Just like with any other hobby, we all have to start somewhere with sewing. And regardless of who we are, we all begin at the same place: right at the bottom.
So rather than listing hundreds of professional techniques that would leave you frustrated and perplexed, we’ve decided to give some very general and basic tips for when you begin working on your first sewing projects.
- Get the right equipment. If you’re serious about getting into sewing, it would be a wise investment to get a great sewing machine. I personally use the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist. (Of course, like any sewing junkie, I would love to invest in a Bernina. However, I’ll just practice my patience for the time being). With the right sewing machine, many of the other tips I would otherwise need to add into this post will become unnecessary. A good machine simplifies many of the sewing newcomer’s common struggles.
Of course, if you’re still not completely sure how committed you want to be to sewing, go ahead and get whatever you can find that will allow you to get a good feel for the hobby. You can always upgrade at a later time when you’re either more certain that sewing is for you, or simply when you can afford it.
- Start small. Of course, many people get into sewing with hopes that they’ll be able to make a replica of that killer dress they just saw at the mall. But it’s best to take it easy. When you’re first starting out, chances are, you’re not going to get things completely right. And the more difficult the project, the more chances you have to mess things up. By starting slow, with things like curtains and pillow cases, you get a feel for your machine, techniques, fabrics and some of the other important basics that are best to learn first.
- Take it easy. Always keep in mind that this is not a race. Good needle work takes time, patience and attention to detail. Trying to breeze through a project won’t allow you to practice any of these things. I know very well that it can be difficult to slow down when you’re excited about a new project. But the most important thing is the end result. And if you don’t put the time in, the end result won’t be what you wanted and you’ll wind up more frustrated than you would have been otherwise.
- Know your fabrics! Fabrics are the fundamentals of sewing. Each fabric has its own unique properties, textures and benefits. Understanding fabrics like the back of your hand will save you time and will allow you to become a master of your craft. I can’t stress the importance of handling good fabric. This will be a large factor in determining how long your project holds and the comfort/usability of it. (We’ve since added a new blog post on the most popular fabrics. Learn about their uses here).
- Go one step at a time. The fundamentals of sewing are like building blocks; the knowledge base will only expand on itself. Rather than jumping straight into a complex project (remember tip #3), try learning the basics and simply adding a step for each new project. This will allow you to truly master the techniques you are learning while steadily gaining new knowledge as well.
So go ahead and get started with your sewing project. Remember not to put too much pressure on yourself and to always, most importantly, have fun!