Sewing is a journey filled with ups and downs, just like life, but the tips in this post will help make it a bit smoother for any sewist, especially those that are new to the craft. A lot of the tips are common knowledge, but I’ve gathered them into one central post to make them easier to access and use!
Selecting your tools:
- Any sewing machine with basic features will do— as long as it can sew basic stitches and operate smoothly, you’re all set. However, a machine that includes essential tools is a big bonus in gathering the supplies needed to get started.
- Make an organized list of supplies you need for each project, so you know exactly what to shop for.
- Start with fabric that is easy to manage, like cotton.
- Beginner sewing tools like cutting, pressing, and sewing supplies are imperative.
Prep for your project:
- Learn how to thread your machine and wind a bobbin by using your user manual or watching a tutorial online.
- Preshrink fabric before sewing–this is crucial for sewing the right size!
- Use the sewing chart found with each pattern to take accurate measurements of your body, then map it out before beginning a project.
- Make sure to lay out the fabric so that it is cut on grain.
- Cut one layer at a time to avoid slippage.
- Place scraps into a separate container to use for testing or another project.
- Use pattern weights or clips to cut out patterns.
- If you pin, do it horizontally, spacing pins about a hands width apart being careful not to over pin. Pinning vertically is helpful if you’re pinning curves.
- Do sample stitching to make sure it works for the fabric you’re using.
- Trim threads with a thread clipper after each seam is sewn for a professional finish.
- Use a point turner to get sharp corners in collars and other edges.
- Practice sewing seams on scrap fabric and go slowly at first, building up speed as you gain confidence.
- A magnetic seam guide will help to achieve straight lines.
- Clip the corners and curves of your fabric to eliminate puckering.
- Finish seams using pinking shears at first.
- Press fabric and seams with a steam iron by using a lifting and lowering motion to remove wrinkles and set in the seam.
Working with Patterns:
- Pattern reading is easy if you use Mood’s Sewing Dictionary for help.
- Highlight marks on the fabric with tracing paper or a fabric marking pen before sewing to make them easier to see.
- Mark the selvage, grainline, and other important notes on the wrong side of the fabric for easy references.
Don’t hesitate to make the first move towards sewing. It’s not nearly as daunting as you think it is, trust me. Do a little research to pick out a pattern that excites you and get to it. Remember the tips above, and don’t be afraid to mess up– the greatest success stories usually come along with a bit of trial and error.
Which tip did you find most useful? Leave a comment below!
Looking for more?
Check out this post: Tips and Sewing Knowledge Every Sewist Needs.
Ive been sewing for a long time but usually select more simple patters (or copy my own clothes!). I bought a serger about a year ago and have been playing with that, and recently purchased a cover stitch machine so I could get a more polished look with knits. I’d really like to try to make some active wear.. the type with flat lock seams for decoration but am having trouble with the thinner stetch materials. I’m not sure who to ask or where to go for advice and hoping you might be able to either help, or direct me to someone who can help. Thanks a bunch!
I love the tips! I’ve been seeing for awhile and found it easier for me to learn a pattern by trial and error because the term printed can be so confusing! I could use the “ Mood dictionary “
Sewing with old bedsheets and pillowcases definitely helped me build confidence. It wasn’t scary to cut, and I know if I make a mistake, the losses are not too much. It also allows me to go through the process of a pattern, and figure out if the sizing is correct and if there are any parts that are tricky. I get to practice it on a low-risk fabric first, then if I’m happy, I do it with my preferred fabric.