us a hand stitch she called imitation machine stitch.. You take a small running stitch and then bring the needle back up in a space big enough for one stitch to be between the completed stitch and where the needle is now.. The thread on the wrong side is doubled and does not look pretty, but the top is a neat row of small stitches in a row... You might teach her to do this type of stitch and then there would not be any holes for beans to fall out of.. It would not matter if the stitches were larger at first, but it might teach her to make straight rows of the same size stitches.. This stitch has to be a first cousin to the back stitch... I use it sometimes when I have a quick mending of a short spot in a seam that has pulled loose..
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: Magot
Date: 03-06-2007, 11:01 PM (10 of 17)
How about sewing on plastic canvas with wool? You can make small pictures, little boxes, glasses cases ( lined with felt so as no tto scratch the lenses) tablemats and so on.

You could get her to draw a picture on white cotton with fabric pens and then go around the picture with running stitch to embellish (again thick embroidery cotton) If she does this with a square of wadding underneath the picture she will make a quilty pattern with you can then help her to make up into a cushion cover for her room.
love and kisses, Jan
Cells a Speciality
DNA to order.
User: Magot
Member since: 12-22-2002
Total posts: 3626
From: temom
Date: 03-07-2007, 07:26 PM (11 of 17)
These are great ideas everyone! She isn't ready for anything too hard, or maybe it is her mom that isn't ready!
Magot, I tried the plastic canvas, but that was too boring for her. She does a couple of stitches and puts it down. She likes the thrill of creating something. Yesterday she declared that she is almost big enough to run the sewing machine by herself. I think I'll wait till she is out of kindergarden!
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: grandma C
Date: 03-08-2007, 09:10 PM (12 of 17)
Temom, I can remember sewing buttons on scraps of fabric. I also remember making raveled placemats. Mom would cut a rectangle of fabric and stitch about an inch in from the edge. I would then have the job of raveling the edges till I had a nice fringe around the mat. I gave many of those as a gift. I loved making my own gifts to give away.
My 6 year old Chloe(gd) loves sewing little squares of fleece onto another piece of fabric (big uneven stitches and all). She says she is making her dog a blanket/Quilt. Her patience wears thin pretty quickly but later when she wants to resist going to sleep she will pick it up again. It is finished when she decides it is finished. I would recomend her tracing around her doll and making a sak dress. Big loose stitches and all. She will probably ask for more structure when she is ready.
As for using the sewing machine, I started out Matthew(gs) on my computerized Janome at age 9. I learned on Mom's treddle. I wish I still had Mom,s treddle machine in usable condition. Do be sure to watch fingers yours and hers. Matthew pressed the foot switch on mine while I was helping him thread a needle of some such task. It was a near miss. I will probably buy Chloe and her Dad a Machine soon just so he can mend their clothes. I'm sure she will get a turn at it.
User: grandma C
Member since: 01-15-2007
Total posts: 263
From: temom
Date: 03-09-2007, 11:06 AM (13 of 17)
Grandma C, the fingers caught in a needle is my concern. I need to go to the sewing shop and see if they have anythin g that can be used as a guard.
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: Patty22
Date: 03-09-2007, 11:45 AM (14 of 17)
temom - does your machine have a speed control where you can set it to a slower speed? That might help you with your concern about the fingers and the needle.

However, it sounds like your daughter is VERY bright. If you explain to her about safety..... STRESS safety.... she will listen. My daughter is in college and I always have her wear her glasses rather than her contacts when she is sewing; just a mom thing and it makes me more comfortable.
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: temom
Date: 03-10-2007, 08:53 AM (15 of 17)
Hi Patty, I did slow the speed way down...that was the only way I was brave enough to let her run the foot pedal with my fingers so close to the needle. But it was still an "interesting" experience. She is a very bright girl, and asked me yesterday if I found a pattern of something she could make. I need to google yo-yos because I don't have the slightest idea of how to make them. I think that will make her happy for a few days, and we can sew them on her clothes.
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: wendymac
Date: 03-30-2007, 10:02 AM (16 of 17)
I got my 9 yr. old daughter a Bratz sewing machine. It came with VERY simple patterns for making little purses, cell phone holder, etc. Anyway, they also sell little "kits". They come complete with all the materials needed to make them, little embelishments, etc. The patterns are on really heavy they just put them on the material and snip away. They were running around $6 at WalMart, which I thought was worth it to have something that was geared to the younger set.
User: wendymac
Member since: 03-30-2007
Total posts: 2
From: temom
Date: 03-30-2007, 10:57 AM (17 of 17)
Thanks, Wendymac. I will be shopping this afternoon, so I will look for them. I've never seen them.
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
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