I am looking for a couple of sewing projects to do together with DD1 - she is seven. We will be able to use a sewing machine.
A project that could be a present as well would be nice.
How fun! My DD and I really like making square pillows. For the front, we use color fabrics (scraps left over from other projects are great for this) in squares...for example, for a 16" pillow, we use 16 squares (cut 5" by 5") and use a 1/2 inch seam allowance. For the back, we use one fabric (either one large piece or two pieces that overlap so that the cover of the pillow can be taken off for washing). And people seem to enjoy receiving the pillows as gifts.
The first project I remember was making on the sewing machine was a little drawstring bag, which I still have, They would make nice gift bags for some home made goodies.
My mum still has a felt needle case I made too, it was a rectangle of felt with a few rectangles of flannel (slightly smaller than the felt and pinked round the edges), stitched together down the middle so they fold into a book. The front cover is decorated with felt shapes sewn on.
The projects that DD has enjoyed most so far are making bits and pieces for her doll, The nappy was fairly simple, she also made a skirt to match one I'd made for her. That took quite a bit of help form me though.
Subbing, because I'm interested in ideas for my 7-year-old son. He has done some very simple stitching - I cut out random shapes in varying sizes, and he stitched them one on top of the other (and was so proud of his work that he still has it hanging on the cork board over his bed!). But once he gets more comfortable with the machine, I'd like him to be able to make things he can use or give as gifts. I love the pillow idea; I do patchwork, so I think he'll like making something that's similar to my projects.
My first sewing project (about age 8 or so) was a patchwork quilt for my doll, by hand.
My kids were about 7 when they each learned to sew. They are both boys, and for their first projects enjoyed making little pillows and sleeping bags for their beanie babies and other stuffed animals. One year, one of my kids made a dream pillow to give as a gift - he put lavender in it, it was a small pillow, but kid-sized still.
My DD is 7 and she has been making buttercup bags (google for the free pattern). These are pretty simple- but do take supervision. They are fun to make, a great stash buster, and great for gifts.
I have also let my DD just play with the sewing machine sewing doll quilts and odds and ends. She liked making lace crowns and embellishing with rickrack and ribbon.
Fabric gift bags. Dead simple to make - fold a rectangle and sew up two sides. If you have pinking shears, you don't even need to finish the top hem!
Slightly harder: Making a double-folded topstitched top hem, zigzagging the seams to finish them.
Slightly harder than that: Drawstring casing, simple applique on the front, simple piecing (adding a contrast-coloured stripe to the bag, for instance), decorative topstitching on the bag before sewing it up (just straight or wiggly lines, checks, whatever - good for playing around with decorative stitches and practicing stitching)
Slightly harder than that: Lining the bags, fancier appliques, more complicated piecing (like turning a simple nine-patch quilt block into the front of the bag)
The best part is, you can make 'em all shapes and sizes from random scraps of fabric and old clothes. And if you don't want to keep them, use them as gifts for your friends - if you say "My seven-year-old made it" they won't even care if it's funny-looking. (Or at least, they won't say so!) :p
Mine is a little younger but I got her one of the American Girl kits like this to introduce her to sewing:
I found them at craft shops and they are under $10 with a coupon. I wanted to get her used to some projects by hand first, threading needles, sewing buttons, etc. I liked that the holes in the felt are pre-punched and it looks like something she can easily do with a little direction.
I'm just learning to use the machine myself and gift bags with ribbon ties are my first project.