While many people may regard sewing as an old-fashioned hobby, taking up the practice can actually provide your daughter with a variety of skills that can help her in other areas of her life. Not only does sewing promote hand-eye coordination, but it also helps build self-esteem by giving your daughter concrete rewards for her labor. To help your daughter begin to sew, consider several projects that are suitable for young girls.
Before your daughter begins to work with a sewing machine, make sure she masters the basics and particularly the materials of sewing. Beginning with a slightly larger needle, have her practice threading it, possibly with the help of a needle threader, and making double-knots at the end of the thread.
Demonstrate several basic stitches, including the straight stitch, which makes a straight line, and the whip stitch, which wraps around the edge of fabric, on old pieces of fabric or on inexpensive newer pieces of fabric. Have your daughter work with cotton or another similarly sturdy material to begin with; fabrics such as silk and satin will easily snag, slip, and generally cause frustration among new sewers.
Once your daughter has mastered working with a needle and thread and the basic stitches, have her begin in earnest with basic projects. Pillows work well for girls who are just learning how to sew, as they only require sewing in a straight line and then turning the fabric inside out. After your daughter has mastered a basic pillow, work with her to create pillows in different shapes and forms by cutting the fabric differently and sewing along the edges, just as she did with a basic pillow.
After your daughter is comfortable sewing basic projects on her own, she may be ready for a sewing machine, though she should always use this under your supervision. Consider purchasing a child-size machine, which comes with extra safety features, and will be easier for a child's small fingers to work. Even if you cannot purchase a new machine, make adaptations to your own (such as raising the pedal on a stack of books) that will help your daughter master it better.
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