Sewing with Children

We have an on-going sewing project in our home.  It started last Spring as an invitation to create with needles, thread and beads.  

 One afternoon, I found a wooden window grate in our garage.  It was left over from some construction a few years ago.  I think it's the piece you pop into the windows to make them look sectioned off. I covered the frame in burlap and stapled around the edges to hold it on securely. Then, I set it out on the table with a small bowl of beads.  I pre-threaded some needles with varying string and yarn.  I want my children to be as independent as possible in their work, and I knew that threading the needles themselves would prove to be frustrating for little hands.

After school, the girls came home and sat down to work.   Ruby, age six, began sewing right away.  Sloane, age three, needed a little more instruction before she was able to work successfully.  I showed her how to sew, but I think she actually learned from watching and listening to her sister.  Ruby often thinks out loud while she works and it is a great learning resource for Sloane.  

The girls worked on this piece for a few weeks.  Then, we gave it to our best friends to work on and return.  A few weeks later Summer arrived and we headed off to the beach.  Sloane really wanted to pack this huge frame, but I was worried it wouldn't transport well.  She was very disappointed because her new found skill was such a source of pride for her.  Being capable of  a grown-up task like sewing made her feel so big and important.  

For the past few months, this beauty sat untouched in the window of our den/playroom. Yesterday, I noticed Sloane running her fingers along the different threads.  I asked her if she wanted to sew.  She lit up! After gathering some supplies, we spent a long time sewing and chatting and listening to music.  It was an amazing experience for me to see her development over the past few months.  Her fine motor skills have improved so much.  She was able to work much more competently than just a few short months ago.  I love how open-ended materials can provide that concrete evidence of growth.  

As I am upstairs writing this, I hear her little voice downstairs asking Daddy if she can sew for a few minutes before her nap.  

Here are the supplies you'll need to do this project (aff. links): 

  • window frame or any large wood frame
  • sturdy burlap fabric
  • sewing needles for children (we like these)
  • various beads (we like these and these)
  • thread and yarn (we like these and these)

 Do you have questions or comments? You can contact me here.

Thanks for following along with me! -Lizzie 


LIzzie Assa