When I was a child I tried to teach my younger sister to sew. I have gone on to teach all three of my children, a few nieces, a few children of friends and a brownie troop to sew. There is almost as much of a learning curve to teaching sewing as there is to sewing.
This post is a first in a series about teaching children to sew. The very first post will be about what to think about when introducing sewing to your child--some thoughts before you begin (or end in frustration).
1. Start with hand sewing. Hand sewing is a better way to introduce the basic concepts of sewing, ie securing thread, right sides together, what is a seam, undoing mistakes, etc... than the machine. Understanding how to work a sewing machine is a whole separate mastery that should be learned after a child understands the basics of sewing.
2. Although a child can learn to sew at any age, and each child is different, ages 6-9 is often a great time. They are young enough to still be keen on mastering new skills, not old enough to think, I'll never be good at this. It is also an age when they still play with dolls and stuffed animals, which brings me to my next suggestion...
3. Doll clothes are a great way to start. When the project is done, the child has something they want. Unlike pillows, doll clothes require a number of sewing skills. You can start with a simple dress that just requires seaming and basic hemming and build from there. Through doll clothes your child will also learn the basics of garment construction, which will naturally lead into sewing clothes for people.
Next: The very first sewing skills to teach.