I recently put together a little sewing pattern for my son's 4H group. It was such a success, that I decided to turn it into a free tutorial. The format is a bit different than my other patterns/tutorials, as it contains separate instructions for the instructor and the students. It allows you to prepare and host the ideal sewing experience so the kids just swoop in, do the fun stuff, and learn a ton in the process.
This "owlie" has just the right amount of pieces to make the project interesting, but still quick and easy. It requires only straight machine stitching and just a touch of hand stitching. You prepare the fusible facial features and feet in advance. I include 3 shape options for the pupils - heart, round, and pac-man.
The patterns are printed onto cardstock, and traced onto the fabric. For little fingers, this is much more accurate (and less frustrating) than pinning and cutting around a pattern.
If possible, get the parents to stay for the fun. Adult helpers make the process so much easier and more efficient. Also, since you are dealing with sharp implements and a hot iron, it is good to have the extra supervision.
After the first few piecing steps, the kids are amazingly independent.
All of the stitching steps use a 1/4" seam allowance, so the kids just align the edge of the foot with the fabric edges and "steer" the fabric through the sewing machine.
Here is a group shot of our groups' owls. Didn't the kids do an awesome job? This project is great for boys and girls alike. Our 2nd to 5th graders were able to complete the owls in about an hour and a half, with minimal adult support. We even had a 4 year old little sister participate, and even though she needed more help than the older kids, she was very engaged in the process.
This is a great project to do with just one child, as well. After our sewing party, Louis went on to make an owl for his teacher. You and your child could even make several owls assembly-line style, and check off lots of gifts on your list. This will give your child sewing skills that will last a lifetime, and the opportunity to feel the joy of giving handmade gifts from the heart.