Who We Are: Teaching Children to Sew!

The next generation are in safe hands with these amazing sewists, who spend their time teaching children to sew. Thanks to all of you who are helping spread the knowledge and passion it takes to sew all the beautiful things!

Sam says,

A picture of Sam in a classroom, dressed as a classic tomato pincushion!

I started a sewing club at my school a couple of years ago at my principal’s suggestion after he happened upon my blog (the internet is a weird place, people) and read a very embarrassing post about a failed dress and a stuck zipper. Over the past five years, I’ve taught sewing to many kids — including boys-only groups and my entire cohort of 75 art students this year.

My students learn really practical skills, like sewing a button, using an iron, and sewing a straight seam on a machine. But they also learn precision, patience, resilience, perseverance and how to let go of perfectionism. They get to create instead of consume. We’ve had the chance to talk about body image, consumption habits and gender stereotypes (though they might not have picked up on it). I love making space for quieter students to sit and silently stitch for 20 minutes in their busy, loud day.

Sewing club sessions on Mondays and Thursdays are very easily the best parts of my week. This time allows me to connect with my students in a different way than in the classroom and share my passion with them. I get to show them there are many ways to get what you need, and one way is to make it.

My name is Sam and I teach Grade 6 in Ottawa, Ontario. I make most of my own clothes, love to bike and really enjoy cooking (mostly for the eating). I blog at couturious.org and sewingatschool.wordpress.com

Chloe says,

A collage of photos showing a young student (we can't see the student's face) making and modelling a sweater.

I am teaching “kids” to sew on a much smaller scale! I have only one student — a friend of the family who wanted to learn. She is seven, and it is a joy to see her improving her skills and sparking the joy of sewing in someone else.

I haven’t taken a practical approach in teaching her, but more one aimed at letting her see her work progress as soon as possible into a garment. We started with a simple elastic waist skirt — mainly because we could fit it super easily and finish it in one sewing session. It was important for this little dude that she could wear something home after the lesson!

As we move through different garments, I am slowly introducing different concepts, so she is starting to understand a little bit more each time, though I still do a fair bit of prep and assisting so she doesn’t have the drag of realising you have to wash your fabric yet! 🙂

The coolest part so far was making the jumper shown in the pictures. She loved my Sew House 7 Toaster Sweater and wanted that neckline, but with thumb cuffs. Together we took a kids’ jumper body, added a funnel neck using the Toaster instructions, and thumb cuffs from the Pattern Union Molly Tee. Mind Blown. She was thrilled we could make exactly what she wanted and I saw in that moment that she totally gets the magic of sewing!

Chloe is a Sewcialists Editor, who lives and sews in Australia. She blogs at chlo-thing.com and can be found on Instagram here

Evgeniya says,

Teaching children is my passion. I love to see how kids eyes light up at the thought of making something magical out on their own, and how their ideas come alive. I am so lucky to teach lifelong skills and observe how creative human, children become. Some of my teens students did their own collections and participated in fashion shows for young designers, and some are now studying for fashion degrees! I have taught more Sewing Classes than I can count. Amazing how kids learn about patience over time, not only practice needle art skills; how they develop and mature their finger dexterity and fine motor skill; how they find and build their self-confidence. My goal is making sewing with kids fun, not frantic. I give my students permission to stop working on a project if it gets frustrating. It’s fine to set a project aside, have a rest or complete it the next class. But we are always trying to finish what we have started. I try my best to provide role models for children as they learn about patience, achievement and problem solving.

I started teaching sewing in Hong Kong back in 2013. My first few courses were for adults only. Then I had few request for kids’ classes, to which, I did launch my first kids group. It was only 3 of them, but they stayed with me through 5 fun and productive years. And month by month my business started to grow, kids’ & teens’ classes became specially popular.

Evgeniya is originally from Russia and she teaches children from 6-99 to sew with “Learn to Sew studio” in Sai Kung (Hong Kong). All are welcome! You can follow the organization on Facebook.

Thank you for reading all of our stories! Teaching children to sew is such valuable knowledge to share! As always with Who We Are posts, I hope that reading gives you insight into other people’s lives, and also confidence to talk about your own experiences. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!