Embroidery with Kids: Start Sewing

The best part of embroidering with a group of kids is this.  Quietly and happily sewing together.  Chatting about their stitches, what they ate for lunch, and favorite Star Wars characters.  I love how the act of embroidery can be both individual and social at the same time.

In Part 1 of this little series,  I talked about my philosophy of embroidery with kids and supplies to get you started.  Now we have our materials and have drawn the design with pencil onto the muslin.  It's time to get sewing.
I am smitten with Lilli's unicorn. She outlined the shape with a running stitch and then filled in the horn and heart using a satin stitch.  This is typical work from a 6 year old.

When I begin to show kids how to embroider, we talk about the size of stitches (about the size of a fingernail) and how you want to leave just a little space between each stitch.  As kids become confident in their sewing, I'll show them my favorite stitch - the backstich!

They also want to fill things in.  Use the satin stitch.  When they are ready for this, I model it a few times and then let them give it a go. Make sure they outline first with a running stitch.

I just discovered a few YouTube videos of stitches.  These are great - no words, but you understand the stitch perfectly.  I will have to show these next time I work with kids. 
A few tips for kids:
*Always start from the back so your knots will be hidden.
*Use a running stitch to carefully go over your pencil lines.  Stitches should be small, about the size of a fingernail.  Too big and they may sag, too small and they are hard to see.
*Outline your shape first before you fill it in.
*Don't worry about what the back looks like. When you sew, look at the front and just poke your needle around to find where you need to go.  You'll get the hang of it!
*Take your time!  Embroidery takes awhile and should not be rushed.

How nice to have the time to embroider!

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