I took a major risk today. In fact as I was in the process of getting this project ready, I said aloud (to myself), “I’m probably going to regret this.” I attempted our first sewing lesson…with a sewing machine…with all three children in the same room. But guess what? It was AWESOME. Sewing with kids can be DAUNTING. Sharp needles…scissors…electrical cords…pins…the possibilities for disaster are kind of endless. But this was the perfect project for sewing with kids – make a fall felt garland.
Keep in mind, this was not a planed activity. In fact, I’m beginning to realize that some of our most fun projects are spontaneous. While browsing Pinterest this morning, I ran across this post and I got inspired. Her garland was beautiful! And as I read through the tutorial, it dawned on me that this could be the perfect project for a beginning sewer. There are no seam allowances, there is no pressing, there are no “fussy” steps. And best of all, you can see your progress immediately. And sewing on felt is a breeze. It is just one layer. There is no slipping, no pins…you see my point. EASY. So here’s what we did.
First I cut out a bunch of “leaf shapes” from my scraps of felt. I did not use any sort of a template. I just layered the scraps and began hacking away at it. Once I got the shapes cut, the kids sorted them into piles of like colors (Doc’s “school” for the day: CHECK!).
Then I set up the machine. I showed them all the basic functions such as how to raise the presser foot, how to turn it on and off, and where the needle goes up and down (so they would be careful of fingers). I sewed the first couple leaves together myself so they could watch how it all worked. Then I put Doc on my lap and let him guide the leaves through.
He did GREAT. He was very careful to keep his fingers out of the way, and he was able to lift the presser foot, slide another leaf in, and keep sewing. And he LOVED it. I was actually shocked at how well the Bubba did.
Then it was Addison’s turn. At first, I ran the pedal so she could get used to guiding the leaves through the machine on her own. But after one or two, she said she was ready to try it all by herself.
I put the pedal on the footrest that goes with my rocking chair to raise the height. It was perfect.
She kept at it for a good 30 minutes all on her own. I think we may be on to something here. In case you are stumbling upon this site for the first time, Addison is five. She has only done a little bit of sewing before (with her grandma…I’ve been too afraid to attempt this with my other kids around). If you have been thinking about teaching your children to sew, I think this is the perfect age and the perfect project. I’m thinking we could cut and sew other shapes to decorate the kids’ rooms too. The wheels are turning!
The kids are so proud of their pretty decoration. Doc is already asking what we can make next. I’m gonna count this one as a win!
Do you have any great projects for sewing with kids? Think you’ll make this fall felt garland? I’d love to see pictures of how it turns out if you do! Feel free to share them on our Facebook Page!
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