Teaching your child how to embroider could be a gift that they treasure for the rest of their lives. It's a skill that could continue to bring them hours of enjoyment or it could even lead to a future career path.
A recent blog by Melissa at Hand Embroidery Group Projects proves it's never too early to teach your child how to embroider. She shares with us her idea and shows us step by step how she had her toddler using an embroidery hoop, a peg and a ribbon to sew on a piece of denim fabric.
The process reminded me of my many efforts to teach all three of my children how to embroider. From as early as 3-4 years old they were sewing on pieces of cardboard that I had drawn a basic design on. I then pieced small evenly spaced holes along the design using a skewer or large darning needle. They would then use wool (it doesn't tangle as much) and a blunt tapestry or darning needle to sew along the line. They loved this activity and would add buttons and other bits of sequence to decorate it even more. All of my children still have their first "works of art" amongst their special things which proves how special learning how to embroider was to them. Here's Katie's first attempt:
Once they have mastered this technique it is easy to introduce them to sewing onto fabric such as calico or felt. They can start to use a finer thread and experiment with different threads. I always found it much easier to use a small embroidery hoop. This kept the fabric taut and made the stitches easier to work. From learning just a few simple stitches they could produce wonderful keep sakes. You could draw your own designs for them to sew or you could use simple shapes or pictures from colouring in books. The other alternative is to introduce them to a simple pattern or a sewing kit designed especially for kids.
Before too long your child could be creating wonderful embroidered keepsakes. I remember one year my eldest daughter embroidered Christmas tags for each family member and proudly place them on the table as part of the table decorations.
It's important to remember that your child's first attempt at how to embroider may not be perfect but chances are they will remember and treasure the experience for years to come.
Click here to view Melissa's blog about teaching her toddler how to sew.
Here are some other examples of my kid's first sewing attempts.
The little house shown above has incorporated some fabrics. These can be secured with fusible webbing or fabric glue. Buttons always add some more interest and the kids love searching through the button jar for the right button to add to their design.
Have fun with the kids.