Being new to sewing is frustrating, especially if you have a lot of creative projects and ideas, but no experience whatsoever to turn them to reality. But don’t feel let down, because you can take baby steps and slowly develop sewing skills without a teacher. As complex as they might seem, modern sewing machines are actually user friendly and anyone can learn how to use them. The best thing you could do is to take things one at a time and cover the basics before you get to the complexities and subtleties of sewing. Here are our top tips if you’re new to sewing:
Get used to sewing terminology
Stitches, bobbins, grainline, inseam, point presser…if you want to learn how to sew, then you’ll need to get used to the terminology. Don’t wait until you use a sewing machine for the first time to read a glossary. You must know these terms in advance so you can understand sewing machine specs and instructions. If you have a photographic memory, then use this illustrated list of sewing terms.
Buy a user-friendly sewing machine
Dream big, but start slow. You won’t enjoy sewing too much if you start doing it on a complicated, feature-packed sewing machine made for experts. To avoid confusion, headaches and frustration, start with a mid-range, beginner friendly model, such as the Brother CS6000i, which is also very affordable and doesn’t have a presser foot pedal.
There are many illustrated guides for people who are new to sewing, but pictures can be difficult to understand. What you need to do is watch YouTube tutorials, because you get to see the actual sewing machine in action. There is a huge online community of sewing enthusiasts that upload everything from basic guides to intricate how-tos. This playlist by Crafty Amy is really useful for beginners and will get you through all the basics.
Get your supplies
When you sit down to start sewing, you should have all the necessary supplies laid out in front of you. There is nothing more annoying that being halfway through a project only to discover that you don’t have everything to complete it. Before you get started, invest in a complete sewing kit and you’ll be good to go.
Find sewing patterns
Until you become an expert and create your own sewing patterns, it’s better to work based on existing ones. No matter what you’d like to sew, there’s a pattern for it. Basic ones are usually available for free download, but others cost money. If you’re ready to invest in paid patterns, Etsy is the best site for this.