Granted many stores now offer mini sewing machines for children 8 and up. But they are not worth it in my opinion. The options and capabilties are few and far between. It also does nothing to "teach" them the art of sewing...which must start by hand! This is also happening with knitting machines and such. If a child is given a blanket they will stay warm for a day, but if you teach a child to sew a blanket, they will stay warm for a lifetime!
We are not going to make a blanket, but will start small instead. Once you have all the materials, this would make a great kit for birthday party favors or gifts for birthday or holidays. There is prep work and you will need a few supplies as follows:
- 1 Eyelet Plier Kit (not a Grommet Punch)
- Pieces of Felt (you can buy by the yard or buy many colors in the 81/2" x 11" size)
- Plastic Needle
- Poly-Fil stuffing (it's not all created equal - mid price range is sufficient) (low is ok for this - but know that it will bunch - even if it says it won't! and it's not so soft!) you can also use Bamboo or other fillers
- Good Scissors too.
OK - So here we go.
Step 1: Place 2 of your felt peices together and cut out your desired shape (circle, heart, square - anything simple). You can also cut out block letters and make the whole alphabet - one a day - it would take less than a month!
Step 2: Once you have your shape cut out, grab your eyelet pliers and all along the edge, punch holes approximately 1/4" apart from each other. If they are too close, the felt will tear easily. If it is too far apart, the stuffing can come out. Continue to punch holes until you've gone around the whole shape.
Step 4: Decide which stitch pattern you think your child can do. Often times, children want to loop around front to back which is called a "Whip Stitch". Another easy stitch is the "Straight Stitch". For an older child ready to learn a new stitch, try the "Blanket Stitch".
Annie's Attic is also a great resource for various Stitch, Crochet, Knitting and Quilting lessons.
1/2" opening for the stuffing.
Step 6: Stuff the shape to be as fluffy as you'd like. Be careful not to over stuff with love, or it will rip the felt.
Repeat Steps 1 - 7 as many times as you'd like. When you child has mastered that or if your child is older, you can try felt shapes without punching the holes, and using a large doll needle that is rather dull (with adult supervision) and embroidery floss. After that, they can hand sew a small doll blanket using pieces of fabric with a much smaller needle and regular all purpose thread, and then someday will be able to sew on their own buttons, patches and make their own costumes!
My 5 year old daughter made the red heart you see in the top picture! (Thanks little elephant!) Have a great day everyone. If you enjoyed this post, please do leave a comment and let me know. kg