I’ve completed quite a few projects, and I feel like I’m really getting in the groove of things. I recently even learned how to read a pattern. Now I feel like the sky is the limit! But not very long ago, I was browsing Pinterest searching for beginner sewing tutorials and googling “how to fill a bobbin”.
It can be daunting to pick up a new hobby. Sometimes it’s scary and overwhelming, but if the desire is there, you can do it!
Like everything else in life, I kind of muddled my way through the hard parts of learning to sew, blasted through the parts I thought I understood, and took a lot of time correcting my many mistakes. Thank God for seam rippers.
Learn To Sew the Basics
My first project came in kit form; directions for a travel pillowcase complete with precut fabric (a life saver). Probably the most basic project of all time. A seasoned seamstress could probably whip this up (without the precut fabric) in under 10 minutes. I, however, finished it in an afternoon… and was perfectly happy with that.
I took pride in the fact that I finished the project with only one phone call to my mom… until I lifted my creation and learned that I had misinterpreted one very major step at the beginning of the project. So, instead of one hole to slide the pillow into, I had two. My love/hate relationship with my seam ripper began that day.
Don’t be Afraid to Sew
At the beginning, I was afraid to sew anything other than a pillowcase. But after I made my second travel sized pillow case, I knew it was time to move on… so I made a full sized pillow case. Once I was sure that I did indeed know how to adequately sew a pillowcase, I decided I would finally make the place mats I’ve been dreaming of.
I knew it would be a tough task, but I really wanted to do it and I accepted the fact that I was going to make mistakes. I bought a lot of extra fabric to account for those mistakes, and I would suggest that when you’re beginning, you do the same.
The worst part was truly marking and cutting the fabric. It took me a good 3 hours to do it. I kept measuring and remeasuring and squaring everything up. It was trying, but now I know I can do it–even with tough patterns. None of the sweet old ladies at the fabric store told me that striped fabric could be difficult to sew straight. I learned that the hard way.
It took me all day long, but when I crawled into bed that night, I had 8 full sized place mats, a messy dining room, and a proud heart.
Take a Sewing Class
Another great way to get off on the right foot is to take a sewing class. Many communities offer sewing classes, as do craft stores. My local JoAnn’s Fabric offers classes, and I registered to learn how to sew a simple elastic waist circle skirt.
Unfortunately, they cancelled the class due to lack of interest. I was stuck with a pattern and fabric, and no class to attend. I would suggest pairing up if you plan to take a class like this, just to insure your class will actually take place.
Luckily, my mom grew up sewing all of her own clothing, so she knows her way around a pattern and sewing machine. After my class was cancelled, I quickly rang her and asked if she’d give me a lesson. She agreed, and the next weekend, I had my very own private sewing lesson.
So whether you know someone who sews, or have access to commercial sewing classes, take a class or two.
Don’t have anyone, or any place to take lessons? YOUTUBE! It has saved my tail too many times to count.
Practice Makes Progress
As with anything, I’ve learned that I get so much more out of sewing if I actually just do it. Even if I mess up (I keep my seam ripper handy at all times), I leave my machine much more confident than when I sat down.
If sewing is something you’ve been interested in, I encourage you to purchase a machine and get going.
I’ve discovered that there’s something oddly therapeutic about sewing, and I’m happy to have acquired the skill. I have years of special homemade gifts, perfectly tailored garments, and fun accessories ahead–you can, too!
Have you ever wanted to learn how to sew? Can you sew? What projects would you be interested in seeing?