Encouraging and teaching the next generation of crafters, sewists, quilters, knitters, crocheters and hand-makers is so important. Well, I think so anyway. I know how much joy making things brings me and I want to share these skills (and possibilities) with my kids. Skills which they can then develop as they grow (we'll, if they choose to).
My first bit of advice is to allow the child to choose the project to make. My little lady has had the same library bag for almost 4 years. It's well used and quite worn out, so we thought we'd make a new one together.
Kids love to make decisions and one decision which we can let them make is to choose the fabrics for the project. Obviously, we don't necessarily want them to cut into our beautiful stash of Tula Pink or Amy Butler fabrics (which we may have been hoarding for years). Give them a few options from your shelves or let them go crazy digging through the scrap tubs.
I'm a control freak so I'm not quite ready to let my daughter use the rotary cutter - my mind always goes to the most extreme 'what-if' scenarios - but part of letting kids learn is giving them the basic knowledge and guiding them as their confidence grows. Perhaps start by drawing lines and using scissors to cut the fabric. Baby steps.
It's difficult, but let them have turns using the sewing machine - even if only having them press the pedal while you guide the fabric. Many machines have different speed settings, so slow it down to the lowest setting.
The most important part in teaching a child to sew is patience. Allow them to make mistakes which they can learn from. The seam ripper is everyone's friend, right?
What tips do you have to teach a child to sew?
What is the first project you and your child made together?