Sewing 101: An Overview for Beginners

There are so many advantages to learning how to sew. It’s relaxing, creative and fun. Being able to mend ripped and torn clothing will save you money. And once you develop your sewing skills, you can make a little extra on the side doing sewing projects for other people.

So what does a beginner need to know before getting serious about sewing? Here are a few things you’ll need to think about.

Learning How to Sew

Learning how to sew can seem intimidating, especially if you’ve rarely, if ever, picked up a sewing needle. But no matter how much sewing experience you have, there are countless ways to begin or continue your sewing education.

Taking a class is a quick way to learn about the art and craft of sewing. There is probably a local community college or community center in your area that offers sewing courses. Classes for beginners usually meet once a week for up to six weeks, and focus on teaching basic terms and techniques, giving you a solid foundation to build on. If you’re lucky, you can take one of these classes for free. But even if you have to pay a small fee, what you learn will make the cost worthwhile.

Books can also help you develop your sewing knowledge. If you’ve never really sewn before, learning specific techniques from a book can be a challenge. But books can teach you about different techniques, important definitions, different types of sewing, the wide array of fabrics there are to choose from, and so on.

Online video tutorials are another great learning tool. Not only do you get to hear someone explain a technique, you also get to see the technique in action. And, when it comes to sewing, being able to see how something is actually done can make all of the difference.

Choosing a Sewing Machine for Beginners

Choosing a new sewing machine can be pretty exciting, whether you’re a beginner, a novice, or a sewing pro. And it can be hard not to give in to temptation and buy the fanciest, most feature-loaded machine available.

However, for a newbie, buying an overpowered sewing machine isn’t the best idea. Instead, you need a machine that’s easy to learn and easy to use. So choose a high quality model that’s basic and simple.

Once you get your sewing machine home, start learning all you can about it. Read the owner’s manual from cover to cover. Search online for information about your specific model. Learn the name, function and purpose of every part and piece, from the bobbins to the presser foot. The better you know your sewing machine, the faster you’ll learn to use it.

Think About Supplies

Sewing is a pastime that involves a lot of supplies and equipment. And learning about the supplies you’ll need, and what each tool is used, is almost as important as learning about your sewing machine.

One of the first things you should do is put together a hand sewing kit. Yes, you plan to do most of your sewing on your sewing machine. But you will still find it necessary to do a lot of sewing by hand. Besides, hand sewing can be a relaxing way to pass the time, whether you’re enjoying a relaxing afternoon at home, or enduring a boring wait in the doctor’s office.

So what do you need in your hand sewing kit?  First you’ll need hand sewing needles of every shape and size. A needle threader will also come in handy, because trying to thread a tiny needle without one can be an exercise in frustration. And, to protect your fingers from being jabbed by pointy needles, you should also have a thimble or two.

Other supplies that should be in your hand sewing kit include shears, straight pins, fabric marking pens, a seam ripper, a tape measure and, of course, thread.

A Sewing Room

For many, a sewing room is a relaxing retreat where they can go to sew in peace and quiet. However, having a sewing room serves another purpose. You don’t want your supplies spread throughout the house. You want one place to store all of your supplies so that it’s organized and easy to find.

Is there a room in your house that can be dedicated to sewing? This can be a guest bedroom that never gets used, an attic that’s been converted to living space, or a storage room (preferably with a window) that can be quickly cleaned out.

If you can’t dedicate a specific room to sewing, you can still lay claim to a corner of a room that sees limited use. This can be the garage, a basement, or a home office.

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