I have a few friends who gave their elementary age kids beginner sewing machines for Christmas. Since none had much sewing experience, I had fun fielding some questions on machines, notions, and general tips. I had fun because I remembered how fun it was for me to explore and learn to use my first machine, and I imagined the kids getting to do that all over again.
As with most new things, you learn by doing, so I suggested a couple started projects for one friend’s daughter. Today I sewed some reusable Swiffer covers – a few for a Swiffer duster and a couple for a Swiffer Sweeper. I thought this might be a great project for a new sewer. It’s super simple. The sewer could practice a few stitches and techniques on forgiving fabric and if there are mistakes, the final project it more about function than aesthetics. The result is usable and (in my opinion) would make fantastic gifts for parents, grandparents, or whoever. A couple yards of fleece might make a dozen covers to give or keep (I cut up some microfiber cloths I found in my basement, but think fleece or flannel might be better.)
You can search for “Swiffer cover sewing patterns”, but here are some good looking tutorials:
- Little Dear Tracks Swiffer Duster Cover
- Home Made Lovely Swiffer Sweeper Cover
- Sew Much Ado – from materials you might have around the house
- Berlin’s Whimsy – Swiffer Cover (you could replace the buttons with velcro, but a great way to try your hand at button holes)
While my machine was out, my 8 year old made a blanket similar to this reversible receiving blanket almost entirely on her own. I won’t say it was 100% smooth and easy, she needed help calming frustration a few times and suffered from many pin pricks, but skill wise, this is another very easy project. If you don’t have babies around to make receiving blankets for, consider Project Linus!