So all of that to say, if you want to learn to sew...you can do it! Here are a few little tips that I hope you might find helpful if you are starting out!
- Take a beginner's sewing class. It is so helpful to have someone show you in person about the grains of fabric, how to cut, use a pattern, learn the essential sewing tools, and how to thread that machine!
- Buy a decent sewing machine. I think some people get discouraged because they are using a crappy machine. If you are constantly dealing with problems with thread jamming and the like you are NOT going to enjoy sewing! Now I don't think you need to get a top of the line totally out of your price range machine, but before buying one ask your friends what they sew on and if they like it or go to patternreview.com and check out their sewing machine reviews. They have a ton on there and lots of people are quite honest about what they like and don't like. You can even buy a used one. People always seem to be getting rid of sewing machines! Just make sure to sew on it and test it out as much as you can. My first sewing machine was this Kenmore, and I would highly recommend it to anyone just starting. I wrote a review of it here.
- Buy quality fabric. Now when you first start sewing it can be a little intimidating how expensive fabric is (especially with cotton prices rising!). However, it really is true that you get what you pay for. Cheapie Walmart fabric is well...cheap! It isn't going to hold up very well, and your project isn't going to look so hot. However, you don't always have to pay top dollar. If you have patience, you can wait for sales! Now this might limit your choices more, since some fabric lines sell out before you can say, "Go!". However, I try to wait for sales for the most part, and I have gotten some awesome deals. Also, try repurposing! Instead of putting something in the Goodwill pile I often now put it in my repurpose pile. Also, if you don't know how to mix and match colors then try buying fabrics from the same line. They are meant to go together and it takes out so much of the guesswork when are first starting out!
- Go ahead and tackle that project that you are dying to do! When I first started sewing I made all sorts of projects that were not deemed suitable for a beginner. However, they inspired me, and inspiration is going to keep you sewing! The catch here is that you just have to be aware that it is probably going to take you a little longer, and you are going to become very familiar with my "mortal enemy", the seam ripper. There are so many sewing books, tutorials, and videos for all sorts of techniques. This is how I tackle most of my projects. If I don't understand a step, I start reading and googling!
- Mistakes happen! It just comes with the territory. Even the most experienced sewer/quilter will admit this. There are very few projects that I did start to finish without some oopsie happening. The seam I am sewing comes out wonky, I cut out the wrong piece, or I sew the wrong pieces together. There are so many opportunities for something to go wrong. ;0p Plus, very few of my projects come out just right. I can show you all sort of mistakes on most of the things I have made, but as you go you will get better.
- Follow the directions. I have been sewing long enough that there are sometimes steps in a pattern that I do differently because I prefer a different technique, but when you first start it is best to do it the way the patterns says for there usually is a reason they are having you do it that way! It will also help to pinpoint where you went wrong if something isn't turning out quite right.
So, how did you learn how to sew? Are you a newbie or have you been sewing forever?
Also, check back tomorrow! Rae has been gracious enough to ask me to be a judge again this year for her Spring Top Sewalong. I have put together a number of pattern suggestions for those who would like to make a top but don't know what pattern to pick( and lots of them would be great for a beginner)! I have already made three tops, and I have a huge pile of fabrics picked out for some more. A girl can dream, right?