Sewing is an activity that can be undertaken by everyone, and spans the generations, as evidenced in this photo. Here we have 14 year-old Sophie and her Gran (14 years plus), learning to make a fold-up tote shopping bag. This was Sophie’s first ever sewing project and she thoroughly enjoyed it.
Not only that but she’s got a lovely polka-dot shopper to give to Mum for her birthday, and I know this hand-made gift will be appreciated much more than anything shop-bought.
You’re never too young or too old to learn to sew. Or if you are a mature person (I’m being deliberately non-gender specific) and have sewn many years ago, my ‘Sewing Machine Confidence’ workshop may be just what you need to get you going again. It’s a 3-hour session that teaches you how the machine works, how to thread up, wind bobbins, sew straight lines, curves and turn neat corners. Many clients come to me with a machine they’ve recently bought and are struggling with, or who want to update their skills but aren’t sure where to start. They leave 3 hours later feeling full of new hope and keen to get to the fabric shop to stock up for their next project.
I’m often asked at what age children should be allowed to use a sewing machine. There’s no easy answer as it depends on the individual child. A responsible 10-year old may be able to use a sewing machine safely and competently, while a careless 50-year old may be a danger to themselves and others (and I’m including the sewing machine in this). Provided adequate instruction and supervision is given, there’s no reason why children as young as 8 can’t use a machine. I was around that age myself when I was first shown by my Mum. I knew to keep my fingers away from the needle and didn’t have any accidents. Sewing helps develop manual dexterity and creativity after all, and I’ve not witnesses any of the nervousness in children that adults can feel when facing learning a new skill.
Similarly, some of my clients who have a little more life experience are taking up sewing either for the first time, or after a break of perhaps 40 or 50 years. Sewing requires concentration, manual manipulation skills, and multi-tasking (hands and feet doing different things at the same time) and is an excellent form of mental exercise. Added to that is the need to plan a project and see it through step-by-step, as well as the obvious social and health benefits in attending classes and meeting people with similar interests. Sewing definitely keep you young!