Whether you have sons or daughters, I believe there are some basics all our children need to learn. Things like how to use a needle and thread, and sew on a button, will be a valuable thing to equip our kids with. I know a lady who sends all her family's mending to the dry cleaners--even lost buttons. What a waste of money and time! A mending kit is a great thing to send along with your child to college or to tuck away in a hope chest.
Now, I don't have sons, so I can't speak about how much I would teach my sons. I have no idea. But as for my daughters, I have high hopes. They one day will have a home, hopefully with a family in it (although that's certainly not a given) and will need to know how to do some things. Sewing curtains, pillows, blankets and other household items can be a great way to save money and make a house lovely. I hope to help them go further than me and learn to sew clothes. What a blessing to their family or, like Dorcas in the Bible, what a blessing to others!
I had a student in first grade many years ago who was very large and very oddly shaped. She wasn't a standard beauty by any means, but she was cute thanks to her mom. Her mother told me she couldn't buy many clothes for her in the store (she really had an odd shape!) so she sewed them. That child looked so cute each day--all thanks to her mom's sewing that flattered her. And the more I shop, the more I see the need to be able to sew modest clothing for my girls! I believe learning to sew will be a huge blessing to my daughters.
OK, Brenda. How?
Well, actually I'd like to hear from some of you on that one! At our house, Sweetheart got a small sewing machine for her 9th birthday. She is learning to sew straight stitches, but still isn't really good at guiding the fabric. Here is the doll quilt we are working on:
Bright enough for you? She loves it! We got the tutorial online for free. It will cover her 18" doll perfectly in bed so she was very motivated to work on it. However, I think she needs more instant success so next time we will do a smaller project. I'm thinking about some easy Christmas ornaments I saw someplace online. Now, I started teaching Sweetheart to sew with a needle and thread when she was 7 or 8. Little Bit hasn't show any interest yet, but when she asks to learn, I plan on starting her with plastic canvas shapes and one of those big, dull needles. Even little kids can do that. I think it's one step up from lacing cards.
Anyway, I read that you should always make sitting down to sew with mom fun and enjoyable. A critical mom will kill the joy VERY quickly. But, if they are enjoying it, no matter how horrible their sewing comes out, they will keep trying. And if you've ever sewn, you know that practice is the biggest helper of all. I'm trying very hard to give Sweetheart only what she can handle and helping her with the rest. This process of learning to sew will be a long one--so it's something we need to sit down and do often.
But in all of this, our attitude is the most important thing--not our skill level. If we are constantly griping about housework and what a chore everything is, it will seem quite unatractive to our children. Not that we need to lie and let them think we LOVE LOVE LOVE doing all of it. Sometimes they need to know that we are in no mood to do it, but we will because we want to serve the Lord. I'm afraid that watching me be a homemaker is as big an influence on my daughters as any skills I try to teach them.
So, what are your thoughts on teaching kids to sew?