As both a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and someone who enjoys making things, I have made it a point to introduce my children to many handicrafts. I see handicrafts as a way to teach skills, encourage creativity, and promote productive use of time.
Sewing is one of my favorites to introduce to children because of the wonderful things you can make and the usefulness of this life skill. Even though I am a sewer, I wasn’t sure how to go about teaching my children. And what about for those of you who don’t sew but have a child who would like to try their hand at sewing? I stumbled upon a wonderful book when searching for ways to teach my children.
Learn to Sew with Sewing School
Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make is a delightfully colorful book written to children ages 5 and up. The authors run sewing clubs and camps for kids, so they have a keen understanding of what children are capable of and what interests them.
Wisely the focus of the book is projects completed by hand sewing. No matter how far you progress there is always a need for some hand sewing, so it is a good skill to learn and practice. A couple of the more advanced projects do use a sewing machine.
My favorite features about Sewing School
- The projects are fun (cuddly items, superhero cuffs), often useful (tote bags, aprons) and many would make great gifts (sleep mask, pot holder).
- There are projects at various difficulty levels, identified by 1-3 stars, so children can begin with the easiest and step up in difficulty as they learn.
- You don’t need to know how to sew to use this book with your children!
- It isn’t a girly book. Though a couple projects like the skirt would appeal only to girls, most projects would be enjoyed by boys and girls and the design of the book is simply colorful, not pink and frilly. I am a firm believer that boys benefit from sewing skills, too, and find my son enjoys the occasional sewing project.
- Along the way children learn skills they can apply to future projects: sewing on buttons, tracing patterns, making a casing, adding trim.
- They include sections on mending and recycling. Kids will learn ways to repair clothing and stuffed animals.
- The directions are easy to follow with large color photographs for each step.
- There are pattern pieces included in a handy pocket in the back cover. I find this is much easier for children versus trying to measure and cut an item to a certain size.
Here are some projects we’ve made using Sewing School:
Summer is a great time to pick up a new skill or expand existing ones! What handicrafts do your children enjoy?
Heidi homeschools her two children in Maine using an eclectic mix including Charlotte Mason’s ideas, quality literature and hands-on learning. She strives to show her children that learning is an exciting, life long adventure. She shares their experiences on her blog, Home Schoolroom.