Craft Sewing Hints
Thread, needles, scissors, a ruler (or tape measure), a felt-tip pen, a thimble, and straight pins are a few of the basic tools needed for sewing.
The threads used most are: sewing thread, embroidery thread, and yarn.
Yarn comes in a roll. It is a thick thread used for decorative stitching. For craft projects, yarn is often used to hold pieces of cloth together.
Embroidery thread comes in packages. It is used for decorative stitching.
Sewing thread comes on a spool. It is used to hold pieces of cloth together.
Selecting the right needle is an important step in sewing. A needle has a hole, or eye, at one end and a point at the other end. There are different kinds of needles.
A sharp is a short, thin needle with a small eye. It's used with sewing thread.
A crewel is a short needle with a long eye. It is used with embroidery thread.
A darner is a long needle with a big eye. It's used with thick thread, such as yarn.
A tapestry is a short needle with a big eye. It's also used with thick thread.
Helpful Hints on Stitching
The backstitch is a very strong stitch used to hold pieces of cloth together. Pull the needle through the pieces of cloth, from the back to the front. Move the needle backward about 1/2 inch (1 cm) from the spot where you pulled the thread through. Now push the needle through to the back of the cloth and pull the needle and thread through. You have made one stitch. Push the needle through to the front of the cloth, 1/2 inch (1 cm) in front of the stitch you just made. Take the needle in there and pull the needle and thread through to the back of the cloth, again 1/2 inch (1 cm) in front of the last stitch you made.
The hemming stitch is used to hold an unfinished edge of folded cloth. Fold down the unfinished fabric edge so the back sides of the cloth are together. With the tip of the needle, pick up a tiny piece of cloth near the unfinished edge. Then pick up a tiny piece of cloth from the unfinshed edge of the folded fabric. Pull the needle and thread through both parts of the cloth. It is easier to pick up the cloth if you slant the needle.
The overcast stitch is used to keep an edge of cloth from unraveling or to hold pieces of cloth together. Push the needle through to the front of the cloth, just below the edge, and pull the thread through. Then take the thread over the edge to the back of the cloth. Push the needle through to the front again and pull the thread through. Do this stitch over and over until you reach the end of the edge.
Craft Sewing Project #1 - Doll's Poncho
Needle (Crewel, Darner, or Tapestry)
1. Insert a piece of cloth that is wide enough to cover your doll's shoulders and long enough to go below its waist. If you use cloth that unravels easily, such as burlap, stitch around the edges with the overcast stitch. (See overcast stitch, below) Finish off your sewing. (See finish off, below)
2. Fold the cloth in half so that the short ends meet evenly. Now, find the center of the folded edge and make a mark there with a felt-tip pen.
Measure an equal distance from each side of the center mark. Put pins at these two points. The distance between the pins must be a little wider than your doll's head.
Measure the distance between the pins. Now measure the same distance down from the center mark. Make a mark here. Using this mark and the pins as guides, draw a U-shaped or V-shaped neck opening. Keep the cloth folded, and carefully cut out the neck opening.
3. Stitch around the edges of the neck opening with the overcast stitch. Finish off your sewing. Now decorate the poncho with different kinds of stitches, or use the overcast stitch to sew on shapes cut from cloth.
4. Use four short pieces of yarn to make ties for the poncho. All the pieces should be the same length. Make a knot at both ends of each piece of yarn. Sew an end of each piece of yarn to the poncho, as shown. Place the poncho over your doll's head. Tie the pieces of yarn together to fasten the poncho.
If you have a large enough piece of cloth, try making a poncho for yourself!
Machine Sewing For Kids
You may have doubt that kids can sew on a sewing machine, but I'm here to tell you that kids can sew and they can do a great job at it, even as young as 6 years old! Whether teaching your kids to sew by hand or by a machine, you will be surprised to find how much fun your child will have learning to sew!
Sewing helps to build your child's self-esteem. When children learn the value of completing a project they will gain confidence in themselves. Sewing for kids is an art allowing one to be as creative with their colors, textures, and projects as they like. Each project will be special, unique, and one of a kind. Something your child will be proud of. A real accomplishment that serves a purpose. The art of sewing for kids helps provide a creative learning spark that’s been shown to be best developed between the ages of 6-12.