Posted By Sarah J. Doyle on February 26, 2015
What a wonderful feeling it would give you to teach someone about your passion of sewing! Not only would you feel proud of that person’s accomplishments, the person doing the learning would feel “on top of the world” to have created something unique and useable.
If you’re wondering where you could begin, start with some children – your own children or grandchildren or friends or neighbor’s children. I would say around 5-8 would be a good age to begin teaching them the basics of sewing. I started my grandchildren on the very basic stitching by using sewing cards (here’s an example of a set that I used).
After they got the hang of doing even stitching around the sewing cards I brought out my Learn How To Sew book and turned to the hand sewing projects. After picking a few of the hand sewing projects and making them, the children were HOOKED on sewing – they were so proud of the things they made they could hardly wait to get them home to show their parents.
By doing hand sewing projects first I could introduce them to various stitches for them to practice while actually making something, as well as getting them used to using, threading and being careful with needles.
When the time came for moving on to using a sewing machine, the same book, Learn How To Sew, has very clear pictures of the various parts of the sewing machine that the kids need to know, then it moves on to practice pages for beginner sewing – learning how to sew following straight lines, circles, and slightly more complicated stitching designs. For very beginning sewers, we recommend that you make the practice sewing projects out of pattern paper for ease of use, then let them follow the stitch lines without thread in the machine. After they get the feel of how to start / stop / turn on the machine, it is time to add thread and use the same practice designs before moving on to making an actual clothing or craft item.
There are many ways to set up sewing classes for children — go “one on one” with a child, or if you’re going to teach older kids (8-10-12 year olds), you could set up the classes in groups of 4 per class or 6 or the number you feel like you could easily handle.
In order to teach actual sewing machine skills, you will need to have a sewing machine for each student. We have found that going to flea markets and yard sales, we’ve found good sturdy older machines that just need a little bit of cleaning, oiling and adjusting and it was ready for use. Of course you’ll need a little more room in order to put in the number of machines you’re anticipating that you’ll need for the number of students you want, so again, what we did was set up an area against a wall in the garage for the machines and it worked perfectly.
A couple of notes need to be mentioned here – first, be aware that there are also many adults that would LOVE to learn how to sew, so once the word gets out that you’re teaching sewing, you may have more than just children for your classes.
A second note is to let you know that the Learn How To Sew book was written by my husband and me. When we wanted to start teaching our grandchildren how to sew, there simply wasn’t anything available for a teaching aid, so we wrote the Learn How To Sew book in order to cover all the aspects of sewing, and that it could be used for children and for teenagers and adults.
Teaching someone how to sew doesn’t take very much time – perhaps an hour once or twice a week, depending on how often you want to do the classes. The sewing classes will make some extra money for your business in addition to giving you a good feeling about passing along your love of sewing to someone else.