Learn to Sew for Beginners – Getting Started

You will need to understand your Pattern if you want to learn to sew. For beginners, it can be so rewarding, knowing how to sew whether it be for yourself or your family. To have the ability to make items of clothing or just repairing or altering items will save you a lot of money throughout your lifetime.

It need not be any harder than any other skill to learn and develop. Nothing can be more enjoyable than making a garment that you are proud to wear, but also as admit to having made it. Though sadly, this is not always the case. Being led into a project that is way out of your league or cheaper and easier to have bought one off of the shelf.

So let me take the time to guide you in the right direction and to get it right. I will even pop in the professional finishing touches. Yes… Professional finishing touches, that make even the closest eye query whether you made it or not… so, yes you can do it, with plenty of practice, practice…

Before you can make your first item/garment, you will need a few supplies to get you started. One of the keys to successful sewing is having the right tools on hand to complete your project before you start. If you don’t have them on hand, you will find that they are not too pricey to get your initial set up, to get up and running.

Your Initial Supplies Should Include:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Machine Needle/s
  • Matching Thread
  • Tape Measure
  • Ruler
  • Fabric Shears
  • Paper Scissors
  • Straight Pins (optional Pin Cushion)
  • Tailor Chalk and/or Fabric Marker
  • Seam Ripper
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Hand Sewing Needle (needed occasionally)

Now that you have your supplies list, what is your first sewing project going to be?

You Will Need a Pattern to Get You Started

Paper patterns are the most readily available on the market, but PDF downloadable patterns are becoming more and more popular, purely for their convenience (we will cover this in ‘Printable Patterns” and possibly not where I would advise you to start as a beginner, unless it is something small and does not require much construction.

Check your pattern for fabric requirements and notions for individual projects!

Reading Your Pattern Envelope

On the back of the sewing pattern envelope, you will find:

  • Pattern number
  • Number of pattern pieces
  • Pencil sketch of your garment
  • A description of all the garments included
  • Fabrics suitable for this pattern
  • Notions – what is required to finish the garment; e.g zipper, hook, and eye
  • How much fabric is required, depending on the width of fabric being used
  • Garment measurements

Choosing Your Fabric

If you are unsure of what fabric is required for the project you have in mind, and you have already selected your pattern, you will find a guide for recommended fabric on the back of the pattern envelope.

Preparing Your Fabric

Before you lay out your pattern and start cutting out your fabric, you should always preshrink it. To do this you need to wash and dry it as you would the finished garment, then iron it ready for use.

Understanding Your Pattern Instructions

Right, you have got this far. Congratulations, now things get interesting.

OK, they are easy enough, a bit like a book. Start at the beginning and don’t try to skip to the end as this isn’t that kind of storyline.

First there it lets you know you have the right instructions or your garment by confirming the pattern number and shows you a sketch of the garments included in this particular envelope.

Then it shows you the pattern pieces included, you will notice they are all numbered and there is s description below them to know which pattern pieces you require for your choice of garment. You can choose to cut all the paper-based patterns out if you are planning to use it at a later date, otherwise, there is no real need to (remembering to use paper scissors when you do).

Moving on to the General Directions of the pattern this will include the pattern symbols and markings for this pattern to assist with laying and cutting out of your fabric.

Special Cutting Notes (if any)

Brief sewing overview

Cutting Layouts will then show you how to lay out your fabric and place your pattern pieces according to the width of the fabric and size of the pattern. Also, with or without nap, depending on if you have something with a grain like a corduroy or a print which needs to ALL run one way.

You will find this also included lining and interfacing cut out guides.

Finally, the garment instructions giving you a step by step guide with pictures to explain how to put your garment together.

I am here to help you with anything to do with sewing and garment making and if for some reason I can not assist you, I will point you in the right direction.

This website will not survive without your help and input, so please ASK for tutorials and reviews so I can schedule them to do for you.

What can I help you with? Please comment below and I want to help you 🙂

~Keep on Sewing

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