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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!