How To Teach A Child To Sew On A Sewing Machine

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Last Updated on 12 months by Susan Mayrich

Consider three steps if you want to know how to teach a child to sew on a sewing machine. Start with the basics, then allow them to be familiarized with the device. We’ll also share tips on how you can let them practice sewing with the sewing machine. 

how to teach a child to sew on a sewing machine

Speaking of using the sewing machine, are you already familiar with how a sewing machine works? Please give that article a quick read to help you teach a young child better regarding sewing. 


How To Teach A Child To Use A Sewing Machine


Step 1. Start with basics

  • Sit your child in front of the sewing machine and teach them one part at a time
  • Do not use complicated terminologies and be patient if they take some time understanding each function
  • Start with the basics of the sewing machine such as how to turn it on or off, where the needle and thread are, and even how to adjust the settings or change parts like the needle
  • Don’t forget to teach your child how to use the sewing machine safely
  • Let your child get a feel with the sewing machine
  • Your child can try the foot pedal as you teach them that pressure speeds up the sewing 
  • Allow your child to learn how to use the foot pedal without any thread on the sewing machine, so they can notice the needle moving up and down at different speeds
  • Let your child try moving the presser foot lever
  • Consider using paper instead of fabric first as your child starts learning about the movement of the needle
  • Have your child move the needle on lines on the paper while also teaching how to use and control the handwheel

Step 2. Let them try the sewing machine

  • After learning the basics and familiarizing your child with the sewing machine, you can let them practice sewing
  • Before using thread and fabric, test them first with a marked paper
  • Notice how they are controlling the needle and guiding the paper
  • Start with a straight line then a jagged line on the paper
  • Your child should also know how to lift the presser foot when turning a corner and changing direction by adjusting the paper
  • After straight lines, let them practice on a curved line on the paper
  • Don’t forget to praise your child for their milestones

Step 3. Practice sewing with the sewing machine

  • Teach your child how to thread the machine 
  • Talk about how the sewing machine uses a top and bottom thread
  • Discuss the proper way to set up a sewing machine
  • Allow your child to practice sewing with a thread the same way they practiced on the paper
  • You can also let your child try sewing thread on paper first before moving to fabric
  • Children might also have fun free sewing, so consider this a reward as they improve with the sewing machine

What Is A Good Age To Teach A Child To Sew?

In general, you can teach a child to sew when they are ready and want to sew themselves. You don’t want to force them if they don’t want to or are not interested. However, please note that even though very young kids want to try sewing, you still want to take it slowly to keep them excited about this skill. 

Kids under 6 years of age

  • Familiarize them with a plastic needle and a yarn
  • Do exercises that can hone hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills 

Kids ages 6 and over

  • Can be introduced to a sewing machine
  • Can try stitching basics lines with a machine

Kids ages 8 and over

  • Can try slightly complex sewing exercises such as sewing the seam
  • Repetition is key to smoothen their sewing skills

Kids ages 10 and over

  • Noticeable improvement on sewing skills
  • Be careful not to set them up for failure by allowing them to try overly complicated sewing activities

Read more about the proper sewing curriculum for kids by Kids Can Sew

What Is The Easiest Thing To Sew For A Child?

You can further encourage your child’s interest in sewing by practicing easy projects. For kids, they can try sewing the following:

  • Socks
  • Towels
  • Headbands
  • Pillowcases
  • Blankets
  • Drawstring bags
  • Simple stuffed toys
  • Doll clothes
  • Face masks

What Are The Easiest Patterns To Sew?

The easiest sewing patterns depend on simplicity. Therefore, expect that projects such as scarfs, pillowcases, tote bags, hair scrunchies, and pot holders will make great patterns for beginners and children. You can also modify other sewing projects to don’t use zippers or buttonholes that can be challenging for children. 

You can also try various sewing pattern brands or check reviews and recommendations for beginners and children. In most cases, patterns will mention their size and skill level to help you find the suitable one for your child. 


And that’s it! To recap how to teach a child to sew on a sewing machine, you’ll start with the basics, then letting them sew without a thread on paper. Next, get them comfortable with the device and practice various lines. 

Overall, using the sewing machine can be fun for kids. Just make sure to teach them when they want to and always set them up for success by doing easy projects first.