Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Learning to Sew

There are 5 Basic steps to learn to sew:

1. Learn your machine. The best way to do this is to read the manual that came with your machine. If you have purchased a used one you can do a search online and most major companies have PDF manuals on there websites. If you are very new to sewing it's going to feel like you are reading a foreign language, and guess what you are. Every craft or Trade has it's own jargon. Don't worry about it, just read it the first time from cover to cover, not intending on knowing it all. What will happen is that as you sew your projects you'll run into things you have to do (like sew a button hole) and you'll remember where you read it and it will make more sense when you go to use it. If there is something that really confuses you and you really want to know what it is, do a search. There are lots and lots of Free online resources that will give you the answer to anything!

Manual search results

Sewing Bias Tape search

2. Learn to read and buy a pattern. To a new sewer a commercial pattern is going to seem like Hieroglyphics and again that's because they are. A new language that you have to learn. This one is easy, because it has pictures. I believe the best way to start is with PDF patterns from self published people. Most self published patterns have more detailed directions and step by step illustrations. Unlike commercial patterns which you will soon learn never fit, Self published patterns have a higher 'good end result' because there reputation rest on your satisfaction.

Search result for Reading a Sewing pattern

search result for Buying a Sewing pattern

Etsy search result for Sewing patterns.

3. How to choose your Fabric. There are endless choices of fabrics, and not all fabrics are the best choice for you every project. Even though you really can use any fabric for any project, don't limit your creativity just because a book or a website told you that is not the fabric for that project. I've used Upholstery fabric for skirts. As you work with different fabrics you'll come to know each fabrics Pro's and Con's and only with time be able to visualize in your mind the outcome of a project sewn in a particular fabric.

Search results for choosing Fabric for Clothing

4. Learn to Cut your fabric and Pattern Pieces.. Now you are ready to cut! There is a right way and plenty of wrong ways to cut fabrics. Yet at first I would start with sewing pillowcases, Aprons, Bags, and other small projects where the cutting isn't going to make a difference. So that you have time to get comfortable with cutting fabric without it effecting your projects end result.

Search result for cutting fabric

5. Sew! Then you sew! You will want to practice sewing Straight lines, square corners and curves. (I had some handouts for this - I can't find will continue looking until I find them and post them here as PDF's.) This takes practice. Again Start with simple projects so that you don't get disappointed with your results.

Search Result for 'Sewing Corners'


Katie said...

Yes! Just what I needed. I have a new craft room and a beautiful sewing machine set up that I got for Christmas. My friends all laugh though because it has produced...nothing.

Great list! Found you on SITS 31DBBB Challenge :-)
Following you now!


Kelsiesma said...

I grew up with limited resources, and Mom believed that it was important for her daughters to be able to sew, so we spent an entire summer learning to make things. We started with quilts and worked up to skirts. My mom's been gone for 10 years, and your post brought back some wonderful memories for me. Thank you!

ModistaModesta said...

Katie - surprise them all with a quick baby bib for you little one - there is a free pattern on my website (neglected at the moment but hoping to have time for more free patterns soon)

It's quick and easy - feel free to call the phone number on the pattern if you have any questions!

ModistaModesta said...

Kelsiesma I really hope they were easy quilts because four and nine patch quilts and there bindings are way harder than skirts.

That is what I love about sewing it is like it is sewn into your soul. You remember it all many years later especially if you learned from a loved one. (knitting and crochet and some other crafts are also the same way)

Amy said...

This is a great post!! I am still a beginning sewer and these are great tips!! Stopping by from 31DBBB

ModistaModesta said...

Thank you Amy - If you ever have a questions feel free to comment or email.


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