Many aspire to learn the skill of sewing but fear that they might fail in the process of acquiring it. However, sewing can be learned, especially in the era in which we have full access to tutorials, step-by-step guides and so on. If you already own a sewing machine, then you can start purchasing your supplies. If not, you must first invest in your first sewing machine. Below we have a small guide that might help you in the process of learning how to sew.
Invest in a machine with all-metal parts
Cheaper models have plenty of plastic parts. You want to avoid those, if you are not willing to permanently replace them. On the other hand, a great sewing machine, entirely manufactured from metal, will certainly last you quite some time (even more than 50 years, in some cases!). Even if replacement parts for plastic sewing machines might be more affordable, in the end you will spend quite some money on them. Read the instructions when you first buy it, as well as its spec. They will help you plenty later on. For a beginner, a simpler model, with 12 types of stiches, might be the perfect choice. In time, as you become more skilled, you can easily sell it (or even gift it to a beginner friend) and invest in a more advanced one, like this Singer 7258 Sewing Machine.
Get to know your fabrics
Fabric plays a great role in the sewing process, being necessary to manipulate it as it goes under the needle. This is why choosing the right fabric might be just as important as choosing a great sewing machine. There are three variables that determine how well the fabric will behave: the weight, the stretch, and the fiber content. You can learn more about fabrics from books and online guides.
- The weight of the fabric depends on the composition, and how it “feels”. Lightweight fabrics are the see-through ones, mid weight fabrics are the more consistent ones, and heavy weight fabrics are those with a compact composition, which create a substantial girth.
- The fabric’s stretch is determined by their ability to stretch (or not) when pulled from both lengthwise and widthwise. Stretchy materials will have accentuated features, whilst non-stretch fabrics, obviously, won’t.
- The fiber content. This variable matters, because fabrics manufactured in natural fibers have better processing qualities. As a beginner, you want to make sure that you work with a non-stretch, natural fiber fabric, in a mid-weight composition.
Hints and tips to help you
There are certain circumstances that might help you to sew better. Besides a trusty sewing machine and reliable supplies, you want to make sure that you watch some great tutorials and:
- Consider your sewing machine placement. You must place your machine on a flat surface that is easy and comfortable to work on.
- The lighting – sewing is better in bright light, so consider this. Most machines come with a “sewing light” incorporated, but if it is necessary, as some yourself as well.
- Always wash fabrics before cutting and sewing. This way your fabric will become suppler, and oftentimes it will shrink in the process. If your fabric allows you to do so (it’s not sequined, wool or other sensitive fabrics), do it.
These are some simple rules all those who want to learn this skill should follow. Also, make sure to always read new guides and rules, as you become more advanced.