Is A Sewing Machine Too Dangerous For My Child?

child working on sewing machine in a class at craft habit raleigh
We get asked so often if a child is 'old enough' to use a sewing machine. The short answer is probably yes. Yes, we think that a 7 year old can use an electric sewing machine, sharp fabric scissors, needles and even a hot iron. We even think that a 5 year old can use most of those tools.
Not only do we think they CAN do use those tools, we think they SHOULD use those tools.
Sewing teaches children fine motor skills, planning, spatial relationships, basic mathematics and even the beginnings of geometry. Sewing with a machine also teaches a child that you trust them to do something 'adult' and maybe a bit dangerous (hint: it's not actually dangerous!) Taking the time to sew a useful item will help a child develop all these skills, plus gain practice at trying something hard.
So why isn't your child sewing? For many families, the link to the generation when EVERYONE knew how to sew is gone. If your family is lucky enough to have a grandfather or grandmother who knows their way around a sewing machine, you should enlist them to share their skill. Start by asking them to remember when they first started using a sewing machine, or first put a button on a shirt. 
If you don't have an adult family member who can show your child how to sew, a class aimed at their age group is ideal. Taking a class to learn how to safely use a sewing machine will allow your student to master this adult skill. Our youth sewing classes are open to children ages 7+. Yes, we said 7! By age 7, most children are able to tie their shoes and can button, lace, and zip. They can also sew a tote bag!
two children holding handmade tote bags proud in a classroom
check out those confident smiles!
girl using electric sewing machine in class at craft habit raleigh
she's demonstrating careful hand placement and knows what she's doing!
girl carefully using iron in sewing class at craft habit raleigh
hot iron? let me do it Mom!
and yes, we do sewing parties!