If you have just bought a new sewing machine or are about to buy one, it can be a little bewildering knowing where to start learning to sew. This sewing 101 article will help point you in the right direction and get you sewing with ease in no time.
Buying a Machine
The first thing you need for your sewing 101 introduction is a machine. You can pick up beginner sewing machines for $100-300. Look for popular brands such as Singer, Brother, and Janome. You don’t need a lot of fancy stitches when starting so even a second-hand machine will do the trick if it does a basic straight stitch and zig-zag.
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A serger is a nice tool to have once you have a little experience but not essential when you are starting out. It will neaten the seams of your garments but you can easily create durable seam finishes with a regular machine too.
- Best sewing machine for your budget
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- Sewing machine vs serger vs coverstitch machine
Once you have purchased, found or borrowed your first sewing machine, it is time to get a sewing kit together, containing all your supplies. Try getting a combined kit of basics to cut down on costs. You don’t need a lot of fancy tools to start off with.
- Beginners sewing kit
- Sewing scissors
- Marking tools
- Sewing machine needles
- 10 Best sewing machine feet
Getting your Machine Ready
So you have a machine and some basic tools – what’s next? First, prepare your machine by learning how to thread it and wind bobbins. You should also have a read through the safety section before starting to protect yourself from injury.
- Threading a machine
- How to wind a bobbin
- How to use a sewing machine – the basics you need to start your first stitches
- How to use a serger or overlocker
- Sewing safety
Starting to Read a Pattern and Cutting
Once you have your machine set up it is time to find something to sew. Try some of my free sewing projects or one of my premium sewing patterns for beginners. These articles will help with some of the basics once you have your pattern.
- What is selvage, grain and bias
- How to cut fabric
- How to pin fabric
- How to add seam allowance to sewing patterns
- Cutting notches
- Sewing pattern symbols
- Fabric marking
The Basics of Sewing
So now for the exciting part of sewing 101. Actually starting to sew. You will quickly learn that on the majority of sewing projects, the preparation takes far longer than the actual sewing. Plan ahead, take your time and it will all go smoothly.
- How to start and stop stitching a seam
- Sewing straight seams
- How to press fabric
- How to clip corners and curves
Sewing Specialty Fabrics
Once you have sewn a few small sewing projects, you will start to broaden your skills by learning how to sew different fabrics. The right needles and settings on your machine make all the difference and can turn a beautiful but hard to sew fabric into a work of art.
- Sewing Wool
- How to Sew Silk
- Sewing Fur
- Sewing Denim
- How to Sew Lace
- Sewing Leather
- How to Sew Stretch Fabric
- Sewing Sheer Fabrics
- Sewing Thick Fabrics
- Sewing Velvet
Hopefully, all goes well and you only need a minimum of sewing machine troubleshooting. But if things do go wrong, take a deep breath and read how to fix some of these common problems. Even experienced sewers still run into problems occasionally so you are in good company.
- Sewing needle keeps breaking
- How to clean a sewing machine
- Sewing machine thread keeps breaking – Top 10 TIPS
- Sewing machine skipping stitches
- Seam puckering when sewing
- Sewing machine tension
So that’s it for your sewing 101 introduction. My blog currently has over 200 learn to sew tutorials so you will find lots of helpful information to get you started. Good luck on your sewing journey. You’ll never go back!