Years ago, when my children were very small, I developed a series on my blog of lessons to do with kids at home that taught both sewing skills and character development. I hadn’t read those posts until very recently, and they’re now ten years old almost. Ten! My children have come a long way since the tiny bodies in these photographs, but I still love the lessons I developed when the majority of my day was spent caring for them and thinking about the people they would become–the people they are, in fact, today.
This series was designed around the idea that we almost always teach more than one thing at any time, and that sewing is about a lot more than just putting needle to fabric. One of the aspects of the League of Dressmakers that I MOST love is the way in which we have conversations that revolve around the idea that sometimes sewing is just sewing, but sometimes, sewing is hardly about sewing at all–it’s about staying connected, leaving a legacy, making an impact, and honoring our ideals.
These lessons did that for me all those years ago, and I hope they will for you today. Most use items you already have in your home, and all will take exactly as much or as little time as you. and your child are interested in devoting to them. Here’s sending you joy and connection as you sew!
Lesson 1: Patience
A classic sewing lesson using dry noodles, food coloring and yarn.
Lesson 2: Focus
Hand-eye coordination practice for tiny fingers.
Lesson 3: Persistence
If you don’t have plastic canvas, you can order supplies from Amazon, or you can consider using needlepoint canvas, non-slip carpet backing or shelf liner–they all have regular square openings that work great.
Lesson 4: Thoughtfulness
When children have more experience, you can put a real needle in their hands. Thicker embroidery thread avoids tangles and reduces frustrations.
Lesson 5: Kindness
Many of us sew as a way to do things for others that expresses friendship or love. Children are naturally drawn to that, and feel their own sense of worth increase when they make for others.
Lesson 6: Responsibility
All privileges come with requirements, and children can understand the balance at an early age.
Lesson 7: Gratitude
The best way to navigate the challenges of our lives is by remembering to constantly feel and show gratitude. Sewing is a tactile way to do that.
Bonus: Glue Batik Wall Hanging
This project uses common products and creates a stunning work that can be made slowly over time, as a daylight filler or a memorial.