The First Steps: How to Start Sewing Your First Project
How to Start Sewing Your First Project
There is nothing quite like making your first garment, both in frustration and joy. We agree, however, the hardest part is knowing how to start sewing.
Have you ever seen a piece of clothing and thought about recreating it? Maybe there was a dress you wanted to buy, but it sold out. Or maybe it's always been a dream of yours to make your own clothes.
Whatever your reason, learning to sew is a useful skill to have. Not only can you fix torn garments as well as create your own. But if you've never picked up a needle or used a sewing machine, you may be wondering how to start sewing.
While a gorgeous ball gown may not be your first project, you can still make new clothes you love. Here are the first steps you need to know before your first sewing project.
As tempting as it is, you can't jump into a sewing project without being prepared. The truth is that sewing takes some preparation before you can start creating. This is what you need to sew your first project.
A good pair of fabric scissors is essential for any sewing project. And they need to be scissors specifically for fabric. Scissors you have in your home may be able to cut through thinner fabrics, but they'll struggle through thicker materials.
Standard scissors may also not leave behind a clean line on the fabric, leaving you with more work to cover up the jagged edges in the future. Fabric scissors are much sharper, so you won't have a problem no matter what material you're working with.
You may be asking why you need two types of scissors, but many professional seamstresses have a few different blades in their tool kit. But for beginners, embroidery scissors are a good start to a scissor collection.
Because of their smaller size and their design for thread, embroidery scissors are ideal for snipping thread. And because of their long, skinny blades, you're able to get the thread in higher areas.
This is a must-have tool, no matter what you're making. When it comes to making clothes, a tape measure is the difference between a garment that fits right and one that hangs unflatteringly.
Use a tape measure to make sure your project comes out in the right-sized. Many crafters—both amateur and professional—live by the motto "measure twice, cut once."
All crafters make mistakes, so a seam ripper is great for beginners. This tool is exactly what it sounds like. It rips out seams. This is great for people learning to sew because if you make a mistake, you don't have to live with it.
Use the tool to pick at the seams until you undo your mistake. A pro tip is to place the ball side of the seam ripper below the fabric and slowly run the tool through the seams. This can help prevent ripping your fabric.
Chalk or Sewing Markers
Chalk is a must-have for beginner sewers. This is to mark up your fabric, which can help you know where to cut, fold, or pin the fabric. This is essential because you can't use a regular pen.
Both chalk and a sewing marker will wash away with water, so there's no risk of ruining your fabric with stray ink marks.
Pins, Needles, and Accessories
"Pins and needles" isn't only a colloquial phrase; they're a must for all who sew. Pins will help keep your fabric together whether you're adding a hem or sewing together two pieces of fabric.
Needles are what do the sewing by hand or with a machine. But the two are different so you'll want both.
You'll also want to get some accessories for your pins and needles. Thimbles will help you from getting your fingers pricked, and a needle threader helps to feed the thread through the eye of your needle.
You also might want a pincushion or holder to keep track of your pins and needles.
A Sewing Machine
Lastly, if you're making garments, you'll want to get a sewing machine. While you can sew clothes by hand—and there are some details that require it—your project will be much cleaner and go much faster if you use a machine.
As a beginner, choosing a sewing machine may seem overwhelming. When you're starting to learn how to sew, a machine that does the basics is perfect. Once you get more comfortable, you can upgrade to one with more features.
Beginner Sewing Tips
If you haven't made any clothing, then you have to start slowly. Choose a project that's marked for beginners, so you don't overwhelm yourself. And when you start your project, be sure to follow the directions, so your clothes turn out the way it's intended.
This includes measurement suggestions and cutting for seam allowance. It's always better to have more fabric and trim some away rather than not have enough. Speaking of seams, you should iron your seams so they lay flat.
Your fabric scissors should be like a prized possession. You should never use them to cut paper or use them on anything other than fabric since that can dull them.
You should also study and practice the different types of stitches—both on a machine and by hand. Making details like pleats can require a special stitch. While you may use one stitch more than others, it's essential to know as many as possible.
Learn How to Start Sewing
Sewing is an evergreen skill; it will always be useful even if you only know the basics. You don't have to be a professional seamstress to fix a garment or even make one from scratch.
Learning how to start sewing can open up many creative windows for you. From making your own wardrobe to sewing pieces for your friends and family to starting a small business, sewing presents tremendous opportunities.
But before you start a fabric and thread empire, you have to begin somewhere. Learning the sewing basics are the first steps to beginning your future sewing projects.
Inspired to start your very own sewing projects? Try out our easy to follow pattern-free designs and start creating your own clothes today.