I cannot recall having had sewing lessons when I was a kid. I was however very crafty. In school, in Germany, it wasn't mandatory anymore to learn how to sew. I did have wood working mandatory in grade 3 & 4, I think. I also loved making friendship bracelets out of embroidery threads. I also remember weaving pearls on a loom into friendship bracelets. So being busy with hands was something I sincerely enjoyed.
My husband, in Scotland, had home economics which included cooking, crafting and sewing, including machine and hand-sewing. He remembers doing a sewing machine driving test, similar to the one in my Kids Sewing Bee workshop. They did more hand-sewing because machines were limited. He made a little drawstring bag and mostly did cross-stitching.
Learning how to sew is a valuable skill. While home economics (or textiles) classes are no longer mandatory in school, the sewing arts are making a comeback. Many of my generation are enrolling in classes that teach skills such as sewing, knitting and even cooking. Or thanks to the many reality tv-shows, like The Great British Sewing Bee, learn the basics from online sources like YouTube. So why not pass this skill on to the even younger generation? There are plenty of reasons why every child should learn how to sew.
DEVELOPING HAND-EYE COORDINATION
Threading a needle requires a skilled hand. You have to look through the eye of the needle and get the tiny thin end of the thread through that eye. Knotting the thread and poking a needle through fabric by hand also contributes to the development of hand-eye coordination. When sewing on a machine, kids also need to know when to move the fabric as the fabric travels from the the front to the back of the machine as the needle stitches into the fabric.
LEARNING MATHEMATICAL SKILLS
Some might love it, some might dislike it but sewing uses plenty of maths. Measuring fabric to cut into the shapes and sizes is needed for every project and that involves maths skills. Children that get familiar with sewing patterns also learn engineering principles. Think about how the pattern pieces needs to be placed on the fabric? Or, how much fabric do you need to make a scrunchy or a drawstring bag?
PLANNING AND PREPARATION
Each project requires careful planning and preparation. Kids will need problem-solving skills to setup their sewing projects. First, they have to decide what they want to sew (oh, that's not even the difficult decision). Then, they have to choose the right fabric (that's the hardest!) for their project and the right yardage of fabric.
SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
This also counts for adults and any DIYs... when completing a project, they will have that feeling of accomplishment. They can show off their handmade skirts, scrunchies and any other projects to their friends or display them in their homes. Or kids can use their skill to sell products at craft fairs in school to either make a little pocket money for themselves or raise money for a new school project.
I have had a few girls in my weekly club that sold scrunchies to their friends for a little pocket money, or a group of kids and teachers repurposing old garments, like jeans, into pencil cases to sell them and raise money for other green (sustainable) projects around their school - these are the Eco Warriors at Kings School Al Barsha, here in Dubai.
MENDING THEIR CLOTHES
Plenty of parents have complaint, how often a button falls off their shirts or they buy a size bigger at the beginning of the school year and need to take the waistband in or hem up. With basic sewing skills, they can replace a missing button, patch a hole and fix a hem. Your kids will have skills that allow them to fix their own clothes or perhaps sew their graduation outfit or even prom dress. When they grow older, they could turn their hobby into a career or just use their useful skill in everyday live.
If you want to sign your kids up for my Kids Sewing Bee or Teenage Maker workshop, have a look here for all the details: https://www.threadwerk.com/learn-to-sew