When children have moved through threading, sewing cards and other sewing preparation activities ask them if they would like to sew on material. Explain to them that the embroiderie hoop is to help them manage the material. The activities they have used so far will have been on card which holds it’s shape and easy to manage. Material is very flexible and is best used with something like the hoop to keep it steady.
Test the fabric you have chosen with the needle to make sure its possible for the child. For example I have tried felt but it was too dense for safety needles. Hessian or a loose weave linen works well. (I found some beautiful linen offcuts at ReverseGarbage.)
I’m always on the lookout at our local charity shop for balls of wool/yarn and can usually pick up some appealing colours for 50c. These are my latest additions.
Children should already be aware of following the line of their wool or yarn so they will know not to sew around the edge of the hoop although they occasionally get caught out and come for help with the unpicking!
This was a first effort and you can see how industriously they have worked picking three colours. Still working on pulling the thread all the way through and leaving enough thread so that they can have the knot on the back of the fabric.
Another thing the children need to learn is how much tension to apply so that the stitches aren’t too tight and pucker the fabric.
Once they have mastered this they can choose a shape which I (or they) draw on with sewing chalk. A star is a good shape to start with. Try using backstitch for this.
I have also made up this sample as an inspiration for a Christmas activity.
Finally I’ve finished my rooster screenprint I did about 10 years ago! I took it to a Mexican embroidery workshop at The Nest last year and then took it to France with me to do a bit here and there as we travelled. Now I’m going to make it into a pillow for the family farm.
The most valuable piece of information I learned at that workshop was to cut the floss/yarn/wool the length of your outstreateched arm………..I keep to that rule for everything I cut for the children too and they very rarely get in a fangle!
Do you have any sewing tips to share?