Monday, August 1, 2011

Embroidery for Kids

Since his first and last sewing lesson over a year ago, Dash has been begging me to let him sew or embroider a second project. Most of his ideas are a bit too ambitious for a half-pint of seven.
Then we went to visit Grandma.
On Grandma's wall hangs a little embroidery image of a paper airplane. There was our project idea.
Shown is Dash's finished project, with supplies.


embroidery hoop
needle with a large eye (I've seen size 20 recommended)
embroidery floss in desired color(s)
small piece of fabric
needle threader

cutting thread (for a child it should be more than an arm's length)
knotting thread
straight stitch

Choose or sketch a simple image on a piece of paper. Tape the paper and piece of fabric up to a window (or a lightbox). Use a pencil to trace the image onto the fabric. Place the fabric in the hoop.
Let your child choose the floss color. Encourage them to pull on the end of the floss with their left hand, stretching their arm off to the side. Holding kids' scissors in their right hand, cut their piece of floss. This gives a good length.
Show your child how to use the needle threader to thread the needle. Undo it and let them try.
Knot the thread. The kid how-tos I see encourage children to wrap the thread one time around the first knuckle of the pointer finger, then use the thumb to roll the thread off the finger. Once the thread is then tightened is will (often) naturally form a knot. I had to try it myself a few times to get the knack.
Demonstrate a straight stitch (or backstitch, whichever applies), then encourage your child to take over. Plan to work nearby, so you can fix the inevitable first-try mistakes as they arise.
Mia's first embroidery project.

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