Sewing with kids: artwork to embroidery

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)

Hello Summer holidays!!! I am hoping to do several sewing projects, with my daughter, over the summer. So hopefully this will turn into a “Sewing with Kids” series!

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)

Set your kid up with an embroidery hoop, fabric and a fabric marker. We used an organic cotton/organic linen poplin and a disappearing fabric marker.

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)

Let their creativity take over! If your child is quite young, it might be worth encouraging them to keep their picture quite simple!

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)

Et voila! You have your image ready for sewing! Lily decided to draw 3 flowers. I’m not sure what has happened to her flowers lately. They used to have more standard petal shapes, but lately she has been drawing sort of suns on sticks… but there we go!

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)Get choosing those threads!! I use organic cotton sewing thread and Lily chose 3 shades: ocher (4826) for the flower head, rose (4810)  for the stem and grass (4821) for the leaves.

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)This is also a great time for practising those cutting skills!! Make sure to measure out a piece of thread just over twice as long as one of their arms. If you have a slightly older child, then they can cut this thread in half, thread it through the needle and tie a knot in the end. With Lily I have found that she will often pull the thread through and then pull it so much that the needle comes off the thread and the sewing flow is interrupted!

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)

So we threaded the needle. We used a sharp needle this time and unfortunately the one I had, only had a small eye, so I ended up threading it! Lily is usually quite good with the beginner needles that have a large eye.  Centre the needle on the thread and then tie a knot in the end. That way the needle won’t come off the thread whilst they are sewing! This works great for projects such as embroidery where you will usually use two strands of thread anyway! As you can see in the picture above, you can actually just about see the image on the reverse of the fabric, it is even more apparent when held up to the light. This was great, as Lily could really get into her head about making sure you go from front to back and then back to front with the stitches, as she could turn the hoop over and still see the image and where to put her needle through. By the end of sewing this image, she was actually just keeping the hoop with the image side up and figuring out how to place the needle on the reverse side without looking and well maybe half watching cbeebies as well!

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)So all that is left is to just get sewing! Depending on age, will probably depend on what type of stitches you use. Lily just used a basic straight stitch, as we were keeping things simple! As time goes by I will start to introduce her to a few more stitches! You could use satin stitch to fill in areas or make french knots to decorate an area, or maybe you could just use a nice backstitch!

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)

It took a few days to get through all the stitching, as I didn’t want to force Lily to finish it really quickly, I wanted her to really enjoy what she was doing. Because of the length of time it took to sew, I did have to go over her drawing a few times as the lines were starting to fade.

The Crafty Kitty | Sewing with Kids (artwork to embroidery)

Lily was very proud of herself and said she wanted to put her picture in a frame to hang in her room.

Top tips

  • Use fabric markers to let your child create their own pattern for sewing
  • Give them plenty of opportunities to make decisions: choice of fabric/thread and the order they want to sew the picture
  • Practice hand eye coordination and fine motor skills by threading the needle, sewing and cutting with scissors!
  • Make sure the length of thread is a manageable length. If it is too long the thread may get tangled and can cause frustration
  • Use a piece of thread folded in half with needle in the centre and knotted at the end to prevent the needle from coming off during sewing.
  • Take your time! Work within the concentration level of your own child.

More ideas for sewing with kids

10 thoughts on “Sewing with kids: artwork to embroidery

  1. July 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Lily did a beautiful job, she should be proud! :)

  2. July 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Lovely! I’m looking to do something with my 4 year old this summer. She’s not tried sewing yet but is keen to give it a go. I so want her to love sewing so I’m a bit nervous about how it will go. I think I’ll follow your approach and do a little at a time

  3. Melinda
    July 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I’m a new grandma with a 6 month old granddaughter and another granddaughter due in August and hope to do this with them some day.

  4. July 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I Love this. It is such a great activity for quiet evenings. I am going to do it with my boys. I embridered their artwork in to bookmarks for family and their teachers when they were younger

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  6. Teresa
    December 20, 2013 at 1:29 am

    I like to learn to it

  7. June 13, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    good job

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