- Arts and Design
Why to learn to sew?
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?
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:
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).
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.
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
- Safety pins
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Tape measure
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.
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?
© 2015 Samantha