A gift for Daphne

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Maia said she wanted to make a pillow for Daphne for Christmas. A round pillow. She selected the fabric she wanted to use and decorated it with our Pentel fabric crayons.

These fabric crayons look and feel like oil pastels. You draw with them directly on the fabric, then iron to set. They work well. And unlike other fabric crayons we've used in the past, you can use them on 100% cotton.


Maia helped me sew the pillow. Basically she sat in my lap and helped guide the fabric as I sewed it on the machine. This was a first for us.

Just curious, for those of you who are teaching your kids to sew on a machine, when do you start? I know I was older (3rd grade) when I began on a sewing machine.


Afterward, Maia wanted to wrap her gift all by herself. With plenty of tape.


The pants she's wearing are from the sleeves of one of my cotton sweaters. I made them pretty much like this. She loves them. But then she pretty much loves anything I make her. She still says, "Wow! Thank you, Mama." Gives me the warm fuzzies.

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  1. Allison says

    I had to comment on how darling she is while wrapping the present. She used her feet to hold the present in place like a little monkey :)

  2. Tracy says

    What a lovely and thoughtful gift for Daphne! Its fun to observe Maia over time, watching the new skills she is gathering. As far as when to teach a child to sew on a machine, I suppose it all depends on the child. My six year old began to show interest in sewing on the machine over the past year. She began in my lap, helping to guide the fabric, then worked the foot pedal while I sewed. Along the way she learned to use the presser foot lifter, the bobbin winder, etc. About a month ago, she insisted I allow her to do it all. I was reluctant at first, (Ack! On my new sewing machine!) but she sewed about 15 small pouches for her friends all by herself. As I look back over the process, she learned to work all the different parts, then it all came together.

  3. says

    This is the sweetest thing ever, really. It is amazing how big their little hearts are, isn’t it?! I am big into repurposing right now, just made a hat and three coffee sleeves myself…I find great satisfaction in resuing something for a new purpose. I love the pants idea, will put that on my “to make” list! Give your sweet girl an extra kiss today…so cute.

  4. says

    sienna wants to make her dad a pillow for christmas. those crayons look really neat.
    i won’t teach sienna to sew on the machine until she is much older and has mastered hand sewing. we really enjoy sewing together! ;)

  5. Kandyce says

    I have never seen those fabric crayons before. What a great idea. My little one wanted to make a pillow, also. I had her draw on dark fabric with a bleach pen. It worked well but I think I would have liked the crayons better. Thanks for sharing!

  6. says

    M (who is 4, nearly 5) regularly helps me sew by pressing the foot pedal on our sewing machine – I felt more comfortable with her doing this than feeding material, and this works well for us. She’s “got” the pressure/speed relationship and loves being involved.

  7. Natasha says

    i’m a fashion design student, and have been since my son was 1. he has always been interested in everything i do for school. at 2, he became very accustomed to being on campus, and often hanging out in sewing classrooms while i was doing lab hours. by the time he was 3, i felt more comfortable allowing him near my home sewing machine, and began letting him help me with the machine’s functions- pushing the pedal, holding the back stitch button. he’s now almost 4, and understands a lot about sewing. he loves everything about fabric, and loves cutting it. he LOVES to finish pieces i’ve sewn, by going over them meticulously, inspecting for loose threads, and cutting them. i feel, because he listens very well, if he wants to try something- we try it. i didn’t learn to sew until i started in this degree program- at age 24- how i wish i’d have learned sooner!

  8. Amy says

    I started at age 6 or so with my mom’s old Singer. She had me sew without thread (on top or in the bobbin) on paper for awhile until she felt like I had the hang of speed/control/forward/backwards/curve/straight. Then she turned me loose.
    I did a lot of hand sewing and embroidery type stuff around the same age, maybe a little earlier. I didn’t sew very well I don’t think, but I learned the ideas.

  9. says

    Let me first say that I love your blog! I have a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl who help me with *very* simple sewing projects from time to time. I place the foot pedal on the table and they control it with their hand based on me telling them when to start and stop. This works well for us and they feel like they are really participating in making the gift/project. Haven’t tried this with my one year old yet! And won’t any time soon ;)

  10. katfly says

    I learned to sew by hand first. My grandma gave me a piece of flannel with a design on it and had me sew along the outside of the design. She used the time to teach me how to thread a needle and how to start, stop and make knots. I still love to sew by hand and it has been nearly 30 years.