Learning to Sew for Beginners – Where to Start?

Now that you have taken the plunge, learning to sew for beginners can be quite exciting. It can be as easy and/or as challenging as you let it be. Depending on your knowledge so far, I am going to be treating everything and everyone like they are a novice, and keep it simple.

Starting With an Idea

As with anything you need an idea. Whether it be a skirt for yourself or a dress for your daughter or shorts for your son. Where these are something I would suggest you strive toward learning in the future rather than immediately if you can. It is just because they involve things like buttons, zips and elastic, which I feel is something that need not be included in your first project, where possible.

Bookbag Kiwiwana Tui

If it were me I would me starting with something a little more simple like:

  • A pillowcase
  • Apron
  • Tote
  • Pencil case
  • Book Bag
  • Cushion cover
  • Bibs etc

Ideally, something that does not need to fit or take too much fabric. The advantage of something of this caliber is that you will net need to go tot he expense of a pattern and metres of fabric to get you started.

Do You Have a Sewing Machine?

Whether you are hand sewing, or machine sewing you will need a needle and thread to get you started. If you don’t yet have a sewing machine that is something that over the time we will cover as in what is this machine to purchase in the meantime you may just want to pop down to your local machine shop or compare machines online before making a purchase. In the long-term, if you are planning on showing regularly you will need a machine. If you are not in the position to purchase time to get started I’m sure you will have a friend that will allow you to borrow until you’re confident enough and financial enough to make your own choice of machine, according to your needs and budget.

Know your Machine BEFORE You Start Your First Project!

If you have never used a sewing machine before then I suggest you do a bit of practice with some practice sheets to familiarize yourself with the functionality and capabilities of the machine you are using before you start your first project. After all, it is a piece of machinery, it will take out fingers etc, and no different than learning to drive a motor vehicle before you take a road trip for the first time. Know your machine first!

Time to put Your Idea into Motion

Ok, time to move forward with your first project, but let’s do a checklist before we move on, after all, no point making a cake with only half the ingredients, so make sure you have everything before you START!

Sewing Equipment to Get Started

To get started in any sewing project, you will need most of the following:

  • A pattern (or measurements) of the item you are making
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Notions (zip, button, bias etc) you will find a list on the back of all purchased patterns
  • Iron and ironing board

You will notice that you will not need everything for ALL sewing projects, but to know what is required before you start is a great step towards completion.

Before You Start Cutting Your Fabric

Measure twice, CUT once! This has been my philosophy since day one. And if in doubt, it can be taken in easier than being let out. So for these reasons:
I measure my pattern before I lay it out and check its size,

  • I measure my pattern before I lay it out and check its size,
  • I measure it again once it is pinned onto the fabric to double check my measurements, with the ones written down and then,
    and only then I will start cutting out my project.

But, I am only human after all and have my fair share of errors, and in turn, this how I have learned over the years and will continue to learn for many years to come.

Sewing Terminology

As with anything else, sewing has its own language and it certainly helps to know the basics, the rest are easily picked up along the way. Rather than have everything on one page, I have given it the respect it deserves by having it all in one area for future reference.

We will Keep it Simple

In summing up, let us just keep things simple! Do not make things any more complicated than they need to be.

Let us start off with baby steps, and crawl before we walk, before venturing on to those items that involve a little more detail.

We will keep a feel of how we are going according to when you have joined along this journey of Learning to Sew at Home. I am excited for you all!

I remind you if at anytime you have a question about sewing or a tutorial you would like me to look into creating for you, then PLEASE ask in the comments below. I encourage your interaction, as without you this site would not exist.

I look forward to working with you, both now and in the future.

~Keep on Sewing

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