For one? You'll equip them with the skill to mend their own clothes.

My first sewing lesson was in the seventh grade. In drama class, we had to learn how to sew basic costumes. The sewing machine made me nervous, and I struggled with threading a needle. Many of my classmates made sewing look easy. Their parents had already taught them how to sew or maybe they were just naturally good at it. I struggled, but I kept trying.

What did I end up sewing? It was just a hat. The hat was yellow and orange, a jester's hat, and it ended up a bit lopsided. It was my first attempt at sewing, so I would say that it was not a terrible initial attempt at sewing. Like any craft, sewing takes practice. I knew that I could only get better. That first sewing lesson taught me that a lot of creativity and work goes into the clothes that I wear. Someone has to determine the pattern for the fabric, see it all laid out, and then stitched together. It takes patience, precision, and a steady hand. It might be hard to do at first, but you get the hang of it the more often that you do it.

Learning how to sew is a valuable skill. While we don't see many home economics classes in schools anymore, the sewing arts are making a comeback. CBS News reported that millennials (my generation) are enrolling in classes that teach skills like sewing, cooking, and budgeting. We were pushed to focus on other skills when we were kids and now want to make up for lost time. But for our kids? We have plenty of reasons why every child should learn how to sew.

Developing Hand-Eye Coordination

Threading a needle requires a skilled hand. You have to look through the loop of a needle and get the tiny piece of thread to slip through it. Knotting the thread and stitching a needle through fabric by hand also contributes to the development of hand-eye coordination. Older kids who get to run a sewing machine also need to know when to move the fabric as the needle moves across it.

Learning Mathematical Skills

Sewing uses plenty of math. Children who get familiar with sewing patterns are learning engineering principles in an everyday activity. How much fabric do you need to make a scrunchie, a quick-stitch drawstring pouch, or felted stuffed animals? Measuring the fabric to cut into the sizes and shapes needed for a project also uses math skills.

Mending Their Clothes

Never will a missing button be a cause of concern for someone who learned how to mend and sew as a child. With the basic stitches, can teach them how to patch a hole, mend a seam, and fix a hem. Your kids will have a skill set that allows them to repair their clothes or design their own prom dress à la Pretty in Pink. When they become adults, they can carry this budgetary skill with them into their everyday lives. Who knows? It could even lead to a career in fashion design.

Planning and Preparation

Sewing projects require planning and preparation. Your kids will use their problem-solving skills to set up their sewing projects. First, they have to decide on what to sew. Maybe they want to develop their own pattern for a project, or they will choose a premade pattern to start with. They have to make sure to get the right fabric and the right amount of fabric. Make planning and preparation a habit with regular sewing projects.

Exploring Creativity and Accomplishment

When kids have completed a sewing project, they will have a reminder of their accomplishment. They can show off their homemade teddy bears and accessories to their friends, or display them in their bedrooms. Or, kids can use their creativity to help others, like this 12-year-old boy who is sewing teddy bears for kids in the hospital.

Comments (6)

Martha Stewart Member
January 27, 2020
To: Roxanna Coldiron Can you email me the pattern used to create the little rag doll at the top of your article that used the small purple and white check fabric? I would love to use that pattern in a beginning sewing
Martha Stewart Member
August 12, 2019
Teaching my child how to sew now! Just found her a great sewing machine over at
Martha Stewart Member
June 12, 2019
I learned to sew first by doing the handwork, hems and buttons for my grandmother. I also cut out the patterns. She had arthritis in her hands, may be why she let me do this. We still had sewing class when I was in school. My first project was a dotted swiss totebag.🤣 I made all my clothes at one time, need to get back into it.
Martha Stewart Member
June 12, 2019
I was lucky enough to learn to sew as soon as my foot would reach the pedal. Now in my mid 40's I am supplementing my income with sewing and mending. Not the most glamorous but definitely needed skills
Martha Stewart Member
June 3, 2019
I totally agree. I've been teaching kids to sew for 25 years and not only does sewing give kids practical skills, it gives kids a boost in self confidence and esteem and a belief in what they can achieve when they see what they've can actually sew by themselves.
Martha Stewart Member
April 7, 2019
Agreeing. Sewing has helped me adjust or make clothes! Also helped me in taking in or repairing kid clothes.