Sewing

How I Started Sewing

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Happy New Year! I get asked quite often how I learned how to sew, so I decided to write this blog post! I love that so many people are interested in sewing their own clothes. Perhaps your new years resolution is to learn how to sew. I hope this helps you gain the courage to start your own sewing journey.

I first used a sewing machine in 6th grade home ec class. I remember making a pillow and it not being very impressive. My mom had a sewing machine at home and I would use it every once in a while- not really knowing what I was doing besides a basic stitch. Fast forward to senior year of high school where I only had to take English and Math and needed to fill my schedule with some other classes… so I signed up for a fashion sewing class. Unfortunately the class had a lot of girls in it and it was hard to get one on one time with the teacher. I would spend most of the class standing in line wondering what I was supposed to do next. I did learn a bit more though and had a better understanding of how things worked. For the next five years, I altered some of my clothing and I made a couple dresses that I wasn’t completely happy with. I pretty much stuck with hand sewing accessories.  I had asked for a serger for Christmas one year and never took it out of the box because I was too intimidated!

When I met my husband, he convinced me I should (and could!) make my own clothing. The following Christmas, I took some gift cards I had received and bought a couple books that stood out to me on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and some nice new tools from Michaels to add to my collection. I even took the serger out of the box and set it up! I spent every day reading bits of those books until I had read them each cover to cover at least once. Then I started to make projects from them and became more comfortable learning new skills. Three years later, I make clothes regularly (as you can see!) and I don’t let a pattern scare me. It may require new skill, but I know it’s possible to make if I just follow the instructions and do my research. Not everything turns out perfectly and that’s OKAY. I try not to beat myself up about it anymore. I recently let go of some makes that just weren’t quite right but I felt bad because I had spent time and money on them. In the end though, I learned from them and I enjoyed the process.

Here are all of the resources I recommend for someone starting out. Consider how you like to learn best- do you like to read? do you need to see a video? or do you need to attend a class to be held accountable?

Books:

Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes

This was one of the first books I bought. I really love this book and I’ve mentioned it several times on here. It’s a great book for a beginner. You learn skills with the coinciding patterns and they get a little more complicated as the book goes on.

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual by Gretchen Hersch

This was the other of the first books I bought. I love vintage style and I was drawn to the patterns included in this book. There’s a lot of great information in this book too, though.

Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing by Gretchen Hersch

I bought this book about a year after the other one. Again, more great vintage inspired patterns and information. Great for a beginner as well as an intermediate sewer.

The Colette Sewing Handbook 

I don’t own this book. BUT I love Colette and I’ve heard great things about this book for beginners. I definitely think it is worth checking out.

E Courses:

Tilly and the Buttons

I’ve never used one of her courses, but if they are anything like her book- I’m sure they are great! There’s one on using a sewing machine which would be very useful if you don’t know where to begin!

Magazines:

Seamwork

I’m sure you know by now that I love Seamwork. I love getting 2 new patterns each month and the articles are really helpful! I like that I can look back on previous issues and articles when I’m working on a certain skill.

Classes: 

If you learn better in a classroom with a teacher there to answer your questions, consider taking a class! Check your local fabric store as a lot of them offer classes. I recently signed up for a few myself, because I feel I still have more to learn and improve at.

Youtube:

If all else fails, there’s always Youtube! If I’m unsure about something, I’ll jump on there. It helps to see someone do something rather than reading about it sometimes.

Happy sewing! I hope this helps. I will continue to add resources to this. Please let me know if there is anything I can help with!

3 thoughts on “How I Started Sewing

  1. Great recommendations for beginners! Anita by Design and Mimi G are also great resources for step by step instructions. They often post their sew along videos on YouTube free of charge. There are others too, but those are the two I thought of off the top of my head! Thanks for sharing!

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