July 12, 2016

10 sewing tips for beginners

Hey friends. So, everybody at my house is sick. I feel like we've been sick with something or other ever since we got back from Yosemite. Allergies, cold, flu, and now conjunctivitus (a mild form of pink eye). It sucks. Big time.

So! I'm going to share with you a guest post I wrote for Alexa Zurcher from He and I FOREVER ago that I felt like was a really good one!

Wish me luck with my poor sick family!

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Becoming a seamstress is a step by step – line upon line process, and that machine can be pretty intimidating when you’re just starting, but here’s a list of the things I’ve learned throughout my sewing experience that can help you get started.

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Get a good machine – Nothing kills the creative spirit quite like having to stop every two stitches because there’s a problem. Bernina is definitely my favorite brand, but they can be pretty pricey. Brother and Singers have great ratings and reviews as well, but if you can, I would suggest taking the time to save up for a Bernina. You’ll never look back.

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Pin – Take the time to pin your pieces together. Thoroughly. The more pins you use to hold the fabric together, the less likely your fabric is to shift as you sew and the better your item will turn out.
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Make friends with your seam ripper – You’re going to make mistakes. It’s okay. Most mistakes can be fixed with your friend, the seam ripper. With each picked stitch, you’re learning and getting better.

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Learn about your machine – Take a class, read your sewing machine manual (thoroughly), ask a seasoned seamstress, or watch youtube videos.

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Patterns vs. tutorials – In my experience, patterns are really great if you’re familiar with sewing terms and stitches. If you’re a beginner, tutorials are great because they include pictures and descriptions of each step.

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Start small – Don’t overwhelm yourself with a huge project on your first try. Start off with something simple, like a pillow.

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Utilize the internet – You would be amazed at how much you can learn just by watching videos.

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Fabric – Some fabrics are more forgiving than others, and better for beginners. My favorites to work with are quilting fabrics and cotton jersey blend knit fabrics. However, cotton jersey blend knit fabrics can be a little more difficult than others because they stretch. I would suggest starting with a fabric that is not slippery and that is not stretchy, like quilting fabrics.

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Needles – Different fabrics do better with different kinds of needles. One of my favorite needles is the Twin needle. It sews two lines of stitches instead of one and on the underside side it does a zig zag stitch giving clothes a finished, professional look, while also eliminating any danger of your fabric fraying.

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Have patience, and keep sewing – The more you sew, the more you learn and the better you get. You don’t get seasoned without seasoning!
I hope this gives you some guidance as you begin your journey towards becoming a confident seamstress. There’s nothing quite like finishing a project, looking at it, and thinking, “I made that. I am AWESOME!” And if you want someone else to affirm how awesome you are, send me a pic of your project. I’d love to see your creativity.
Good luck! And hopefully I’ll hear from you soon!
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