[quote="CB_Catholic, post:1, topic:204576"]
Have any of you ever taught young children to sew? My 8 year old grandaughter just wrote me a letter asking me to teach her to sew on a machine when she comes to visit me for a week. She has been bugging her mother non-stop about this, and finally her mother got a good deal on a decent basic sewing machine, and is sending it with her because I am not keen to let her learn on my expensive machine.
I am not sure where to begin, and a week is not a very long time. Her mother plans to enroll them both in some beginner classes, but wants me to start her now because she is pestering her so much. I am not even sure she can reach the foot pedal with her legs. I didn't start sewing on a machine until I was in junior high, I'm wondering how much an 8 year old can learn. Any suggestions?
Personally, I think I should teach her basic hand sewing first, like I learned when I was young, but that doesn't appear to be an option. (Grandmas are such pushovers).
this brings back one of my most cherished memories of my grandmother. I was about the same age when I asked her to teach me. This of course was on the old treadle Singer on which she made most of my clothes. I honestly don't remember how I reached the treadle but I must have. I sewed several "straight line" projects that summer like pillow cases and hemmed handkerchiefs for my dad, made placemats and so forth. She also taught me to design, properly cut out and sew doll clothes by hand. Throughout my childhood playing with dolls most often meant making clothes and dressing them. She gave me one of those Betsy McCall toy machines for Christmas but it was very unsatisfactory, maybe the newer ones are better, the small machines that are just for straight hemming.
The new machines are rather complicated, but some allow you to put the pedal on the table top, or have a knee pedal attachment.
Under her guidance I made a dress and matching jacket when I was in 5th grade so I must have learned a lot. My mother did not have a machine and my grandmother got rid of hers when she went into what we now call assisted living about that time. I picked up the habit again in HS through home-ec class (limited helpfulness) but under the guidance of a friend who sewed and got an inexpensive machine, and sewed all my own clothes in HS and college excect school uniform, jeans, sweaters etc. and all my kids clothes when they were small.
go on Grandma, you know you want to do this