These are the questions I am most frequently asked. “How did you learn to sew?” “Where do I find patterns and fabric?” “How do I start sewing if I have never sewn before?” This article will share how I started sewing, the supplies I needed, where I shop for patterns, fabric, and my top 5 tips for beginners. If you prefer to read, there is also a video version. Let’s get started!
A sewing machine is the first thing you will need. My mom has an old Singer machine that works well. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the machine options available on the market to make a recommendation. They are a significant investment, however. If you are on a tight budget, you might consider borrowing one from a family member or friend, or buying one secondhand. Most importantly, a model such as janome derby sewing machines will be the essential aspect.
Other than that, here is a list of basic supplies I use regularly:
- Fabric scissors
- Measurement tape or ruler
- Stitch unpicker
- Safety pin or bodkin
- Fabric chalk
You will also need notions, depending on the pattern. Some patterns require buttons, elastic, bias tape, and others call for buttons. Many of these items can be found at your local thrift shop, which allows you to reuse things that others don’t use anymore and save a lot of cash.
A sewing journal is one more thing I do. Each piece I make I keep a sewing journal that records the pattern, fabric used and any notes, such as changes I made, mistakes I made or things I would do differently next time. It helps me to remember what I did wrong and keep track of my errors.
Growing up in the 80’s, patterns were sold by a handful of large companies. These included Butterick, McCall’s and Simplicity. These companies are still available today, however, there are many smaller independent designers who offer more options. Indie patterns are my favorite because they feel more modern and it’s good for small businesses. A computerized model can help you the most with sewing patterns. Therefore, visit brother lx3817 reviews to know how this model can bring fabulous results.
The free patterns available at the Fabrics Store near you are a great resource. You don’t need to spend a lot upfront to learn how to use these great patterns. The Thread also has a glossary of sewing skills that you can use to help you learn. They are definitely worth checking out.
There are many options out there and it is so much fun to try them all. This list should be a great starting point.
Here are some patterns I believe would be great for beginners:
Because it is easier to find sustainable fibres like hemp and linen online, I tend to buy most of my fabric online. My last trip to my local big-box fabric shop, I couldn’t find any 100% linen and they were extremely expensive. Many smaller companies have great fabrics and ship internationally.
Because I find it easier to sew with woven fabrics, such as linen and cotton, when it comes to fabric I prefer to use woven fabrics like cotton or linen. They are great for beginners because they don’t have as much stretch and won’t slip around as often while you sew them.
Sewing a looser, more fluid linen garment, especially when it comes to clothing is much easier than putting together a fitted piece of clothing like a pair or button-up blouse. Linen pieces are very fashionable these days. Linen is an entirely natural fibre that will biodegrade, making it more sustainable and eco-friendly. Fabrics selection is crucial step, but an ideal sewing machine model such as brother lx3817 holds even a higher priority.
Fabric can be costly, especially if you are using a lot for a large project. You can also find scrap fabric at your local thrift shop to practice your sewing skills.
A toile, or muslin is a type of test-run made from scrap fabric by some sewists. This is especially helpful for complex patterns as it allows you to familiarize yourself with the steps and lets you know if you need to make any adjustments to ensure a perfect garment. If you are looking to save money, I recommend buying scrap fabric from secondhand shops.
- Start small. Start with a pair of elastic-waist, loose pants. One of my first projects was making pyjamas. This is a great way for you to practice. If they don’t work out, you can just wear them around the house, or in bed, so it doesn’t really matter.
- Test your machine on scrap fabric. As I said, practice on scrap fabric to get a feel for your machine. This will give you a good feel for the machine and save fabric.
- Before you start, make sure to read the entire pattern. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the various steps and techniques within a pattern. This is what I do before I cut out my pattern. This gives me a good idea of what I need and allows me to think about any adjustments that I might need as I go.
- As you sew, try on your garment. You can quickly test your garment as you go to sew or finish a step. As you are working on each step, it is much easier to make changes (such as removing a seam or increasing the seam allowance) than after you have finished.
- Take it slow and enjoy the journey. Do not rush, and be as thorough as possible. But remember that mistakes happen all the time. You can always pick them up and make another attempt. It’s all part of learning. Do not put pressure on yourself, and remember to have fun. That’s why you’re sewing.
If you are looking to start sewing, I recommend that you choose a beginner-friendly design, buy some fabric at the thrift shop, and get a machine. My opinion is that learning by doing is the best way to learn.
There are so many sewing resources available. Stitch Collective and The Fold Line are two of my favorite YouTube channels. If you don’t know how to complete a particular step, even if you are threading your machine, you can do a quick Google search. I’m certain you will find the answer.