My neighbor recently offered to trade me babysitting in return for sewing lessons for her 10 year old daughter, Morgan. (um, YES PLEASE!). Since Morgan did not have a lot of sewing experience, I wanted to start with several projects to get her more confident with sewing straight lines. This 5 minute bookmark is her second lesson. Sewing is great for children of Morgan’s age group. Besides introducing them to a new creative outlet, it helps develop their fine motor skills and increases their confidence.
2- 2.5″ x 7.5″ scrap fabrics
2- 2.5″ x 7.5″ Craft Fuse interfacing
Water soluble marker
*If you have a double sided interfacing, you do not need the basting spray. I opted to use the Craft Fuse because I have a lot on hand. It provides just the right stiffness (and is super affordable at about $2 a yard.)
Until she becomes more comfortable with cutting, I will use the rotary cutter for her. If you let a child use one, please be sure to monitor closely for safety! Cut the fabric and interfacing 5″ x 7.5″, then cut them in half.
Place the interfacing glue side up, then put the fabric on top with the print facing you. Gently press with the iron, just until they stick. Don’t over-iron as it might mess up the interfacing. Again, monitor closely for safety.
Print the bookmark template. I traced the template onto stencil plastic then cut it out again. If you want to make a lot of bookmarks, you will probably want to use plastic or chipboard to give you a stiffer pattern.
Center the template on the fabric and trace with the marker water-soluble marker.
Flip the pieces over. Spray a little basting spray on the interfacing then press the other interfacing to it.
Begin straight stitching at one corner and sew all the way around. Use the needle down option on your machine if you have it, to help with turning at the corners. If not, lower the needle into the corner, then lift the presser foot to turn the fabric. Make sure the child keeps fingers away from the moving needle!
When you begin and end sewing, either back stitch or fix the stitch. Another option is to tie double knots at the end.
Morgan did a great job of cutting outside the stitches with the pinking shears, and was extra careful not to cut into her stitches.
Remove the water-soluble marker with a damp cloth or paper towel. Pat the lines rather than rub.
These bookmarks come together very quickly. If you prepare several bookmarks at once (say 5 or 6), the child will increasingly get better at sewing on the line and may also become more comfortable with sewing faster. Of course, these aren’t just for kids! These are a perfect project for any beginner seamstress.
Morgan left the sewing room with her finished bookmarks and a big smile. Her mom and big sister liked them so much that they are ready to start some sewing lessons too.