Sewing for Beginners

Sewing
It's easy to get started sewing.

Whether you're interested in mending clothing or you hope to learn how to make projects to jazz up your home décor, it's helpful to understand a few tips on sewing for beginners.

Getting Started

Obviously, the exact tools needed to begin sewing will depend upon what type of project you want to do. However, the following items are usually considered an essential part of sewing for beginners:

  • Disappearing ink pen
  • Pins
  • Pincushion
  • Needles
  • Thread
  • Thimble
  • Tape measure
  • Seam ripper
  • Seam gauge
  • Sewing scissors
  • Iron and ironing board

You can find these items at any large craft store, such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels Crafts. If you prefer to shop online, there are also a number of retailers offering sewing supplies for beginners.

Buying a Sewing Machine

Hand sewing is perfectly acceptable if you're making a small project, such as toy for your cat or a throw pillow. Sewing by hand requires a bit of patience, but it's a good way to master the basics of fabric crafts. However, if you want to complete larger projects, you're probably going to want to invest in a sewing machine at some point.

A basic sewing machine should have a good straight stitch, a good zigzag stitch, and a buttonhole function. You don't generally need a lot of fancy embroidery stitches, unless this is the specific type of sewing you're interested in doing. Sewing machines range from simple models that cost less than $100 to very complicated devices with a price tag of $1,000 or more.

With such a wide range of sewing machines available, it's important to take the time to research your purchase carefully. Think about what types of fabrics you hope to work with, how much time you're willing to spend learning about a machine's features, and where you would take the machine for servicing if something breaks while you're in the middle of a project. Check out customer reviews on various sewing forums to see what other crafters think about the models you are considering.

One good tip for new sewers is to purchase a used machine from a shop that will allow you to trade it in at a later date. This will allow you to take your time building your sewing skills and getting familiar with the basic sewing machine features before you feel compelled to invest in all the bells and whistles.

Choosing Fabric

Many people who want to learn how to sew say they were initially attracted to the hobby because of all the pretty fabrics available. However, it's not a good idea to just start buying fabric with no particular purpose in mind. Sewing patterns generally have some specifications for what type of fabric works best in regards to fiber content, construction, and finishes.

When you're just start out sewing, one good way to save some money is to work on projects that are made from recycled materials. Using old bed sheets or outgrown clothing as a source of fabric is a thrifty way to build your sewing skills. Once you've sure you've mastered the basics, you can purchase the more expensive fabrics with confidence.

Online Resources about Sewing for Beginners

Obviously, the best way to learn about sewing for beginners is to have a friend or family member guide you through the steps involved in making pillows, curtains, or other simple sewing projects. Unfortunately, not all aspiring seamstresses have a teacher readily available. This is why the Internet is so helpful.

There are a variety of online resources available for people interested in learning how to sew. Sewing.org, for example, has tutorials covering a wide range of sewing topics --- including choosing fabrics, attaching buttons, hemming, learning to embroider, and basic quilting techniques. If you have a question about the meaning of a particular term, About Sewing has a glossary that may be helpful. For times when you need to see a specific technique being demonstrated, try searching YouTube for video tutorials.

One thing you should never have to pay for, even after you've gained some sewing experience, is sewing patterns. Visit the following LoveToKnow Crafts articles to learn more about how to find free sewing patterns online:

Sewing for Beginners