My Little Miss has been working on a small cross stitch project over the last few days and it got me thinking about kids and stitchery. I learnt to embroider when I was about 8 years old, and I know my Mum learnt earlier than that. It is a great way to introduce kids to needlework even if they only use it to sew on buttons as an adult! These days there are lots of small kits available for kids that come with the fabric, threads, needle and instructions. We found a variety of different sizes and difficulty levels at our local Spotlight store. There are even some kits that use large plastic mesh instead of fabric and plastic needles for younger children. Don’t be influenced by the stereotypes – sewing is for boys too!
My Tips for Stitching with Kids
Start Small – There is a huge motivation in achieving a finished product in a relatively short time. A smaller project will be finished quicker.
Use a blunt needle and scissors – For cross stitch, a needle with a rounded tip will work just as well as a sharp needle, and traditional pointed embroidery scissors can be dangerous for little people so look for safe tools.
Use a Hoop – A small hoop will hold the fabric flat and taut making it easier for kids to hold while they get their needle in the right place. It will also make the finished stitching neater.
Enlarge Small Patterns – Some small kits also have small patterns which can be tricky for kids to follow. Enlarge them with a photocopier for easier reading.
Colour in the Pattern – As kids stitch sections of the pattern, they can colour in the areas they have done. This can help keep them on the right place and potentially avoid mistakes.
Basics to Teach
Here are a couple more basic things to teach kids about stitching:
- Always wash your hands first so your project stays clean.
- For cross stitch: Stitch the same way for each cross so that the top stitch always goes the same way. (This makes your work look better at the end.)
- Don’t use knots for starting or finishing your work – they create bumps. Instead slip the thread behind other stitches to secure the ends. (Learn a way to start without knots here.)
- Always stitch under good light so that you don’t strain your eyes.
- Store your needle carefully when you put your work aside so that you don’t drop it or lose it. (A needle in the carpet can end up in a foot – Ow!)
You can find this particular cross stitch kit in the Haby Goddess online store.
There are also kits available via Amazon (Affiliate Links)
Great tips – I confess I colour in my patterns as I go quite often as well, particularly for the more complex ones. And once I”ve finished one I confess I never want to revisit it. Your suggestion for enlarging the pattern using the photocopier is genius too! Found you on Digital Carnival 🙂