Tuesday, February 22, 2011

teaching toddlers to sew?

annika (and the boys too) are ALWAYS wanting to sew and 'knid' (crochet in annik-ese) with me. which is great and makes my heart happy, but .... it's not often easy. or pretty. 
so when i saw THIS from the fabulous people over at tinker lab, i got really excited. 
a homemade, upcycled sewing (or 'knidding') board! 
how great is that!!!

we're doing this today. 

and here is the how-to:

Here’s what we used to make it happen…
  • Cardboard Box (recycled from a package)
  • Mesh from a bag of sweet potatoes
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Embroidery Needle (They’re big, with big eyes, and perfect for small hands. You can also get them with blunt tips.)
  • Embroidery Thread (yarn would also work well)
I cut the cardboard box using scissors and an Exacto knife. If you don’t have an Exacto, you could most likely use scissors. The piece of mesh is about 1.5 inches larger in width and length than the piece of cardboard, and wepulled it taught and stapled it down.
It was time to pick our thread. Well, not quite yet. First we pursued the enjoyable task of removing paper wrappers from ALL of the embroidery floss.
We had lots of colors to choose from.
I gave a brief demonstration on how to pull stitches through the fabric and then held the frame while my daughter practiced her first stitches. The mesh was super for this on multiple levels: it’s strong and could withstand a lot of tugging, and it’s “transparent” which allowed N to really see what she was doing.
A little practice and then she was on her own. She picked up on it pretty quickly, although she wasn’t the least bit interested in following any dusty old sewing rules, and happily wrapped her stitches around the frame.
Once I saw that this was a worthwhile project, I forked out a whole dollar and purchased an embroidery hoop. This time I cut a piece of cheesecloth and stretched it in the hoop. Because it has big holes and it’s more or less see-through, I liked the idea of the cheesecloth, but it was difficult to work with and ripped easily. Lindsay at The Filth Wizardry suggests using stretchy and soft shelf liner, and I just picked some up at the hardware store — can’t wait to try this.

Here’s the bounty of preschool sewing projects that I promised. There are so many good ideas out there!!

looks pretty easy, and like we could get a lot of mileage out of an old potato sack and some cardboard.

and while you 'knid' (or when you're ready for a break) put this on and dance around.

show your kids (and friends and family) some love today!


Brittany H. said...

This is sweet. I love it when people encourage art with children.

quiverfull said...

thank you so much. i recently discovered your blog, by the way, and was charmed. :)

(in other words, i'm kind of giddy that you commented here. ((!!)) )

Jessi said...

I love that idea! my 5 year old always wants to sew !

quiverfull said...

let me know if you try it!