I Sew for Fun blog hop! 3 essential tips for sewing with kids (+ giveaway)

We are excited to be a part of a very special blog hop today.


We were saddened when we heard that Nancy Zieman, beloved host of Sewing With Nancy, passed away on November 14 of 2017, shortly after retiring from her show and her business. Before her passing, she was preparing to launch a new program dedicated to a topic near and dear to her heart: teaching children to sew.


Nancy sewing with her granddaughters

Now Nancy’s dream has come to fruition. Her legacy lives on in the “I Sew for Fun” series, a range of books and products that teach children ages 5 to 9 how to sew. We’re proud to be part of this campaign and to honor Nancy’s memory by publishing her children’s book, The Flying Sewing Machine. Nancy’s rhyming tale introduces kids to the little town of Sewland, where everyone stops to sew each day at a quarter to two. Here’s a peek inside the book:


Reading this post in email? Click here to view the video.

The I Sew for Fun series introduces a modern, lighthearted approach to sewing with kids. Throw perfection out the window—this is all about creativity and fun!

I asked my son, Charlie, and his cousin, Courtney (both age 9), if they’d like to try out the I Sew for Fun project book and products. They were game!

We chose the Owl Pillow project from the I Sew for Fun book, and we tried several of the kid-friendly notions from the series too, including the pin magnet caddy, the retractable seam ripper (very cool for fewer pokes on small hands), and the hand-sewing needles with a cute heart-shaped case. You can view all the I Sew for Fun products here.


The products we used to make our Owl Pillows.

I made and cut out the owl pattern, and the kids traced the pattern onto the wrong side of their fabric with washable markers:

I had the kids cut out the owl pieces they’d traced onto their fabrics. They also cut the pattern pieces and fabrics for the eyes, beak, and heart (although Charlie opted to skip the heart motif).


Cutting out the owl bodies.


Cutting out the eyes, beaks, and heart. I love how Courtney decided to switch the colors of her owl eyes to the opposite of what the pattern suggested—she even added extra teeny white circles so her owl eyes would sparkle.

I took care of cutting the fusible web. After they positioned the faces on the owl bodies, I ironed them into place. Then I asked a question: do you want to try some hand embroidery? I was surprised to hear a resounding yes! The hand stitching took extra time, but neither of them stopped until they were done—it seemed like they especially enjoyed this part of the process.


Charlie stitching away . . . I noticed his stitches were pretty small.


And Courtney’s stitches were pretty big!

Once the owl faces were completed, it was time to head to the sewing machine. Unfortunately, it was time to say goodbye to Courtney, as she had family plans (but she’s coming back this Saturday to finish her project). Charlie couldn’t wait to put the pedal to the metal:


He turned his owl pillow right side out and stuffed it before calling it a day. We spent about 2½ hours sewing.

The next day we needed to do the final step: hand stitch the opening at the bottom of the pillow closed. I taught Charlie how to do a whipstitch and pinched the seam together while he sewed. He did great!

And ta-daa! Charlie’s pillow is complete!


We really did have a fun time.

I Sew for Fun by Nancy ZiemanMy favorite part about the I Sew for Fun book—aside from the great tips for sewing with kids—are the great tips for grown-ups sewing with kids. I took Nancy’s advice and kept these three guidelines in mind:

1. Lower your expectations! Perfection is not the goal.

2. Learn to embrace crooked seams. (This one took me a minute.)

3. Don’t worry about ¼" or ⅝" seams. Instead, use the presser foot as a guide for seam allowances.

These three tips alone made the entire process more fun for all of us. Yes, there were wonky seams and wayward stitches, but Charlie and Courtney were excited about their new sewing skills and proud of their projects. And I was plenty proud too!

There are also instructions in the I Sew for Fun book for making sewing boxes so kids have a place to store their supplies. I want to do this with Charlie and Courtney so they’ll be ready to sew when we make our next project.

A side note: Charlie was so excited when he finished his Owl Pillow that he immediately chose another project to make from the book: a pillowcase. We’ll be working on that project next weekend with his other cousin, Willa. Looks like sewing’s all in the family now!


Our friends at Nancy Zieman Productions have generously offered to give one set of I Sew for Fun books and products to one lucky winner today!

To enter your name in the drawing, tell us in the comments:

Which little one in your life would you like to teach how to sew?

We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck, grown-ups—make time to pass your love of sewing on to the next generation!

Comments are closed for this post.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Carol, who says:

“My students. I tutor children with learning disabilities, and to get to my kitchen table, where we work, they pass through my sewing space (I hesitate to call it a room!). Over the past few years, several students have opted to receive 2 1/2 inch squares of fabric for rewards for good work, as opposed to stickers. When they have enough squares, they create the projects of their desires – a couple of Mine Craft cushion covers, a baby quilt for a new cousin, a lap quilt for watching TV. They love the success they find in their projects, achieved with more ease than they find in school work. I’d love to have a book that would show them that other children can sew too.”

We’ll email you about your prize, Carol—congratulations!

Visit more I Sew For Fun blog-hop hosts below (and enter more giveaways too):

Monday, February 5

Tuesday, February 6

Wednesday, February 7

Thursday, February 8

Friday, February 9

Saturday, February 10


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