When sewing with kids, it's best to have a large variety of fabrics for them to choose from. Often, they don't choose by look, but rather by feel. I also find that using fabrics that don't fray are perfect for first-time sewers.

*Felt - we use a lot of felt! For this reason, I typically buy the cheap felt by the yard or a variety of felt squares.

*Fleece - kids love fleece - it's so soft, great colors and prints. The main problem with fleece is that it can be too thick to sew for some kids.

*Flannel - I just started using flannel this year. It's been great to work with - good feel, doesn't ravel too bad, easy to sew, and comes in a variety of prints.

*Muslin - the blank slate provided by muslin is so great for kids. I love how they create their own fabric designs by using markers and crayons. We use muslin for all sorts of projects during the school year. I find that by backing it with felt, the edges don't unravel as much.

*Cotton - I tend to buy cheap fabrics for kids - it took me awhile to not freak out every time a kid makes a "dress" out of a new yard of fabric by wrapping it around herself and then stapling the corners. I also thrift and yard sale a lot of fabrics. Linens are great for this!

Please add your own fabric ideas to the comments section - often times it's the fabric that draws kids into sewing. This year, I bought a lot of camo and animal print fabrics to entice young sewers!

photo by Justin Fox Burks


Faige said...

I just found your site and had few questions if you don't mind.
I am a former preschool teacher and director and am very involved in childrens art. I find that the kids especially the girls LOVE the sewing projects better than many of the art ones.
Years ago when I taught we used to use something called dixie mesh and I havent seen it lately, do you know anything about it?

Also I haven't been able to find those really blunt, silver needles for sewing through big holes. Any ideas?

Amie Plumley said...

Thanks for your comment, Faige. I agree, kids do get very excited about sewing - I think it has something to do with using needles and more "grown-up" art materials.

No, I am not familiar with "dixie mesh" - what is it exactly?

As for needles, I find my big eyed, blunt ones in either the tapestry or knitting section of craft stores. If that doesn't help, let me know and I'll try to find you some links.

I checked out your site too - very fun!

Anonymous said...

Are you only having sewing camp at GSL? I have a 9 yr old who would probably love to go to a camp.

Amie Plumley said...

Yes, right now we only have a camp at GSL, however, the camp is open to anyone who would like to attend - you don't have to go to GSL. If you live in the Memphis area, we'd love to have your child join us!

Renata said...

How about burlap? I have always wanted a good reason to save the rice bags :-)

Amie Plumley said...

Renata - Burlap is a great idea, but can be hard to hand sew together to make a pillow or other object. I like to use burlap for embroidery in a large hoop. It's perfect especially for beginning sewers.

KatrinkaJane said...

A friend recently shared that she uses those rubbery shelf liners from Dollar Tree as a transition between plastic grid and fabric. The holes are still visible, but it's flexible like fabric!