Here are 5 awesome tips for when you’re new to sewing
Sewing is an invaluable skill for vintage lovers, fashion fanatics, crafters, homesteaders, the eco-conscious, and DIYers. Whether you plan on making clothes for yourself, altering clothing you have already, or just doing routine mending, learning to sew is well worth your time.
Here are five essential tips for sewing beginners.
Shopping for a sewing machine can be overwhelming. When you’re a beginner, you don’t need a machine that costs thousands of dollars and can think for itself. Instead, look for something easy-to-use, high-quality, and suits your needs.
Consider what projects you plan on completing with the machine. Is a basic sewing machine enough, or should you be looking at the best serger sewing machine your budget will cover? Some tried and true reliable sewing machine brands include Singer, Brother, and Janome.
Sewing with a machine isn’t as simple as threading a needle and pressing a foot pedal. You must make sure you have the right thread and stitching style for your project.
Some of the common stitches include:
- Straight stitch – this stitch is a simple line and is what you’ll use most often.
- Locking stitch – this stitch adds security at the start and end of your line, reducing the need for backstitching (going backward to secure your thread at the end of the fabric).
- Zig-zag stitch – this extra sturdy stitch is ideal for added tightness and thick fabrics.
- Stretch stitch – this looser stitch is ideal for areas that need stretch and movement.
Taking time to learn about these stitches – and the many other types – and when they’re used will be useful when diving into new projects.
In most cases, you can correct your mistakes when sewing. However, it’s better for your patience and the outcome of your project to do it right the first time. The best way to prevent mistakes as a beginner is to practice on scraps.
Get a few pieces of scrap fabric and test your different stitches. Practice going in straight lines and around turns. This exercise isn’t just useful when you’re new to sewing – every time you try new fabric blends or threads, give it a few test runs before committing your stitches to your project.
Complacency is the greatest source of frustration for sewers. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting into your rhythm and finding out halfway through a project that you’re out of the thread you need or that the bobbin is empty.
Before you start a project, double-check that you have everything you need. Create a routine before you sit down to ensure the tools you need are in place, your bobbin is locked and loaded, and you have extra supplies available just in case.
Choose simple projects first to set yourself up for success. Someday you might make a custom wedding dress or a leather jacket, but not today. Instead, start with a few basic projects that you know you can finish with beginner skills. Doing so will help you avoid frustration and get a sense of accomplishment.
Start by sewing some new pillowcases, tote bags, or simple pajama pants. As you get more comfortable with the basics, scale your efforts up, and take on more challenging projects. When it comes to sewing, there is always room to learn. Take it step-by-step rather than jumping ahead to more challenging endeavors.
Once you get the hang of it, sewing can save you money on clothing and gift-giving. However, know that it won’t be long before you start spending more on patterns and beautiful fabrics that fuel your hobby.