DIY Holiday Garland // Sewing with Kids


I will admit, this whole idea of sewing with kids (i.e. my four year old) kind of came out of nowhere. A few months ago, my daughter strongly suggested we sew her quilt together and get it finished. I’m pleased to announce we did just that!

She talks about sewing and writing her own book every now and then, and she steals my fabric scraps frequently, but somehow I didn’t get her subtle clues. Until today.  Today the boys went Christmas shopping, so she told me it was a GIRLS SEWING DAY. Who am I to say no to that?


I knew I wanted to make the DIY holiday garland from Susan Beal’s book (review here and free pattern here) Sewing for All Seasons

This seemed like a good project to do together.  Last week,  I borrowed Megan’s Go Baby (hence the perfect circles) and cut them out while we watched Home Alone for the first time together on Sunday. Sidenote: watching Home Alone with a 7 year old is hilarious. Especially the last half hour.

She sat on my lap and we sewed up a garland for a friend, and then a long one for our entryway. She told me NOT to use all of the circles because she was going to sew them all together herself. I didn’t realize she meant hand sewing until I turned around and saw her trying to sew them together with a pin.

Hand Sewing with my Girl

She sat on my lap for a full hour, pretty intent on sewing the garland herself. As long as I held the circles vertical, she didn’t have any problem stitching it together. And let me tell you, she was sooooo excited to hang her DIY garland on her bedroom door.


Any tips for great projects to sew with (very) little kids?

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  1. eulalia
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    There is a blog that I really like called Make It and Love It, and the blogger has several projects for sewing with kids, plus a whole lot of other great things!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much for recommending that. I’ll take a look.

  2. Faye
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    We are doing rice bags to warm up in the microwave. My daughter (almost 3) sits on my lap for the minimal sewing required, and then she gets to fill the bags with rice (and I complete the sewing on one while she fills the next bag. It has been the perfect project for us to work on together!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      What a great idea! I will have to try that. thanks!

  3. Posted December 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    She did a great job! (You too momma)

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      thanks! it was fun to see her sooo excited about something. which led to us making a skirt together the next day. I think she might be hooked!

  4. Amanda
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I feel pretty good about children of all ages sewing as long as the adult is close at hand and has patience to last through it all. I had great success in letting a little one FMQ on a small scrap sandwich I made. With the child on my lap, he (yes, he) enjoyed going round and round in loops and doodles for about 10 mins. That took care of their interest in what mommy was doing.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      I love that he loved it! My son thinks sewing is cool, too. I should teach him how already!!

  5. Posted December 13, 2013 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    That is so sweet. Love the garland but love that one on one time even more.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. Always a good reminder to slow down and just spend time with the people you love!

  6. Posted December 13, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Oh, I love it when the little ones are excited about sewing! The patience is sometimes hard to come by for mom, but I think it’s worth it in the end. Thanks for sharing.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 18, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the encouragement!! It helps remind me that the patience is worth it :)

  7. Annette
    Posted December 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    This is wonderful! What a great time together. Great pictures to go along with the pictures. You are the best mom!! and have the best granddaughter I could hope for

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 18, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      aw, thanks mom. love you!

  8. jenni
    Posted December 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Her curly hair is to die for! Little cutie!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 18, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Thanks! She gets it from her dad, lucky her.

  9. Anna Haller
    Posted December 14, 2013 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    There is a wonderful book called We Love To Sew. It was written by a woman in virginia, has amazing photos, and very clear instructions for kids. Nicole uses it as the “textbook” for some of her classes.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 18, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Anna! Maybe I will get it for Norah for Christmas. :)

  10. Posted December 14, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    This is awesome. It takes so much patience on our part as quilting Mamas but it is worth it.

    One of my favourite projects was sewing together a picture they made. Of course, in our case it was an image of a bladder, but still. And I also remember Amanda Jean sewing together the design wall scraps that her daughter put together. Daughter did the lay out, Mama did the sewing. Finally, we did my daughter’s 100 day project for school. Just 100 scraps of fabric sewed together. First pairs, then in fours and so on.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted December 18, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I love the idea of sewing together a picture, bladder and all. Norah is sitting next to me cutting up ribbon and gluing it on paper, so I’m sure she would love the design wall to actual project idea! Thanks!

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