Sunday, December 15, 2013

sewing a pillow with kids

Every time I sit in front of the sewing machine Max is there breathing down my neck and tapping me on the shoulder asking, "When can I use that machine?" I let him sit on my lap and sew on fabric scraps and  recently I thought he was more than ready for a sewing project to make mostly by himself.

We followed a project in a DK book I found in the bargain bin from our local post office. Max is 6 years old and this was his first proper sewing project. Instead of cutting out the pattern I simplified it and cut a round shape.

I used what I had in my stash: permanent fabric markers and cotton white fabric. The embroidery hoop kept the fabric nice and taut so it was easier to draw on.

Putting the right sides together and pinning the fabric together. I used the embroidery hoop again so it was easy for Max to pin the fabric by himself.

I sat Max on my lap and he was able to sew all the way around reminding him to leave a big enough gap to fill the pillow later. I cut the fabric with a 1/4 inch seam; that part of the fabric was not coloured in so it was obvious for Max to follow the white line.

Turning the fabric inside out. We left a fairly wide gap so he could fit his whole hand in there.

Stuffing the pillow with polyster fibre fill. I am on the look out for affordable natural wool filling.

Hand sewing the pillow shut. I gave him the longest needle I could find and he had no problems with it.

Almost done...I had to sew in some gaps after he'd finished. 

It was such a fun afternoon together. I have two boys so it has crossed my mind that I might miss out on these kinds of activities with my children but as you can see, this is not the case at all, much to my delight.

This is the perfect beginner project for a 6 year old and it is so treasured because he made it with his own two hands. Soulemama has a similar project in this book we have at home and I recommend both books. We will be making more homemade toys together and special gifts for the little one. Rob has even voiced his interest in making wooden toys.

Creating things together is one of my "family traditions" I have been fostering to keep our family life simplified. It's nuturing and builds wonderful childhood memories.

Do you make things with your children? This week we made Christmas decorations and now I must get ready for Carols by Candlelight...oh and happy sewing with your children!


  1. Well done Max! Zena the next time I visit my girl I would like to try using the sewing machine with my five year old granddaughter. I have seen a mum on a blog sitting with her child on her knee and she had her hands over the child's hands as they did the sewing. What a sense of achievement your boy must have!

  2. Great job!! Might be a good beginner sewing project for me and my boys! haha.

  3. Simply gorgeous.

    I still remember my daughters first sewing - it was very similar. She drew a 'hippo' on a piece of fabric and we sew around it together. It's something that has survived our decluttering and I'll likely keep forever. T