Before I even let Claire touch the sewing machine I had to set the machine up for her and establish rules that she must obey or she loses her sewing privileges for the day.
- She can’t use the sewing machine without Mommy there. I wanted her to be able to sew with Daddy or Grandma there but neither of them know how to use a sewing machine. I want to make sure everything works out so she cannot sew without me there just incase something goes wrong with the machine itself I can take care of it immediately.
- She has to ask before using the machine. Just in case she wants to disobey this rule, I keep the machine unplugged and the cord out of her reach.
- She has to do her chores and her schoolwork before she’s allowed to sew. Have to give her incentive to actually do her chores and schoolwork quickly.
I had to set the machine up to where she could reach both the machine and pedal. It was hard for me because we don’t have a child size desk that would be strong enough for a sewing machine. I have had to put her machine on a adult size desk, put her in a tall chair, and put the pedal on a smaller chair tall enough to reach her.
Even though I took the needle out of her machine I still make her follow some safety rules.
- Long hair is pulled back
- Long sleeves rolled up
- Machine is turned off while not using it and unplugged if it’s getting cleaned
- And biggest of all no fingers in the “danger zone”
I showed her the different parts of the machine and what the different dials do. She had fun learning how to turn the machine on and off and using the pedal. I gave her a piece of fabric to send through the machine. She has gotten good at lifting the presser foot, sliding the fabric under, and lowering the presser foot before she presses the pedal. She’s been good about not putting her fingers in the danger zone. I’ve tried to encourage her to start using the needle but she, herself, has told me she’s not ready for the needle. I don’t think she understands that the machine doesn’t actually sew without a needle, but she’s enjoying herself and getting familiar with the machine. She’ll be ready when she’s ready.