Beginner Sewing Tips
Trying sewing for the first time? This is a great guide for the beginner!
Have you ever sewn something on your own before? If so, you know what it’s like to create something out of nothing. It is an amazing feeling of accomplishment, plus you have the garment to wear. When I’m wearing something that I’ve made, I tend to think to myself "I made this, and no one would know it unless I told them." Sewing is also a fun, and economical way to keep up with the latest fashions. And, it isn’t hard to do, because if I can learn how, anyone can!
To begin with, please remember to pre-wash your material. If you don’t pre-wash, your garment will probably shrink about one size. I personally do not like to pre-wash, and if you’re like me, you will want to make your garment one or two sizes bigger than you’ll need, so it can shrink in the wash. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much room for garments that must fit precisely, and for those I highly recommend pre-washing.
For your first few attempts at sewing, try simple things like pants or shorts with elastic in the waist. Undertaking a garment with a zipper, for example, may just make you frustrated, and cause you to give up. Your first ventures may not turn out all that great, but if wearable, you could wear them around the house on weekends when you’re cleaning, etc..
Make sure you iron your pattern flat before pinning it to the material. I can’t stress this enough! If you don’t iron first, you may end up with some funny looking pieces of material.
Pinning the pattern to the material the correct way is very important as well. Ensure that the grain arrows on the pattern are pointing the right way. There are instructions inside the pattern itself that will illustrate for you exactly how to pin the pattern to the material. Follow these as closely as you can.
I have a tendency to buy excess material. This is a good practice to get into, in case you want to add pockets that you didn’t account for when you bought the material for example. As well, any excess material that you have can be eventually used to make a quilt.
If you have an owner’s manual for your sewing machine, familiarize yourself with how it works. Try out a couple different types of material on it to see what stitches work best for which cloth. Some machines have interesting capabilities, like embroidery, and button-hole making. Find out what your machine can do for you. Button-holes are very difficult, and tend to be time consuming to do by hand!
Each pattern has specific instructions on how to pin, cut, sew, etc. Before you cut the pattern out, make sure you read the information pertaining to the pattern you are using. If there is anything you don’t understand, the clerks at most fabric shops know what to do, and can probably explain it to you. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions.
Above all, enjoy yourself! Sewing as a hobby is fun, and can add some interesting dimensions to your wardrobe. Kids never tire of hand-made costumes, and they don’t ask for perfection. Any mistakes you make can simply be added to your rag back for future use as a quilt!