The world of fashion is full of life and creativity— a place where you can dare to wear whatever you want. However, many fashion lovers are only buyers instead of creators. Sewing may seem like it’s far too difficult to figure out because there are so many fabrics, notions, and techniques that go along with it. Being a beginner sewist isn’t a walk in the park for anyone–even the most talented designers had to keep learning and evolving. Luckily, with a little curiosity, some fabric, and a whole lot of patience, you’ll get pretty far.
Do Some Research
Virtually everyone in the world has access to the internet. This is where a beginner sewist can either get very inspired or get very overwhelmed. There is so much to learn and to take in. I know I also felt like I was in way over my head at times. On the bright side, the sewing community is chock full of endless possibilities and knowledge. With a few clicks, you can find information on exactly the fabric, style, or technique you’re working on. Learning which resources work best for you early on is a sure-fire way to build a foundation that will propel you in the right direction. Although I’m biased to Sewciety, there are truthfully many other resources that are right at your fingertips.
Utilize Your Research
Step One in Sewing: Use your resources.
This bank of resources looks a little different for everyone. Below, I’ve included some useful tips and links for the beginner sewist.
I reach out to the community of sewists around me and dive into books like the Mood fashionary. Mood Sewciety is an excellent place to start (trust me, you’ll wanna stay awhile). It’s bursting with information that tackles so many aspects of the sewing journey. Visit Mood’s Online School of Sewing to find free patterns with tutorials attached, educational videos, informational guides, and posts that cover various sewing topics for all sewists, including beginners.
Things to remember when beginning:
- Take your time.
- Pay attention to your seam allowance.
- Accuracy is important from the beginning to the end.
- Check out our shop by project feature to make the fabric selection process easier.
- Research the fabric you’re using by checking out our posts like this one on double cotton gauze to make the process easier. This includes selecting the right needle, thread, and presser foot to go along with the fabric.
- Select patterns that you understand and are interested in making. Follow them diligently and closely.
- Find your favorite way to take measurements and stick with it— consistency is key.
- Research common sewing terms. Knowing how to determine the grainline and the difference between pressing and ironing are crucial but fundamental concepts you need to know.
- Venture out to try new techniques. Learning how to work with notions or special seam finishes only seem daunting in the beginning.
- Just get started— You’re bound to make mistakes, and that’s okay.
Obtain the Essentials
Search for tools that you’ll need for your upcoming projects.
Must-have notions include :
- Sewing machine: Our Mood sewing machine comes with a good amount of the essentials.
- Shears or rotary cutter
- Quality thread
- Pins and wonder clips
- Cutting mat
- Needles in a variety of sizes
- Clear ruler
- Marking tools
Find many of these items in Mood’s intermediate sewing kit!
Select Beginner Friendly Fabric
Fabrics like cotton and linen are perfect for warm weather, while flannel and wool are more suitable for cooler weather. They’re easy to work with because they don’t tend to stretch or slide when being managed. Check out Mood to shop by sewing level. This feature advances from beginner to intermediate sewist— it grows along with you.
Find basic patterns perfect for beginners here.
Tackle Your Fears
With every project, you should challenge yourself to learn a new skill like sewing lines curves, and corners with Helen Castillo or learning how to master a new hem or seam finish. Starting small is a-okay!
Sewing is very rewarding— I started by making pencil bags and a drawstring backpack, which kept me grounded. The best way to be a sewing detective is to keep asking questions and pushing yourself forward. It’s easy to get frustrated when doing anything in life, but anything worth doing takes a little grace and a lot of patience.
It’s especially helpful to have a productive way to spend your free time right now with the whispers about another lockdown going around.