Introducing sewing to students will give them practical skills they can use for the rest of their lives, as well as many educational, physical, and mental benefits. They’ll refine their motor skills, build problem-solving skills, learn how to practice patience and perseverance, and more. Sewing also helps students grow their self-confidence and reduce stress.
One of the toughest aspects for teachers is knowing which beginner sewing projects to start with. Apart from teaching them the basics like sewing on a button or fixing a torn piece of clothing, there are lots of ways to use sewing as an outlet for creativity and expression. Read on to learn about three beginner sewing projects that offers benefits beyond basic skills, are simple enough for your students to sew, and are easy for you to implement in your classroom.
Give them a purr-fect sewing project to start
Make students’ first sewing experience one to remember with the all-in-one Claire the Cat – Sock Animal Kit. This hand-sewing project kit provides everything a student needs, including a pair of socks, thread, felt, stuffing, needle, and instructions, to create a cute feline friend. If time allows, they can give their cats more personality by adding embellishments.
Teacher tip: You can also make community connections with this project by pairing students up with a local organization, such as a preschool or nursing home. Students can be paired with a “buddy” and gift their cuddly creation to their buddy with a thoughtful card or letter. Once you forge these connections, you can continue them throughout the year.
Help them relieve stress and focus with a fun project
Sewing and stress relief are closely sewn together. Both beginners and experienced pros find sewing to be a meditative practice as it encourages mindfulness and positivity as well as feelings of relaxation. For students, sewing during class can be an effective SEL activity and give them those same stress-relieving benefits that everyone else experiences.
Fidgets have also been found to provide stress relief to students during the school day. Now you can combine both sewing skills and fidget use with the Nasco Sew Your Stress Away Classroom Kit (lesson plan included!). For this beginner sewing project, students use marbles, patterns, and the other supplies in the kit to hand stitch a marble maze fidget. Once their fidgets are finished, every student will have a great self-regulating tool that will aid in focus and relaxation.
Teacher tip: Before they start this beginner sewing project, take time to talk about stress. By starting a conversation about the effects of stress and why those feelings occur, your students can begin to explore their own feelings and start thinking about the benefits of sewing and other relaxation practices. If they are able to experience these benefits firsthand, the more motivated they’ll be to continue sewing and advance their skills.
Have them create projects for every season
The fun doesn’t have to be limited to a single beginner sewing project. Keep students working on small projects throughout the year with the Nasco Felt Sewing Projects for Every Season Classroom Kit. Whether you want your class to work on a themed project during the holidays or want to fill in extra time with a quick project, your students will find joy in crafting charming ornaments using felt and basic stitching techniques. You can teach them that creating handmade ornaments can be more meaningful than buying them prepackaged in a store.
Need ideas to get started? The kit includes Felt Ornaments for All Occasions, a beginner-friendly book that has ideas and step-by-step instructions for felt ornaments, conveniently arranged by season. There are 20 patterns for you and your students to choose from, such as reindeer, foxes, hot air balloons, camper vans, seahorses, and more. Choose a pattern to start or get your students involved by holding a class vote to decide on a pattern.
Teacher tip: This is another great project that lends itself to community and family connections. Students can gift ornaments to their community buddies or family members. You can also use the ornaments on a “giving tree.” Collect clothing sizes and wish lists for families in need in your community and hang the anonymous wish lists with an ornament on a tree in a central space in your school. Encourage families to choose an ornament and wish list and then drop off the gifts for the family in need.
Share a beginner sewing project that will be remembered
No matter what project you choose to introduce sewing, students will remember the experience you gave them and cherish the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing it. Teaching your students to sew will help them learn a timeless life skill and give them a new source of expression and stress-relief.