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Why to learn to sew?

Updated on January 29, 2015
Some of my own sewing supplies.
Some of my own sewing supplies.

Learn a Little or Learn a Lot

Sewing can be a hobby or an art. A profession or a quick fix skill.

With the basics of sewing you can:

  • Fix ripped seams, tears, holes, etc.
  • Sew on patches
  • Replace buttons
  • Hem long pants or skirts
  • Add embellishments to boring clothes

By improving your sewing techniques you can:

  • Make your own garments
  • Design and make costumes or cosplays
  • Fix the fit of old clothes with some tailoring
  • Completely change old clothes into new ones


Where to Start

When people ask me about why I started sewing I usually respond with, "Because I grew up watching That's So Raven." For those of you who don't know the Disney Channel show, it's about a teen psychic who is an aspiring fashion designer and often makes or alters her own clothes. I loved the idea of what Raven did for herself by sewing, so I wanted to do it too. I asked for a sewing machine for my 15th birthday, and when I got it I was ecstatic, but I had no idea where to start sewing. So the machine went into a closet and was forgotten, until last year.

When I pulled that basic Singer sewing machine down from the shelf I had to ask myself a few questions, which I've included below for you to answer according to yourself.

"Why do you want to learn?"

  • For yourself, for family, for art, for profit?

"How do you want to learn?"

  • Friend, family member, community class, maybe store taught class, or all of the above?

"What kind of sewing do you want to do?"

  • Fixing something, small projects, making clothes or costumes?

"How much do you want to dedicate towards sewing?"

  • Time, energy, money, creativity, all of the above?

If you want a professional to help you get started, you can take a class for cheap when places like Joann's puts out coupons for you to use and learn with.
If you want a professional to help you get started, you can take a class for cheap when places like Joann's puts out coupons for you to use and learn with. | Source

Ways to Keep Costs Down

Depending on why you're learning to sew, it can be an expensive skill or hobby. As a recent college graduate I'm trying to save as much money as I can while still keeping up with my love for sewing. Here's some tips on keeping costs low with sewing:

Coupons

These aren't just the filler between the comics and the obituaries in the Sunday paper. These are money saving gold. In a hobby/craft store insert you might find coupons that range from percentages off a single item, a percent off your whole purchase, or a service (like classes or framing).

Sales

Yes, we know these exist. From Black Friday to Semi-Annual Blowouts, sales are a big part of our shopping lives. But I'm reminding you of them because craft stores have sales often and on different items or fabrics every time.

Goodwill/Other Secondhand Stores

These aren't just for getting cheap clothes (which you can alter *wink wink nudge nudge*). In most secondhand and Goodwill stores there is a fabrics section. This area contains curtains, sheets, tablecloths, and other various fabric items. You can get yards of fabric, perhaps from a curtain, for much cheaper than you could get in a craft or fabric store.

Your Own Closet!

If you own clothes, you have fabric. Most people have something they hardly wear, a piece given to them or bought at a different time/weight. You can use these items to practice stitching on, or to use to create new items. You can ask friends or family to help you out, because chances are they have clothes they don't need/wear and they've been meaning to take them to a secondhand shop anyways.

A simple Singer sewing kit that can be bought prepackaged.
A simple Singer sewing kit that can be bought prepackaged. | Source
A Singer sewing kit with sewing basket, prepackaged as well.
A Singer sewing kit with sewing basket, prepackaged as well. | Source

What to Get Started

Sewing needs tools, and whether you're hand sewing or using a machine, I'd advise some requirements for a basic sewing kit.

What you’ll need in a Basic Sewing Kit:

  • Needles (Hand sewing or machine)
  • Needle threader
  • Pin holder
  • Pincushion
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Tape measure
  • Thimble
  • Thread

Advice for First Projects

If I've convinced you to go out and actually learn to sew, then great!

If you're wondering where to get started, let me suggest some projects:

  • Pillowcase-these are common practice items and many Sewing 101 classes may teach you how to make these.
  • Easy Pattern-in sewing pattern books, they have sections for easy and beginner projects. Look for something you want to make and you think you can learn from.
  • Blanket-super simple and can be made pretty quick. (Don't confuse this for a quilt, that's a whole other matter.)

"What fabric should I use?", you may ask. I'd say start with a cotton or seersucker(as it can be pretty forgiving), that's what I started with and you can make quite a few things with these fabrics.

Fair warning! Most patterns suggest what you should make the item out of, so look out for what the pattern says and what you're comfortable working with.

My first sewing project, a circle skirt that was a free pattern from Joann's. I didn't know my sewing machine at this point and fudged halfway through making this skirt, then decided to carry on with hand-stitching. (Modeled by me real quick)
My first sewing project, a circle skirt that was a free pattern from Joann's. I didn't know my sewing machine at this point and fudged halfway through making this skirt, then decided to carry on with hand-stitching. (Modeled by me real quick)

Don't Forget!

Sewing is a skill, something learned and something practiced. If you decide to start sewing, don't expect everything to come out flawless the first time. My best advice is to just keep practicing. Like learning to write letters as a kid, do lines and lines of the same type of stitches to perfect them, both by hand and on machines. Sewing machines do a lot of the work, but they don't do it all.

I hope this Hub helped you with getting started sewing, and if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section!

Let Me Know!

Did this Hub help inspire you to sew?

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© 2015 Samantha

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    • SammichMcClure profile imageAUTHOR

      Samantha 

      3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      MimiKat33: I'm glad you agree!

      One of the reasons I made this post is because I did a speech of a similar quality for a class a short while ago. When I asked how many people knew how to sew, and at what level, most said they could barely sew a button on.

      After my speech many said they were now interested in sewing because of all the info I had given them, which made me really glad. So I figured, why not make a hub to inspire those who weren't in that class? :)

    • MimiKat33 profile image

      MimiKat33 

      3 years ago from Northeastern NY State, USA

      I have been sewing since my teens (I'm now over 50) and I agree with all the reasons you listed for sewing. The money you can save and that feel- good feeling you get when you mend a piece is great.

      I just finished 2 months of sewing American Girl doll clothes for my granddaughter and what a money saver that was along with looks of awe.

    working

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