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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sewing increases creativity and problem solving

6 years old Basia Panko sewing a doll and clothes, 2013
See Basia’s projects:
“Learning to sew helps children become creative thinkers, according to findings from a clinical study completed by the not-for-profit Home Sewing Association (HSA) in the late-1990s.
The study revealed that children ages 8 to 12 showed elevated creativity after sewing a simple project. Children who sew during these critical years of development show increased creativity and self-esteem and appear to build skills in creative problem solving and perseverance.
Sewing’s multitude of choices - color selection, fabric options, design and proportion - help stimulate creative thinking skills. Completing a project fosters a sense of accomplishment. Hand - eye coordination and fine motor skills develop through the use of the hands, and exercises in following directions along with problem solving skills are all added benefits of sewing experiences for children.
But the positive benefits that result from learning to sew do not necessarily hold true for some other well-known kids’ activities. According to Sewing Prose, a website with sewing lessons for kids ( ), a study compared children engaged in various recreational activities: sewing, painting, watching television and playing video games. A test for creativity was given before and after recreation, and the two scores were compared. Tests showed that children with sewing and painting as their recreational activity scored higher than children absorbed with television and video games.”

Read more about benefits of sewing

6 years old Basia Panko sewing a book character, 2013

Sewing is a skill that not many children learn at school. If you love to sew and you would like your children to gain the skill, you can teach them how to sew by hand and with a sewing machine as they grow up. You can start with toddlers or teach them once they've grown into adolescents. Sewing with children is more about process rather than product; if a child can make decisions about thread and fabric and placement and effort they’ll be really happy with whatever they create and, more importantly, they’ll love to sew. The project they are going to work on should be chosen based on their hand-eye coordination and the level of fun.
6 years old Basia Panko sewing Yuki from “Wolf children” Japanese movie, 2013

Sewing Levels and Projects
  1. Shoelace picture shapes.
For very young children punch holes in a cardboard and let them use a shoelace to sew it. No need for a needle yet.
  1. Uncooked pasta necklace.
Show your child how to place a plastic needle through each pasta shell to make a necklace.
  1. Yarn picture.
Give your child a piece of yarn, some dull scissors and a plastic needle. Ask your child to cut a piece of yarn and knot it. Let him/her thread the needle on the other end. Show your child a starting point and how to start in the back on the first hole and stitch around the image. Let him/her finish the outline and knot it again in the back. Cut out the image and frame it or hang it up.
  1. Room or a seasonal decoration. 
Let your child pick a preferable fabric, pattern and cut the shapes for a hanging banner. Show your child how to thread embroidery thread through an embroidery needle, how to pull the needle through 1 corner of a shape from the back and then pulling it through the other corner of that shape through the front. Move the shape to the end of the thread length by gently pulling it through. Have your child continue this with the remaining shapes until the thread is full. Hang the banner where everyone can see it.
  1. Sew buttons.
For the first project, give your child a large piece of felt and many different colored buttons to place anywhere on 1 side of the felt. Help your child to knot a piece of thread through a regular needle. Choose a large needle that is easier to see. Show how to bring up the needle from the opposite side of the fabric through a button hole and down through another hole. Continue this 4 or 5 times until the button is tight but not too tight. Have your child knot it at the back. Then, find 2-hole, 4-hole and other types of buttons to practice on. Then try to make a button bracelets or necklace. Treasure the piece of art.
  1. Combine drawing with sewing skills.
Once your child is able to draw more representational work use it for collaborative creations. As your child gets more adept with aiming the needle he/she (or you) can draw a simple design on one side of the fabric/felt and stitch following the line. Gradually move to more complex projects.
  1. Create your own child sewing book. 
In order to encourage a passion for sewing, children may enjoy collecting the simple sewing projects. Save them all, take photos, notes and organize them by date to evidence the progress.
Sewing by Basia Panko 

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