Sewing For BeginnersWhether you want to learn to sew for profit, or just for your own enjoyment, remember the old addage "K.I.S.S.": Keep It Slow & Simple.
by Handmade Adelaide
Just getting started with sewing? Thanks for stopping by! I've been sewing for over 20 years, and I'll give you my best tips and advice for getting started including the Do's and Don'ts, and how to make your projects look professional. Find more valuable advice about how to save money if you're sewing for beginners. It includes lots of good details on what to look for in your first sewing machine and other essentials. Learning to sew is a valuable skill that can be very fun and profitiable!
Sewing For Beginners
Sewing, like driving a car, does not require special skills or talent. It simply requires some time and patience and a willingness to carefully follow instructions. If you are willing to take it slow and invest some time in learning the basic skills, you’ll soon discover that it is second nature to sit down, thread the machine, and stitch away!
Do get a book Sewing for Dummies is a great book to get started, and I even learned a few things about hand sewing while looking through my daughter's Klutz book called Simple Sewing. You'll need to know the basics of some hand and machine sewing for most projects. It pays to have a good resource book with photos to refer back to when you encounter something new. There are also a lot of great little tricks that make sewing for beginners easier that can only be had in a good sewing book.
Do start with easy projects like making a pillow, apron, or a nursing cover.
The ‘sew easy’ patterns are also a great way to cut your teeth on a new sewing machine. Start with a project that you can complete in a couple of hours. Instant gratification is a great thing!
Do read the back of the pattern while in the store: Most packaged patterns list the fabric yardage and the notions that are required for the project on the back. Find and use this information so that you can leave the store with everything you need to complete your project, including thread, elastic, interfacing, lining fabric, etc.
Do ask for help. Don't be embarrassed to ask questions to the person who works at the craft or fabric store. They are usually very qualified seamstresses, and are happy to answer questions about sewing for beginners!
Do research your machine options and reviews, and get one that will grow with you if you plan to sew long term. See my recommendation for a great sewing machine (at a great price!) in Frugal Fran's article Strategies to Save Money on Sewing.
Don’t begin with a project that is above a beginner level see my suggestions about starting with easy projects above.
Don’t have a lead foot. Go slowly when starting out. You can even use the hand crank to get started with your first few seams, while you get adjusted to how sensative your presser foot pedal is. Sewing 'fast' doesn’t allow you to get the feel of the machine. Keeping a slow and steady pace on your machine is very important for learning to sew straight and even seams. You’ll want to go pretty slowly at first so that you can learn the feel of feeding the fabric in and keeping it lined up straight. Sewing too fast can also be dangerous to your fingers! Once you get comfortable with your machine, you’ll know when it’s time to speed up. And your machine will make awful noises if you start approaching warp speed.
Don’t begin your sewing career with an important project with a tight deadline. (i.e. a wedding dress or a formal for an event that is a month away.) This will only cause frustration and kill your creative spirit. It is also pretty much guaranteed to waste massive amounts of money, and you'll swear off sewing for beginners. Save your sanity, and resolve to learn to sew at a less stressful time, and on a smaller beginners project. If you want a custom look on a budget, try getting a used gown and having it altered professionally.
Don’t spend a lot on a fancy machine or impulse buy a machine. See the the article above about choosing a good machine without breaking the bank.
Don’t buy pricey fabric for your first few projects. If your local big box store has a sewing department, they may have a one or two dollar a yard section. It may not be gorgeous, but it’s perfect for learning! Do buy a little extra fabric in case you make a mistake. Be sure to read Strategies to Save Money on Sewing for some great ways to save on fabric!
It's so fulfilling to create an item with your own hands that looks nice..and you also want it to last and fit properly or be useful. Considering all the time and money you'll put into your projects, it's important to do a really fine and careful job so you can be proud of your projects. You'll want your sewing project to last, so that you can admire it and use it over and over. Here are some of the best tips on sewing for beginners. These have been passed along to me by my sewing teacher in Home Economics, my Mom, and my Mother-In-Law. I have had the priveledge of being surrounded by wonderful seamstresses! I admit that I sometimes don't follow all of these suggestions. But I sure wished that I had many times...after it was too late.