I learned to sew when I was seven. My mom taught me the basics of sewing by hand, and then gave me permission to raid the 'goodwill' bag of discarded clothing for materials. Having 8 younger siblings, those clothes probably came from goodwill in the first place and had nowhere left to go after we wore them out!
I especially loved making teddy bears - which always turned out quite franken-bear looking, because I was making up the pattern as I went along and stuffing them with more cut up clothing from the same goodwill bag. But my mom always responded so enthusiastically to my creations - and giving those misshapen franken-bears to my siblings made me so happy - I never stopped sewing.
Now that I'm the mom (and someone who earns her living sewing and teaching others how to sew), I'm figuring out that teaching kids to sew requires patience, love, and enthusiasm for franken-bears (or whatever your kid wants to make).
Here are my 10 best sewing projects for kids. You'll see that I build on easy sewing projects that teach skills they will need when they tackle more complicated projects later. I recommend teaching the basics of hand sewing and how to sew with a sewing machine, and then letting your little guy or gal lead the way - you'll be surprised how much they love using your scraps!
1. Buttons on socks.
For a kid that's just starting out, sewing buttons on an old sock is a great way to learn a skill that they'll have to use later on. Plus every school has funny sock day, don't they? They'll be ready!
2. Boo-boo bags
When we were kids, our moms made bean bags. The classic bean bag is still in style - it's just called by other names now. Fill it with rice, keep it in the freezer, and it's a boo-boo bag. This is a great way to teach kids how to sew right sides together, leave an opening, and turn the project right side out.
3. Easy Teddy Bears
You can teach your kid from a cute easy pattern like this one or simply let them trace their own teddy bear (like I did years ago).
4. A Doll Skirt
With just a little bit of fabric and elastic, your kid can sew a doll skirt - then she can make a skirt for herself using the same technique!
5. Un-Paper Towels
Another sewing project that I used to teach my kids to sew is un-paper towels. You are supposed to add snaps to roll them all together - be we ended up using them like washcloths. However you end up - you'll have something useful at the end.
6. Easy Pillows
I know, I'm going heavy on the useful items. Maybe I'm breaking child labor laws making my kids sew all these things for me, lol! Feel free to start simple and make them work up to the photo fabric and pom pom pillows.
7. Drawstring Backpack
Won't your girl be proud when she can sew a drawstring backpack and wear it to a friends house? This is a great sewing project for boys too.
Another useful item that is so easy. Here's a great tutorial.
9. Simple Messenger Bag
This super simple messenger bag pattern takes less than a yard of fabric and is really just a bag with a strap - but it's so cute!
10. Pajama pants
Who doesn't love homemade pajama pants! You'll get a free simple pants pattern in kids sizes 12mo-10 when you sign up for my newsletter.
I hope you've enjoyed my list of the best sewing projects for kids... add your own ideas in the comments, please!