Wednesday, June 14, 2006
I’ve been sewing since I was a teenager and still do. Over the years I’ve made everything from curtains to quilts - even the purses I carry. Summer has barely begun, even so you’ve probably already heard, “I’m bored.” So, why not introduce your older children to sewing while teaching them a skill they will use the rest of their lives.
I encourage parents to not only teach their daughters but also include their sons in sewing lessons. My son used to ask, “Why don’t you show me how to use the sewing machine?” He’s always interested in what I’m sewing and eager to participate. Really, he’s not particularly unusual, since so many famous fashion designers are men.
Here are a few reasons I think sewing skills are important for children to learn:
Sewing teaches children about different kinds of fabrics. As your children learn about fabrics they will naturally learn how different fabrics are laundered. This naturally leads them into lessons on how to operate the washer and dryer and how to take care of their clothing.
Ironing is a companion skill to sewing. As your children learn to sew a garment or craft project they will be introduced to ironing because it is usually required during and after construction.
Assembling any kind of garment or completing a sewing craft project requires reading instructions. Learning to read a pattern and it’s accompanying directions teaches children how to read sequential instructions.
Sewing involves math. Children will learn how to figure the amount of yards (of material) needed for a particular project and then accurately measure them out using either a ruler or tape measure.
As your children become proficient at sewing they will be able repair pieces of their clothing. They will be able sew up torn seams and hem garments on perfectly good pieces of clothing which otherwise might have been thrown out or given away.
Don’t worry if you don’t sew or own a sewing machine. Many fabric and quilt shops offer summer sewing camps for boys and girls. Classes are held once a week, for several weeks, where children are taught basic skills and complete a simple sewing project.
Break the summer boredom blues and teach your children a skill they can use the rest of their lives. They're going to be so proud of their finished products, and the best part, you’re spending quality time with your children.