Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners – Where to Start?

Oh where, Oh where to begin? I can hear you asking yourself? When it comes the time to find your first simple sewing projects for beginners, I simply ask… what was it that prompted you to sew? and, what did you have in mind when you decided you wanted to learn to sew?

There will be a lot of contributing factors that will help you decide what is best for you to start with once you have mastered your sewing machine of choice… if you have not done that yet, then I suggest you master your machine before starting your first sewing project.

The “Why” Behind the “Want or Need” to Learn to Sew

Like every other new project or interest in life whether it is skiing or gardening, there is always the ‘why’ behind it that has sparked your interest, so that is where you should start.

What is Your Why?

  • To soothe, your creative soul.
  • Save yourself money?
  • To create your own unique clothing style.
  • You have started a family and would like to sew for them.
  • Your body shape makes it hard for you to purchase store-bought clothing without altering them to fit.
  • Alterations and repairs of your old favourites, as it often costs an arm and a leg to pay someone to do it for you.
  • You see something in-store and would like it in the colour of your choice…

As you can see, a bit like everything else in life, the choice is yours and the support and knowledge are available for you to learn at a pace and cost to suit your lifestyle.

Starting With These Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

My first sewing project on a sewing machine was an apron, mainly because when I was growing up, I had to wear one regularly. If your confidence with your machine still has you hesitating, then you may find these paper practice sheets useful, to begin with.

So, as I mentioned above, start out with something useful, and something that does not need fitting, like an item of clothing unless of course, you are feeling confident.

7 Simple Sewing Projects for Starters:

  1. Apron
  2. Pillowcase
  3. Pencil Case
  4. Tote Bag
  5. Book Bag
  6. Wheat Bag
  7. Baby Bib

These should be enough to spark your imagination and hopefully get the creativity flowing. These are simple enough that the final outcome of sizing can be out by a centimetre or two and the overall fit will still work.

It needs to be encouraging for you to keep you wanting to sew often, as the more you do the better you will get and your confidence will grow with it.

If you are sewing for yourself and family, be brave and try out new ideas to broaden your abilities, the sooner the better. As your child will not see your small mistakes and your family will be proud of you for achieving it.

Just remember, this list is only a guide.

You Will Save Yourself Money

This I feel would be one of the most common reasons for people to sew for both yourself and your family. You will save yourself money, long term.

As with other interests, there will always be a small outlay and in sewing, it will be a Sewing Machine if you have not been fortunate enough to inherit one or be gifted one.

Sewing machines are so cheap now compared to how much they were when I bought my first sewing machine at the age of 18. Until then, I had to sue my Mothers old Elna, but it was a dream to sew with. The older machines generally are!

Then, of course, there will be other bits and bobs as your sewing ability, choice of items to make, your confidence increases, and become more challenging.

You will require a few long term items for your sewing kit starting with a ‘good’ pair of dressmaking shears as well as a few items I have included in this list of Sewing Equipment to get you started.

Your Own Unique Style of Fashion

Fashion… it’s a personal choice! We all have our own style and through learning to sew, you have the opportunity to put your own stamp(style) on your wardrobe.

This was what got me into sewing in the first place. My mother had her own unique style of clothing and I had mine. So, when I was allowed behind the sewing machine, and into her ‘fabric stash’, I was allowed to make items of clothing I liked to wear. This too, worked especially well for when I needed something new to wear to the next High School Disco, as we did not have Proms/Balls when I was at school.

As you know, there is no right or wrong fashion statement, so go for gold and ‘Create Your Own’, you will be pleasantly surprised by the positive comments you will get from your family friends and peers.

PLUS… from time to time, you will hear comments like, ‘Wow, where did you get that from’, and you can follow up with the added pleasure of responding with… ‘oh, really?” I made it’! I have found this far more satisfying than letting them know which ‘store’ I bought if from if I had picked it up from a retailer.

Your Family Has Grown?

All of a sudden your family has grown with the addition of not only a spouse but a child/children. You have become aware of the clothing and sewing needs that come along with your added family members. And, if like me, you realized that for an item of clothing that you needed for such a short time, it was ever so expensive for something that was outgrown in such a short time. We are not all fortunate enough to have access to affordable secondhand clothing or family hand downs.

I have noticed the need for DIY has increased, where back in the 80s when I had my children, less home sewing was being done and becoming a dying trade as parallel imports hit NZ.

But, all in all, producing bibs and feeders for my babies was the start of future years of producing knick-knacks, patchwork blankets, underwear, and clothing for my family and friends, to which I still do today.

Nothing In-store Fits!

More often than not, people are ‘NOT’ standard size for clothing produced by clothing manufacturers.  They need to cater to the average size of the human body. Any variations thereafter need to be either ignored or altered in one form or another by the owner, whether it be a paid alteration or will you tend to it yourself.

Many a time I have heard larger women especially say, “they seem to assume when you are large, that you have long arms and legs”! My response is the same every time, “easier to shorten them than lengthen them”.

Once you have learned the art of sewing you will soon adapt to alterations and repairs. Once you know how something goes together it is easier to pull apart and alter.

My Old Favourite Needs a New Zip, Button, Hole Darned…

A bit like the ‘nothing in store fits’ scenario, but with a twist… Seams and hems come undone, zips break, holes appear and buttons fall off; which becomes all too common in every household.

There is no immediate need to learn how to do these particular alterations or repairs until you have a broken zip, split seam, etc, except to have the knowledge and to be able to do so when the time comes.

Although I do encourage you to practice sewing whenever you get the opportunity to do so. Regular sewing will enable you to do these types of repairs and alterations without the need to refer to your notes or a tutorial, as it will soon become all too familiar to you. This is when you know you are starting to master the art of sewing.

But, a word to the wise when doing alterations and repairs, “Always ‘unpick’ your own work” then you will have a better idea of how to put it back together!

There is nothing more empowering than being able to create, fix, mend, or alter your own clothing to suit your own personal requirements.

Check out my useful Sewing Resources to help you with some of the basics of sewing.

It is Time to Start Some Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

If you have not already done so, get sewing! It is as simple as that. If you have taken the time to read this far, you are serious about learning to sew.

It is finally time to start that project you have been thinking about for some time now. Put time aside and start today!

If for some unknown reason you are still at a standstill, reach out! Please ask questions below, and share your experiences with all of us to learn together as a team.

AND… IF you are not already sewing for your family, I encourage you to do so. The simpler the better until your confidence level grows as do your personal needs, which will expand according to your lifestyle and your willingness to learn.

~Keep on Sewing

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