Author Topic: Teaching 10yo to sew  (Read 3329 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline miranda

  • Member
  • Posts: 1004
Teaching 10yo to sew
« on: November 25, 2010, 01:27:00 AM »
Hi everyone

We have school hols coming up, and as an activity for a few kids (3, aged 8-10) I'm going to be running a home-based "sewing school".  I'm thinking of having them (all girls) 6 mornings, for 2-3 hours at a time.  I've picked this pattern (though I'm happy to get suggestions for other patterns!):  http://www.simplicity.com/p-2173-childgirl-separates.aspx?VariantID=7932 .  My thinking on choosing this pattern is that it looks achievable for young kids - no buttonholes or zippers, no pockets, and they could all be made with nice summery cottons.  We mums will wash and iron fabric ahead of time.  (I'll supervise fabric choices etc so that we end up with garments that can be sewn with the same colour threads to minimise messing around and allow the 3 kids to share my two machines.)

My plans are to measure up the kids and do all the pattern preparing ahead of time.  I think it would be too long and boring - not to mention fraught with danger :) - to have them trace and/or cut the pattern out themselves.  I will explain to them what I've done.  Then I will help them cut out their garments, though they can do as much as possible.  (Actually, this may be a good time to try tracing the outline onto the fabric.)  The idea is then to demonstrate the seam technique (for example) on a sample, and have them do it also, then applying it to the garment. 

I'm thinking that if I do it like this we should be able to get 2-3 garments finished in that time, which will give them a buzz, and teach them about reading a pattern and the basic techniques needed. 

Any thoughts?  I think this is achievable in that timeframe. 

Thanks
Miranda

Offline Hen

  • Member
  • Posts: 551
  • sewing in New Zealand
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2010, 08:08:02 AM »
Maybe you could merge the pattern pieces of the skirt so that there are only a front and back (or find such a pattern), it can be demotivating to sew all the 6 (?) side seams when you see that you could achieve a similar result with two seams!

The tops could be problematic, it is difficult to finish a sleeveless armhole nicely. I would use raglan T-shirt pattern, which can be sewn flat and the seams are hardly curved. (First sew the raglan seams, leaving one in the back open. Then do the neckline binding flat, then close the last raglan seam. Close the side and sleeve in one go. Hem.)

The pants look good to me, but you may not have time left then.

Offline marciae

  • Member
  • Posts: 8166
  • Gender: Female
  • Northern Colorado
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2010, 12:42:10 PM »
I think the first year 4H starts with a gathered skirt - one that is 'torn' rather than cut - then a pair of simple shorts.  I'm not sure I can still find my judges books, but I do remember that the first two years are very simple.  I realize you'll have bigger blocks of time and more of them - but teaching a child to use a pattern is pretty ambitious!  I wish you well.
I refuse to tip toe cautiously thru life only to arrive safely at deaths door.
Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders & says...  'Oh darn ........ she's awake!!'
Age may wrinkle the face, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul

Offline laurasj

  • Member
  • Posts: 289
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2010, 09:06:26 PM »
I think you are on the right track with doing much of the prep ahead of time. Your pattern choice looks promising. I suggest starting with the pants. If you have success there, the girls will probably be able to handle the skirts, tho Hen offers a valid point that an even simpler skirt might work better. Her advice about the top is very good.

Do your students have any experience running a sewing machine? It can be a bit intimidating to start with. If your machines have a speed control, I encourage you to turn it all the way down until they gain confidence. My 13 year old daughter has been sewing on my machine for 4 or 5 years, and she still prefers to turn the speed down when she sews.

I have taught beginning sewing to children (ages 6-12) as well as non-English speaking adults for about 5 years now. I like to start my students sewing without thread, on paper. They follow straight lines first, then curvy lines, and finally, practice turning corners on "stairstep" lines, Some students only need to do this once to gain confidence, others like to practice more. They then do a quick fabric project using straight lines...a drawstring bag or tote bag are simple things to start with. My favorite first "big" project for the girls is  usually pajama pants, similar to the pants in the pattern you have chosen. This is usually successful...fit is not crucial, and students learn straight and curved seams, casings and narrow hems.

 

Offline miranda

  • Member
  • Posts: 1004
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2010, 03:06:38 AM »
Thanks for all your thoughts. 

Background - one of the 10yos is an aspiring fashion designer and has been making fashion drawings for a while now.  The idea is to start to give her some tools to move her ideas on paper into fabric.  She has quite decided taste in fashion and I suspect she won't wear anything that doesn't look like something in the shops right now.  The other 10yo is a bit less so, but is also moving into that fashion conscious stage.  The 8yo is less fussy, but I would ideally like to work with one pattern for all of them.  (Three of them, so I'll be able to get to all of them.)  One 10yo and one 8yo are quite experienced on the sewing machine.

I went through all the online pattern stores I could find, and this was the only pattern that looked easy enough to get a nice result, and was actually something they'd wear.  There are very slim pickings for girls of this age.  :(  Very frustrating.  I'll keep looking though.  Maybe one pattern isn't practical and I should get a couple to mix and match.

However, I could probably also dust off my Aldrich pattern drafting for kids and DIY...

Hmmm, will browse some more and see what I can find.

Thank you so much for your thoughts!
Miranda

Offline miranda

  • Member
  • Posts: 1004
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2010, 03:16:36 AM »
Hi again,

A few more, I seem to have overlooked KwikSew...

This one for the skirt and pants:
http://www.kwiksew.com/catalog/PDF/3169.pdf

And a top pattern
http://www.kwiksew.com/catalog/PDF/3169.pdf

The top pattern has the suggested raglan sleeve, and is finished with elastic.

Miranda

Offline Hen

  • Member
  • Posts: 551
  • sewing in New Zealand
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2010, 08:45:44 AM »
The top looks perfect, easy to make and looks like something you could get in the shops. The finish with elastic will disguise any not-so-straight seams, and it is even for wovens, so no additional instructions needed for knits.
You linked to the same pattern twice.

Offline miranda

  • Member
  • Posts: 1004
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 10:07:44 AM »
Oops Hen, me=technologically inadequate.  :) 

This was the pants/skirt pattern I was look at:  http://www.kwiksew.com/catalog/PDF/3056.pdf

I think a woven is the best way to go to start with, so I was disregarding the tee pattern for now, though I'm sure it will come in handy somewhere down the track.

Thanks!
Miranda

Offline mcgintie

  • Member
  • Posts: 1085
  • Gender: Female
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 10:27:22 AM »
Miranda,
I would encourage some creativity - I was taught to handsew and knit at an early age and it was all done to rote - I was quite old when I realised it was okay to add my own touches. This rigidity put a lot of people off handiwork. I have an engineering side and a creative side - I need to flip between the two to keep my sanity.

Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7386
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2010, 12:22:13 PM »
I agree - I think the Built By Wendy stuff has some DIY options (I'm thinking of her book, Sew U).  Get some trimmings in as well as fabric!  Get some buttons by the pound!
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline laurasj

  • Member
  • Posts: 289
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 11:35:18 PM »
Miranda,
I think you've found some good patterns. The Kwik-Sew skirt and pant look easy enough to poivide good results. The suggestions to add a creative touch with trims is a good idea. The peasant blouse is really cute...this is another project I use with beginners. They all look forgiving for wobbly seams and imperfect fit. Even the patchwork skirt could be successful, since 2/3s of your students have experience with the machine. The patchwork could be really fun for them to put together, but time-consuming. Once that is made, the skirt would go together quickly.
Your sewing school sounds like fun!
Laura

Offline miranda

  • Member
  • Posts: 1004
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2010, 12:45:03 AM »
Thanks, ladies, for all your help.  My friend (mother of one of the 10yos) thinks I should do this as a business.  I said I'll see how it goes first with this batch of kids. 

I have a rough outline.  I've got, I think, 6 sessions of about 2.5-3 hours each. 

First session,
Measure, discuss choosing pattern size (at least 2 girls will need to sew a much-lengthened "smaller" size), buy fabric, discuss pretreating fabric, demonstrate some seams and have them make samples. 

Their "homework" will be to wash, dry, iron fabric.  Mine will be to trace and prepare patterns.  I'm considering cutting out two of the garments ahead of time, and then on the next session just have the one for me to explain layout and demonstrate how to cut the third garment.  I think this will get them ready for the fun stuff.

Second session
Cut garment as mentioned above.  They can stitch and I'll do any unpicking necessary at this stage.  Teach them about hems and elastic casings.

Subsequent sessions.  Continue as discussed, except that they can cut their own garment next time.

I think we should get at least two simple garments finished doing it this way.  I will also find some nice trims, buttons, and one kid wants to make the flower on one of the skirts (the Simp).

I think that sounds doable.  Any further thoughts?

Thanks
Miranda















Offline Liz Schneider

  • Member
  • Posts: 178
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 11:01:25 PM »
I've looked at books and reviews online for teaching kids to sew. There are so many options, I'm having a hard time choosing one for my bright dd. Could some of you give your own recommendations of a book with a sort of curriculum to keep me on track?  Or do you prefer (what most of us probably did) just starting with mom's choices of one easy project after another? Thanks

Offline Karen C

  • Member
  • Posts: 119
Re: Teaching 10yo to sew
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 12:51:34 AM »
I taught teen sewing (10 - 18 yo) for many years.

5 sessions, 2.5 hr each.

They made a pillow day one.  Day 2 & 3 a back sack and days 4 & 5 pull on pants of shorts.

For some this was a push to finish.

Teen 2 was a sleeveless dress.  This took the full 5 sessions for most.

Everything will take at least twice as long as you think it should.

Even very bright 10 yo's find it hard to read sewing instructions and translate them into what they should do.  They need you to show them what they are going to do. 



 

Gorgeous Fabrics Fabric Mart Fabrics