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5 Sewing Tips for Beginners

During the pandemic, 59% of Americans picked up a new hobby. For some, it was a passive activity like watching Netflix or playing video games. For others, it was a chance to hone their skills, like baking, woodworking, or sewing.

Craft hobbies are great because you have a finished product that you can enjoy or share with loved ones. These five sewing tips for beginners will help you get started on your new hobby.

1. Gather the Right Tools

For sewing, you need tools that make working with fabric easier. For example, pins hold your fabric pieces together. Or a seam ripper makes taking apart a seam easy.

Gather a list of basics so you don’t have to stop mid-project and run to the store.

  • Pins
  • Pin cushion
  • Fabric scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing needles
  • Thread
  • Tailor’s chalk or disappearing ink pen
  • Clear ruler
  • Tailor’s tape measure

2. Learn Your Sewing Machine

You don’t need a fancy sewing machine as a beginner. Instead, look for a good quality one that can perform a few different stitches. Even experienced sewers do not use specialty stitches all of the time.

Spend some time reading the manual to learn how to operate the functions. Then, add thread and follow its path to understand its placement. This helps later when your machine inevitably jams.

3. Learn the Language

The language for sewing is symbol based. When you open your first pattern, you will see symbols that let you know what you are supposed to do. For example, a line with an arrow at each end signifies the grainline.

The grainline is for woven fabrics. It tells you where to place the fabric on the pattern.

A line and “X” will mark where you place a buttonhole and button. Two parallel lines tell you where you can lengthen or shorten a pattern to fit your body. Finally, a dashed line tells you where to stitch.

4. Familiarize Yourself With Fabrics

Fabrics like cotton, linen, flannel, and Ponte are all beginner friendly. They are affordable, stay put, easy to cut, and move through a sewing machine smoothly. This lets you focus on your skills without struggling with the fabric.

Avoid stretchy and slippery fabrics because they are the hardest to work with. Examples include silk, sateen, satin, and chiffon because they move all over the place.

Stretchy fabrics can get hung up in the sewing machine. It’s easy to unknowingly stretch the fabric while sewing. The result is a wonky stitch line that won’t sit flat.

5. Start Simple

The biggest mistake beginners make is tackling more than they are ready for. Choose a simple pattern that’s designed for beginners. This could be an envelope pillow, shorts, peasant dress, or a tunic tee.

Avoid closures and complicated seams, as these take practice and skill. You need the basics of putting two pieces of fabric together first. Then, as you get better, you can tackle zippers, darts, pleats, and buttons.

Start Sewing Today

With these sewing tips, you are ready to tackle your first project. Start by gathering your tools and sewing machine. Then, pick a simple pattern and fabric to work with.

Purchase a sewing machine and get started on your new hobby.

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