Teaching Kids to Sew • Amy Barickman

Amy’s Blog

Teaching Kids to Sew

Who taught you to sew?

Chances are, it was a parent or grandparent.  When I was a child, my mother and grandmother shared with me their love for handcrafting.  I enjoyed that special bonding time and learned many tricks and techniques that I use today.  Sharing the joy of creative crafting with your youngsters is a wonderful gift.

A few years ago, I happened upon the 1929 original volume of The Sew-It Book by Rachel Taft Dixon. This educational and engaging guide for children includes 17 different basic beginner projects for sewing and embroidery, such as a child’s apron, smock, sun bonnet, rag doll and Kimono-type jacket. It even includes directions to help kids design a pattern and create a dress for a favorite doll. Inspired by my own childhood experiences, I republished the book, preserving its vintage charm so children today can experience the same timeless instruction of yesteryear.

Included in the book’s projects are some fun samplers that are easy enough for kids, but good instruction for a budding sewing enthusiast! And I love this little rhyme from the book that could be used in a sampler design:

When I was young and in my Prime

You see how well I spent my Time.

And by my Sampler you may see

What care my Parents took of me.

Although kids have no problem finding entertainment in modern-day technology, I think the pride felt in stitching a first set of doll clothes will be remembered forever. If you like the whimsical vintage artwork from this book, check out my collection of sewing ephemera on The Vintage Workshop.


What was your first memory of learning to sew, and what did you create?


  1. LeAnne

    I learned to sew through 4H, my mom, and home ec. I will always be indebted to the wonderful women who took time from their busy days to show me how to thread the sewing machine (over & over & over again), how to make a dart, how to prepare fabric so the selvedges were together; how to pin & cut out a pattern, how to put in a zipper, how to sew a buttonhole…..what did I leave out??? Oh, how about how to use a seam ripper??!! SO many things that I take for granted now! And many of these women are long gone, so I can’t even thank them in person. Be sure to thank your teachers if you still can!

  2. Barbara

    I remember well the hours of poring over my mother’s scraps and finding just the right pieces to make clothes for Barbie. Of course, my mom had created a fantastic wardrobe for her already (even a pill-box hat like Jackie Kennedy’s), but I loved learning to sew from her. She patiently taught me embroidery stitches, too. I wish I had done more of that with my girls.

  3. Chris Z

    My mom was very creative but it was becasue she had to be! We had an old Singer with a foot pedal. But before I sewed on that she taught me how to hand stitch which I still enjoy. I made all my Barbie doll clothes. My Barbie world kept myself and my friends busy making houses and beds from cardborad boxes. Fruit and food out of play dough. We filled up an entire porch making their home. I loved that. Wish kids today were encouraged to create by not having everything bought for them. Yes well- I’m so thankful for the things I learned as a child due to our not having it all and not affording it all. Thanks for this. Brought back fond memories….and miss my mom incredibly….

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