Learn how to sew with my collection of sewing tutorials and projects aimed at beginners. Start at the beginning or just click on the tutorials you need. New tutorials are added every week so make sure you follow along and learn how to sew. My sewing blog now has 300+ sewing tutorials with step by step photos and video instructions. Learn sewing online today!
How to Sew
There are 2 main ways you can sew –
- With a Sewing Machine
- By Hand
This article will first go through machine sewing giving you lots of links to articles on different topics that will help you. The second part of the article will deal with hand sewing. Hand sewing can be decorative or a quick and easy way to sew or repair a simple seam.
How to Sew By Machine
Ready to pick your adventure? Choose from some of the most popular topics below to get started.
Getting the Right Tools
When you are learning how to sew with a machine, you will first need to make sure you have all the necessary tools and equipment. Don’t go for a fancy machine if it is not in your budget. Borrow one or check out second-hand deals in your local paper. As long as your machine can do a straight stitch and preferably a zig-zag, you can sew most projects successfully.
If you do want to invest in a new machine, read my article on the best sewing machine for your budget.
Sewing machine vs Serger vs Coverstitch. Find out which is the best machine for your needs.
After you have a sewing machine, next on your list should be a basic sewing kit with thread, scissors, pins and needles. Many of these items are inexpensive and can be purchased in bundles.
- Beginner Sewing Kit – Here are the essential basic tools you will need to start sewing. Forget the fancy gadgets for now and just build yourself a simple kit that won’t cost a lot of money.
- Sewing Machine Needle Size Guide – Which sewing needle to use for your project.
- Sewing Machine Feet – Best 10 sewing machine feet to buy. Many of these will come with your machine.
- Types of Sewing Thread
Just Starting to Sew
When you are thinking about how to sew, the first thing you need is to get all your tools and then to find a piece of fabric to test some straight stitching. Always test your machine and stitches on some scrap fabric first.
If you have your machine but are not sure how to operate it, here are some articles to help. I also have links to sewing machine manufacturers you can contact if you have lost your sewing manual. For most recent machines you can get a PDF copy of the manual free or cheaply.
You will want to first try straight stitching before moving to corners and curves. Also, practice starting and stopping. Always go at a slow pace when you start so the sewing machine doesn’t feel like it is running away from you.
Best Beginner Project to Try
So, you are all set with a machine and equipment. What next? Read my article on 67+ sewing projects for beginners for lots of ideas. You will also see the free projects link in the menu up top.
These are all free patterns and tutorials so you can practice with confidence. Purchase some cheap fabric for your first projects so you can get the hang of sewing.
Most of my sewing projects have a video as well as detailed photos so you should have no problems following along even if it is your first time.
These are my 3 favorites for beginners to learn how to sew.
- Cushion Covers – This is one of the easiest cushion covers and sewing projects you can make. Imagine how satisfying it will be to look at your handiwork on the couch each day! Includes video.
- How to Make a Scrunchie – Scrunchies are made from a simple rectangle and don’t take much fabric. If you can straight stitch, you can make a scrunchie! This also includes a video.
- Baby Skirts – These skirts are made from 2 rectangles and have a simple elastic waist.
Once you had made a couple of simple items, take a look at the Treasurie sewing pattern shop for some more great beginner options.
Started Sewing and Looking to Learn More?
Once you can sew a simple seam and have all your tools, it is time to start learning some simple techniques.
Popular Sewing Techniques
There are many common techniques that you will need to know including gathering and sewing hems.
- Gathering Techniques – Different techniques are needed for different purposes. Learn different ways to gather.
- Sew Stretch Fabrics – Here’s a secret! Did you know, sewing stretch fabric is actually easier than woven fabric and faster as there is very minimal ironing? Learn the best stitches to sew stretch on your regular machine.
- Sewing Leotards – This is one of the most popular sections on my website. Learning to sew leotards is fun and easy with my video instructions.
- How to Sew Bias Tape – Learn how to make and sew bias tape including single fold, double fold and continuous.
- How to Sew Hems – This section covers wide hem, narrow hems, circular hems and more.
- Ruching – Learn how to do ruching using 4 different techniques
Looking for Embellishment Ideas?
Once you know how to sew, you will be looking for new ideas to decorate, manipulate and embellish your work to create truly individual pieces.
- How to Sew Pleats
- Pintucks (Tiny little pleats)
- Ruching (This is a type of gathering done with elastic)
- Shirring (Sewing with Elastic Thread)
- How to Fray Fabric
TRIMS AND DECORATION
- All Embellishments
- How to Sew Lace and Add Lace Trim
- Sewing Ric-Rac
- How to Sew Pockets
- How to Make Pom Poms
- Fabric Painting
When you are starting to learn how to sew and even when you have some experience, things don’t always go to plan.
Here are some common troubleshooting articles that might help. Before you start reading or tearing your hair out, I want you to breathe and just try one simple thing. RETHREAD your machine both top and bottom. I know that sounds way too simple but it is like turning your computer off and on again. Sometimes the problems magically disappear. The important thing is that you rethread top and bottom and not just one.
So if that didn’t help, here are some more specific links –
- Sewing Needle Keeps Breaking
- How to Clean a Sewing Machine
- Sewing Machine Thread Keeps Breaking
- Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches
- Seam Puckering when Sewing
- Sewing Machine Manuals
- Sewing Safety Tips for Beginners
- Sewing Machine Troubleshooting
- Sewing Machine Tension
- How to Thread a Sewing Machine
How to Sew by Hand
Sewing by hand can be done for functional purposes such as sewing a seam or decorative purposes.
The strongest hand stitch for sewing seams is the backstitch. This stitch looks like a continuous row of stitches much like a sewing machine produces although a little more irregular and messier on the back. The smaller your stitches, the strong the seam will be.
My article on how to backstitch will show you how to stitch lines, corners and change threads. It includes a video for visual learners and lots of photos.
If you are looking for a quick and easy hand seam then running stitch will be your best bet. This simple up and down stitch is by far the easiest you can do and takes very little time. Like the backstitch, the smaller your stitches the stronger your seam.
If you look at the photo below, you will see that running stitch has gaps in between the stitches while the backstitch is all joined together.
You may be learning how to sew by hand in order to decorate clothing or other sewing projects. Embroidery is also a good option when repairing clothing as you can use it to cover holes and stains.
MORE EMBROIDERY ARTICLES
- Blanket Stitch
- Buttonhole Stitch
- Chain Stitch
- Couching Embroidery Tutorial
- Cross Stitch
- Double Herringbone Stitch
- Embroidery Basics
- Faggoting Embroidery
- Feather Stitch
- Fern Stitch
- Fishbone Stitch
- Fly Stitch
- French Knots
- Herringbone Stitch
- Lazy Daisy
- Running Stitch
- Sashiko Embroidery
- Satin Stitch
- Seed Stitch Embroidery (Rice Stitch)
- Stem Stitch
- Straight Stitch
- Web Stitch | Embroidery Tutorial
- Whip Stitch
There are times when you will need an invisible stitch to repair a hole in a seam of clothing or a stuffed toy for your kids. This stitch is commonly called a ladder stitch or slip stitch.
If you use a matching color thread, this hand stitch will be almost unnoticeable when you have finished.
Full Article: Invisible Stitch
How to Sew for Money
Do you want to make money from sewing? Of course, you do! Sewing can be a great way of making a bit of extra money doing something you love.
Exploring How to Sew
Good luck on your sewing journey. I hope my sewing blog helps you get started. If you are looking for something in particular use the search bar up the top.