During the Christmas season I picked up the My First Sewing Book by Winky Cherry from Lulu. My dd has been super excited to start sewing, and today we went to JoAnn’s to pick up the needles that we needed.
The book that I picked up is really a simple kit (although I do think that you can get the book by itself). It is set up as a bunch of rhymes that teaches your child how to tie a knot and use a blanket stitch to sew small stuffed figures. The kit comes with felt cut-outs for a small and a larger sized bird (and some thread) for the first projects. However, you will need to furnish straight pins, needles (size 18/22 are recommended), pincushion (may be optional), scissors, fiberfill, and a permanent marker. We also picked up a small basket for my dd to store her goodies.
I quickly learned that it is much easier for my dd when we put the pins into the pincushion, as opposed to just picking the pins out of the little container that they came in. Also, it was very easy for my dd to thread the needle after I put the needle into the pincushion so that it would stay upright for her.
Together, we put the two pieces of felt together with our straight pins and I made the dots for where her stitches should be with the marker. My dd threaded the needle and I showed her how to make a knot at the end. Then, she was able to stitch a bit by herself and was quite proud of her work. I did make sure to preface this whole project with the idea that it would take more than one day of work to complete her bird. So, in the end she was satisfied with the amount of progress that she has made today.
The sewing book is intended for children ages 5 to 11, but my dd is not yet 5 and did not seem to have a problem. I think that the upper age range is a bit generous and I don’t know how well it would appeal to older children. If you already can sew, then you may not find this book to be particularly useful. The patterns are quite simple (eg. fish, stars, gingerbread men) and only the blanket stitch is introduced.